Ann Colleen Graham

May 20, 1925February 13, 2014

Ann Colleen Godfrey Winterringer Graham was born May 20, 1925 in Wenatchee, Washington, to Thomas Clifford Godfrey and Myrtle Harris Godfrey. She died February 13, 2014 at the age of 88 after a long battle with dementia.

Ann attended Columbia Grade School, where she once played the part of Goldilocks in a school play, which was quite remarkable considering her curly black hair. She graduated from Wenatchee High in 1943, where she was a popular student and participated in many activities including dance. She even ran a dating service, matching up her friends for a big dance. During the war years, everyone did their part in the agricultural community and Ann did jobs from pruning to fruit packing. She once claimed to have been fired from every fruit packing warehouse in the Wenatchee valley during her high school years. Ann graduated from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, and went on to the University of Washington, where she joined the Kappy Alpha Theta sorority. There she made many lifelong friends. Ann returned to Wenatchee to work as an interior decorator. She married John Winterringer on April 7, 1947, and they moved to Yakima. She continued working as an interior decorator until the birth of their first daughter.

Ann was a terrific mother to her daughters, Sarah, Mary Corinne and Martha. She was a Bluebird/Campfire leader, room mother, PTA member, and swim instructor. She always made holidays a special event. Summer trips to the Godfrey family cabin at Lake Chelan were a highlight of the girls’ childhoods. Ann worked as a volunteer in the highly successful Red Cross Learn to Swim program and received the 1969 Water Safety Award. She and John led an active social life, enjoying John’s role in the Elks Club, the Charter Club dance club, and many other community organizations. Her decorating advice was in demand from her many friends and her skills were most apparent at the unique mid-century modern home she and John built on 31st Avenue.

Mrs. Winterringer began working in the Yakima School District as a library paraprofessional at Gilbert Elementary in 1967. She loved the job which combined her love of reading and her love of children. “Mrs. Ringerringer” made many friends among the staff, students and parents at Gilbert.

Five years after John’s death in November, 1982, Ann was reacquainted with her high school sweetheart, Bill Graham. They had a whirlwind courtship and were married in January, 1988. After a year in Redmond, Ann and Bill moved back to her home in Yakima. They did a little traveling, a lot of house remodeling and gardening, and most of all, had a wonderful time just being together. Bill loved his Annie! Staff at Ann’s nursing home often commented on his love and devotion to his wife.

Annie will be remembered by family and friends for her unfailing cheerful nature, her patience, her lively sense of humor, her kindness and radiant smile. She always set an example as a lady. She truly lived by the adage, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” She was a loving and supportive mother, grandmother and wife.

Ann is survived by her children Sarah Lea Brown of Yakima, and Mary Corinne (Tom) Thompson of Bremerton, her grandchildren Nicholas Brown of Portland, Oregon, Alex Brown (Cara) of Edmonds, and David (Amanda) Thompson of Buffalo, New York, and her great-grandchildren, Taylor and Kaylie Brown of Edmonds. She is survived by her brother, Bob Godfrey of Wenatchee, Bill Graham’s children, Susan Scott of Winthrop and Bill Graham of Phoenix, Arizona, her nephew John Godfrey of Olympia and her niece Sally Freed of Wenatchee. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband John H. Winterringer, her husband William N. Graham, her daughter Martha Jane Winterringer, and her sister-in-law Mary Godfrey.

The family would like to thank the staff of Garden Village and Heritage Grove for their kind and compassionate care of Annie for the past 10 years. No public service is planned. Memorials may be made to the Yakima School Foundation or the charity of the donor’s choice.

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