Ann Wilking Gesteland
May 7, 1935 – August 4, 2019
Ann Gesteland, 84, of St. George Island, Fla., formerly of Lodi, Wisconsin, Cincinnati, Ohio and West Bend, Wisconsin, was called home to heaven August 4, 2019, after suffering a stroke in April 2019.
She was born May 7,1935 in Madison, Wisconsin, to Wallace and Mildred Winn (nee Beswick).
After marrying Werner E. Wilking in 1954, she moved to West Bend in 1963 and worked at Jeanne’s Country Casuals. She was an avid golfer, bowler and an active member of the West Bend Country Club. She also was active as a volunteer in the local Children’s Theater group and was a life-long fan of the stage. She was an active member of St. James Episcopal Church of West Bend also, serving on many committees there.
In 1975 she moved to Cincinnati, Ohio where she worked in market research for Procter and Gamble travelling frequently all over the country to do focus groups on new products. She then started working for the Hamilton County Parks District in Cincinnati, managing events at Parky’s Farm, a fully functioning farm used for educational programs and entertainment. She was active in her community church, always the volunteer. She moved to Lodi, Wisconsin after marrying her lifelong friend and classmate Edward Gesteland in 2009, and then made the Plantation in St. George Island, Florida her permanent home after snow birding from Wisconsin with Ed for many years.
Ann loved vacationing in far-flung places like Tuscany and Costa Rica and traveling to Europe where her photojournalist son Rick was living. When Rick moved to Washington, DC and then to Colorado she was there as often as she could be. When grandson Ben was born in Zurich, she was there two weeks later to see him.
She loved to cook often whipping up dishes on the fly without a recipe calling them “Ann Originals”. She was a music lover, particularly of musicals, classical music and American standards. She was a movie lover too, tending toward old classics but almost any genre would do. Books were always a passion, reading thousands over her lifetime. A glass of chardonnay, a book and a seat next to her beloved Ed were heaven on earth to her.
She began a love of pigs many years ago and at one time had a collection of pig figurines numbering in the hundreds. In Florida she supported the sea turtle protection program and was involved in improving the Plantation’s beaches and landscapes.
Ann loved the Wisconsin Badgers and Green Bay Packers and later adopted FSU in Tallahassee and its teams too. An accomplished artist, mostly working in watercolor paintings, she picked up her brushes several years ago after a long hiatus and despite struggling with a weak arm and wrist after an injury was painting right up until her stroke.
Even in her advanced years she took to new technologies readily – smartphones, laptops, tablets and the Internet were staples in her life often making tech support and companies across the country crazy with her hour long calls.
Ann is survived by her husband Ed Gesteland, son, Rick Wilking (Sharon) of Golden, Colo., grandson, Benjamin Wilking of Houston, TX (Ashley); and great-granddaughter Grace Anne, born this year in January. Also survived by sister Marcia Oliver of Brookfield, WI, nieces and nephews and stepchildren.
A celebration of Ann’s life will take place at the Plantation Clubhouse on St. George Island, Florida August 24th at 2 pm. 1712 Magnolia Road, St. George Island, FL 32328 850-927-2312. Arrangements by Culley’s Meadow Wood Funeral Home of Tallahassee.
Celebration of Remembrance
1712 Magnolia Road
Ann Wilking Gesteland
August 9, 2019
I met Ann in 1987 and learned so much from her, both at P&G and in life. She was like Another Mother to me. In fact, we joked about that. She especially helped me after my own Mom died at age 63. We enjoyed toasting Millie and Brenda with Chardonnay on July 21st, near the anniversary of each of their own passing.
She was a wonderful surrogate grandparent to our two sons, as they were growing up. She enjoyed attending the wedding of our older son, Scott, in Sept. 2008 in the Boston area. She then came back to Ohio and began her romance with Ed.
Ann and I had theatre tickets for many years and enjoyed so many great local productions. She always had so much zest for life and sharing her laughter and enthusiasm. I miss my friend, AWW/AWG.
I am so glad Ann and Ed enjoyed each other and had the past 11 yrs together. Ann deserved that after some of the health and other struggles she had along life’s way. I am so very glad the last years of her life were spent in the company of her beloved Ed and pray that he understands what a blessing he was to Ann.
Sending heartfelt thanks to Ann for being a part of my life and to you, Rick, as you celebrate your Mom. Know that you and your family were much of what made her life so sweet.
With sympathy, Paula Ford Innis
August 8, 2019
Mom was my number one fan - a supporter of everything I did. She long ago sent me a Father's Day card that read "I believe - in your heartfelt dreams and deep down wishes. I believe - in your inner strength and wisdom. I believe - in all the things that make you such a good father...I believe in you". That summed up how she felt about me and she showed it all the time. She traveled to wherever we lived often, spending many, many Christmases with us which we always looked forward to. I will miss terribly not having her to share my work with, to share my doings and accomplishments with and share my dreams with. I am trying to take comfort in knowing I will see her again in heaven someday but its not easy. (This picture was shot in Cincinnati when I was traveling with President Clinton and she came to see me at the event.)