Ann T. Diggs
July 20, 1932 – August 31, 2020
Ann Thobae Diggs died peacefully at her home in Harwich, MA, on Monday, August 31, 2020, surrounded by her family.
Ann was born to Albert A. and Kathryn Rosa Thobae in NYC, on July 20, 1932. At an early age, she moved with her family to Cape Cod, which she always considered home. She graduated from Lawrence High School (Falmouth) in 1950. She received a Bachelor’s in Dramatic Arts from Skidmore College and taught in the Theater Department at Wheaton College.
Later, Ann moved to Boston, where she met Naval Ensign Walter W. Diggs. They were married at the UU Barnstable Church in 1958 and lived briefly in Marblehead before moving to Baltimore when Walter accepted an appointment at Johns Hopkins Hospital, where their three children were born. Ann was an active member of the First Unitarian Church of Baltimore, MD. In 1967, when the family moved to Augusta, GA, she continued her affiliation with the Unitarian Universalist Church, where she served as director of Religious Education. In 1972 the family moved to Memphis, TN, where she earned a Master’s in Early Childhood Education from the University of Memphis. For more than thirty years, she taught kindergarten at private and public schools in the Memphis. She was also active in community theaters in the Memphis area.
In 2007, after retirement, Ann and Walter returned to her beloved Cape Cod, where she tended her gardens, painted, knitted scarves and volunteered at the Unitarian Universalist Meeting House of Chatham, where she was involved with pastoral care and worked in the thrift shop, among other things. Ann was a member of several social justice and cultural organizations, including, among others, the ACLU, Amnesty International, the Artists Guild of Harwich, the Creative Art Center of Chatham, and the Cape Cod Cultural Center.
Ann is survived by her husband Walter Diggs and children: Jenni Makihara of Hyannis, Tom Diggs of Napa, CA, Andrew Diggs and his wife Kate Rollenhagen-Diggs of Brewster; several nieces, nephews and cousins, and a host of cherished friends whom she considered her extended family. Most who met her will say, “She never met a stranger.”
A celebration of Ann’s life is planned for the summer of 2021. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations be made in Ann’s memory to the Unitarian Universalist Meeting House of Chatham, P.O. Box 18, Chatham, MA 02633 or a charity of your choice.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Ann T. Diggs
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September 17, 2020
We have a couple of black and white photos of our young, beautiful Aunt, with her nieces, Anne and Julie, still in diapers, on a visit to Houston in the early 1950s. She was the best aunt to all of us! Generous with her time, attention and love, always extending herself beyond what most aunts would do to be certain we knew that we were important. Aunt Ann made the effort to accompany Anne once, and Julie once, to Puebla, Mexico to put together parties for our niece, her great niece, Liz when she was growing up.
Aunt Ann so loved being on the Cape and all of the activities it offered, and it was her drive that got her family back to the area she considered home after 50 years away. She made it happen. She enjoyed sitting and walking on its beaches, the sounds, the sea air—and the cooler climate suited her. When she returned to Cape Cod, she made sure the car she got would allow her to put her kayak in all by herself, and she bought a Honda Element. She was able to continue her life-long interest in drawing and art with taking watercolor classes from various local artists .
Aunt Ann always had engaging projects for the children in her midst to do, whether it was with us and her own children or those that she taught in Memphis. We are comforted to know how many students lives she enriched with her efforts.
Ann was energized by her connection with people. She looked forward to volunteering at the Unitarian church resale store every summer and sharing the work together with the friends she had made there where she felt a true sense of belonging.
We are so glad to know that she was active throughout the day she died, having done her morning errands, picking up lunch for herself and sitting down to nap, telling Jenni that she wanted to watch Joe Biden’s speech later. That is how we remember our Aunt Ann, involved, high-spirited, lots of fun, with lots of love. That’s how she always signed her notes to us, “Lots of love, Aunt Ann.”
Julie, Anne & Liz
Jeannie Clark Fisher
September 11, 2020
I am heartbroken that we lost Ann so suddenly and I want to send my sympathy to her family and all those who knew and loved her. She can never be replaced and will always be remembered for her laughter, her love, and her love of life.
September 11, 2020
I am saddened by the news of Ann’s passing. She was such a lively presence in the UU Thrift Shop and always made me feel so welcome. One does not ever forget a person like Ann. May she Rest In Peace.