Anna Ruth Elliott
March 5, 1946 – May 9, 2020
Anna R. Elliott, nee Trolinger, passed away peacefully in Tacoma, Washington May 9, 2020 at age 74.
She was born March 5, 1946 in St. Louis County, Missouri, daughter to Tony Trolinger and Gertrude E. Black. Anna’s mother, who was busy hoeing the garden and planting seeds when she went into labor, sent one of the older children to fetch the doctor. She told the child that the doctor always came home for his lunch break or bring the midwife that lived next door. Anna came into the world just in time for lunch. The very next morning, Anna’s mom was skidding logs with mules (so this strong apple came from a strong tree). Anna attended Mehlville High School and, as an adult, received her Associate of Arts Degree from Jefferson College as a member of Phi Theta Kappa.
After refusing to go out on a date with James Elliott on several occasions and after him running off her dates on other occasions, Anna thought she would fix him the next time he asked her out. She agreed to go on a date at a coffee shop that was two hours away, and they drove in separate cars. She assumed these criteria would make him give up, but they did not. He showed up at the coffee shop. For their second date, they went squirrel hunting. Two years later, they married at the courthouse on their lunch breaks. They just celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary.
Anna had several jobs over the years: factory worker, waitress, insurance salesperson, real estate agent, bus driver, a volunteer for the VA gym, and bookkeeper. The running joke was… “Do you think mom will quit before her first break or lunch?” The position she loved the most and worked at for 25 years was Care Cab. In this position, she worked with adults with Downs Syndrome and smothered them with love a couple of hours each day.
She enjoyed Busch and Bud Light beer, BBQing pork steaks, camping, dancing, fishing, hiking, hunting, music, musicals, sewing, traveling, and using her psychic abilities to scare the crap out of her kids and nag them into not going places or doing things because she had a “bad feeling”. She was a claustrophobic who would have panic attacks in an MRI machine or in the front cab of a pickup truck during month-long camping trips but wanted to be buried in a box, six feet underground. Anna hated funerals but insisted her daughter set up a pre-planned funeral, with specific details from the flowers to her charity to the hummingbird statues on the end of the coffin.
She was a Pisces, who are known for their duality and being amazing parents. She believed in being the better person and doing what was right by people while they were alive, and not putting on theatrics at a funeral to blue smoke and mirrors a person’s guilt. She was the person that everyone called on during hard times. She was there for cousins with drug addiction and a cousin who was homeless. Anna has bathed the heartbroken after devastating divorces, fed others’ kids, shuttled others’ kids to practice, drove relatives to chemo treatments. She bailed a few people out of jail a time or two and also told all of us the truth when we needed to hear it, no matter how hard it hurt. She and her daughter would spend hours looking at maps on the floor, marking them up and traveling vicariously. She traveled to all 50 states, southern provinces of Canada, Mexico, China where she walked on the Great Wall, Japan, Norway, and visited almost every single National Park (minus Dry Tortugas and American Samoa). Anna and Jim celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary hiking in Glacier National Park. Anna’s dream for retirement was for James and her to be campground hosts at National Parks. Their dream was cut short, due early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, which started at age 52.
Anna is survived by her loving husband James and their daughter Tonya. She has a son from a previous marriage, and he has not contacted her for over 9 years.
A memorial is scheduled for May 28, 2020, and is private. Anna will be laid to rest at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis, MO.
In lieu of flowers, a one-time donation memorial can be sent to the National Park Foundation in Anna Elliott’s name at http://give.nationalparks.org/goto/Anna_Elliott. It also includes an option of sending an electronic card if the donor wishes to inform the family personally.
- National Park Foundation
Saturday, May 9, 2020