Ann Presley, widow of the late Walter
Edward Presley, formerly of Fort Smith, Arkansas and Tucson, Arizona,
died on August 31, 1999 after a short illness in Brentwood, Tennessee.
She was 86.
Ann attended St. Edward’s Nursing School in Fort Smith, and later
worked and taught there before leaving to tend to the needs of a growing
Widowed with four children at 50, Ann resumed working and supported her
family as a
public health nurse for Sequoyah County, Oklahoma where she worked for
several years as a community health nurse serving many citizens of the
Cherokee Nation. She then continued her education and earned a BA in Nursing
at the age of 60 from Arkansas
State University at Conway.
Upon graduation, she
moved to Denver, Colorado and worked for the medical branch of the
Department of Defense, OCHAMPUS, as a facilities inspector, and traveled extensively
throughout the country insuring that medical facilities and hospitals
for Veterans met Government standards.
While in Denver, she continued her education, receiving a Masters in
Nursing followed by a Masters in Public Administration from the
University of Colorado at Denver at the age of 70. Also while in Denver,
she was a member of the Colorado Mountain Club and in her 60′s
scaled many of Colorado’s 14,000 foot mountains including Mt. Evans
twice, Longs Peak and Mount Elbert, the highest peak in the state.
She retired from Government Service at 75 and moved to Tucson to be near
her family, and once again continued her education at the University of
Arizona, receiving a Doctorate in Gerontological Nursing two weeks
before her 80th birthday.
Dr. Presley is the oldest doctoral recipient in the University’s
history. She later developed and taught a course entitled, ”Long
Distance Grandparenting,” at Pima Junior College and at the University
of Arizona Extension Service in Tucson.
At 85, Ann moved to Brentwood, Tennessee, to be near her oldest son. An
energetic, happy, intelligent woman and loving mother all her life,
during her stay in Tennessee, she finally succumbed to a heart
Her favorite saying was: ”Everything good always happens to me.” Her
favorite trick, that would time and time again amaze her grandchildren,
was one where she could make a dime ”jump” from one hand to another.
In her 80′s, she would capitalize on her diminished hearing when
someone would say, ”I love you,” by invariably responding with a big
grin, ”What was that? What did you say?”
She leaves her children, Jim Presley of Franklin, Tennessee, Bill
Presley of Boston, Massachusetts, Jerry Presley and Mary Presley Sawyer,
both of Denver; nine grandchildren, and a sister, Jewell Bennett and
brother, Michael Cullen, both of Fort Smith. Burial was private. There
will be a funeral mass at St. Boniface Catholic Church in Fort Smith,
Arkansas on Friday the 17th of September, 1999 at 11:00 AM.
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