Annabelle "Ann" Breen

October 25, 1925December 15, 2013
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Annabelle Faye Breen, 88, died December 15, 2013 of natural causes at her home in Elkhart, Iowa.

Ann F. Breen was born October 25, 1925 to Charley and Jenney (Bell) Byers rural Maxwell, Iowa. She grew up on different farms in the area of Maxwell, Norwalk, and Mitchellville until 1935 when her family moved to the town of Mitchellville. Ann graduated from Mitchellville High School, Class of ’44 and always had a special bond with classmates and friends. She babysat for others at a very young age and later worked at the Ordinance Plant Cafeteria in Ankeny and after graduation at Dean’s studio in Des Moines.

Ann met John Breen at the Tromar ballroom in Des Moines when he was home on leave from the U.S. Army following POW camp in Germany WWII. They married in August 1946 and first lived in Mitchellville and became residents of the housing for Veterans at Fort Des Moines. In 1952 the couple purchased their first home in Des Moines on 15th Street in Oak Park and later moved to Elkhart in 1959. Ann worked at Bourns in Ames, Iowa for 20 years as inspector and quality control in plastic mold and components. Ann and John loved dancing to Big Band and Swing music. She loved reading, movies, political news, and spending time with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. All children held a special place in heart and she appreciated the unique personality of each child. Her favorite place was weekends at her lake cabin at Lake Cornelia.

Ann was a member of St. Mary’s Holy Cross Rosary, VFW, and American Legion, EX-POW Mid-Iowa Chapter.

Survivors include her children, Patrick (Barbara) Breen of Florida, Michael (Rachelle) Breen of Ankeny, Deborah (Ron) Odgaard of Altoona, and Teresa (Steve) Palmitier of Hinsdale, Ill; grandchildren, Cathy (Gary) Harris, Matt (Nancy) Breen, Ryan (Dr.Laura Dakovich) Odgaard, Mollie (Nick) McCoun, Annie (Larry) Acker, Katie, Joe and Bridget Palmitier, and John and Shelby Breen; great-grandchildren, Kevin, Mitchell and Maria Harris, Michael Olson, Lindsey Dacey, Brandon and Chase Odgaard, and Conner McCoun; sister, Gerry McCleary; sisters-in-law, Julie and Kay; nieces and nephews, Cheryl, Steve, Tom, Kevin, John, Michael, Mary Beth, Janet, Rita, Bernadette, Sean, Don, Cindy, Melissa, and Rene.

Ann was preceded in death by her husband of 64 years, John Breen; parents; brothers, Bob (Peggy) Byers, Tim Byers; sisters-in-law, Mary Ellen (Hubert) McKinney, Honora (Louis) Hanrahan, and Cecilia (Adam) Gosiesky; brothers-in-law, Maurice (Betty) Breen and Carroll McCleary; niece, Marilyn McKinney; and newphews, Mark Gosiesky and Greg Hanrahan.

“Sweet Annie” was known for her kindness, patience and caring for others along with her sense of humor, love of dancing and sitting in the sunshine. Ann was devoted to her faith and family and like so many mothers, always put her family before herself. She has missed John and all he did for her and was looking forward to continuing that Sentimental Journey.

Visitation will be 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at St Mary's Holy Cross Catholic Church in Elkhart with a Vigil Service at 7 p.m. Funeral Mass will be at 10:30 a.m., Friday, December 20, 2013 at the church with inurnment following at Elkhart Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be directed to the family or St Mary's Holy Cross Church.


  • Memorial Mass Friday, December 20, 2013
  • Visitation Thursday, December 19, 2013
  • Vigil Service Thursday, December 19, 2013

Annabelle "Ann" Breen

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December 20, 2013

Debbie, so sorry to her of the loss of your mother. It is never easy, especially this time of year. Please keep her memories close at heart. Elaine Zelle Johnson

December 20, 2013

Annie was always the bright spot in the annual Byers reunion. She made us all feel so welcome! We will miss her so.
Melissa Shafer

Delmar Nelson

December 18, 2013

Pat,sorry to hear of your mothers passing.

Susan Albaugh

December 18, 2013

Debbie and family~~
fond memories of staying overnight at your house!! Your mom was the " cool" mom!! How she adored you!! My deepest sympathies to you.. Sue Albaugh ( Tomlinson)

December 17, 2013

I am so saddened to hear of the passing of my dear, dear friend, "Annie". We were such pals all through high school and our special friendship continued all through the years. I'm sure she and John are now dancing to big band music. My memories of our times together are still with me. See you again someday "Belz" (our secret knickname).

Love, Betty & Don