Anna Mary Brannock Faust
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SALISBURY - Anna Mary Brannock Faust, died April 28, 2013. On May 25th in the fourteenth year of the adolescent Twentieth Century, Jettie Garvin Brannock gave birth to her fourth child, Anna Mary. Her quiet and proud father, John Monroe Brannock, welcomed her with the strength of his calm voice and the joyful twinkle in his eyes. Anna Mary's brother and sisters, John, Jr., Ava and Louise, welcomed her into this growing Spencer family.
With the encouragement of her older siblings, Anna Mary learned how to excel in the skills of learning and negotiating; skills that would form the purpose and emphasis of her 98 years and eleven months. She made formal these skills of learning in Spencer School and then, during the fierce depth of the Great Depression, at Catawba College. Education had formed her, and she declared that she would use education to help form other girls and boys, lots of them. "Teaching!" she exclaimed! "I love teaching! I love seeing a child come on the first day of school and then leave my class room with the ability to read and to think and to apply basic pieces of knowledge for a good and practical life."
Catawba College, Class of '36, at least that's what a "memorial brick" proclaims in the courtyard of the College Union. The Class of '36 of Catawba became one of those entities in which life-time friendships formed and literally lasted for life-times. Among those friendships, grew a relationship with this dark-haired Pennsylvania boy, who was "always rushing here and there, always in a hurry to finish one job and begin another." Of course Anna Mary was describing Milton; Milton Faust from Spring Grove, Pennsylvania; Milton who insisted that they get married after his first year of Seminary, when "We didn't have even two pennies to our names!" Milton and Anna Mary became an inseparable couple, a formidable force in the world of church and education and civic responsibility; a family that sought to address the challenges of their world with the "Ray of Hope" of their confidence that God had chosen to use them in this vast world.
Like so many of their generation, they faced the darkness and uncertainties of World War II, and in that, they indeed became a young couple that encouraged and strengthened their friends who faced the same fears and difficulties of the World War era.
Anna Mary and Milton had three children, Eric Milton, Mary Brannock and Frances Charlotte. She raised them with the same confidence that in each child, this "Ray of Hope" had been implanted and by her nurture would become yet another force of hope and good in the world. In fact the same values of education and teaching became the callings for Mary and Frances, and the pulpiteer's voice also sounded forth from Eric. She held with great love and high esteem all of the nieces and nephews of her wider family, both from "her" side and from Milton's "Pennsylvania side." She loved them all.
Anna Mary taught school! Yes she did! First in Lewisville, N.C.; then after the vagabond life-style of a Navy Chaplain's wife in World War II, she began teaching in Salisbury. First grade at First Presbyterian Church became the initial podium for her lessons; then a First grade at Wiley Elementary opened for her. This classroom for the bulk of her twenty-plus years became the anvil of learning for hundreds of girls and boys. Alphabet! Syllables! Words! Sentences! Numbers! Addition! Subtraction! Colors! Music! Order! Good Manners! Respect! Teamwork! Sharing! Such a "curriculum" addressed a life-time of life-skills! She taught, instilled, offered, and sometimes "strongly suggested" these attributes so that "her children" would be equipped to live with hope and integrity.
She taught, she encouraged, she received honors and accolades, and with her gracious smile, she always pointed to the purpose of her work, the children.
The formal education era concluded with her retirement, but immediately re-opened as she became a tutor for women and men who struggled to learn the complexities of the English language. She taught more and more people how to knit. She became a student, she began piano lessons that had never been a possibility in her childhood, and she took lessons for the sheer enjoyment of the music and the learning.
As Milton expanded his ministry from church pulpit to VA Chaplaincy, to American Legion Chaplaincy and Leadership, and to the civic club Civitan International, Anna Mary enjoyed the accomplishments of her husband's gift of friendship and leadership. She baked cookies and tea cakes and casseroles for countless receptions and covered-dish dinners. She welcomed guests into her home. She shared the "Ray of Hope" joy of living with each one.
Then came the beginning concept of a cooperative helping ministry among the Salisbury city churches, the ministry that today is "Rowan Helping Ministry." She saw that as a perfect match for her retirement time and her compassion for neighbors and her ever present desire to share a "Ray of Hope" with people who thought that they had no hope at all. She loved this ministry in Salisbury/Rowan.
The decision to leave Salisbury and move to River Landing, the new Presbyterian Homes campus in Colfax, N.C., had been a long developing decision. She moved there in 2003 and took part in her new world in the same way that she always had, involved in every aspect: the trips and tours, the exercise classes, the "Band," the choral group, and she taught women how to knit. This knitting group had a mission! They knitted "nursery 'boggins" for newborns at the High Point Hospital. Blue ones and Pink ones. When asked, "How many?" she would laugh and wave her hand, "Oh, I quit counting a long time ago."
Anna Mary Brannock Faust, Child of Jettie and John; Sister to John, Ava, Louise and James (Buddy); wife of Milton; mother of Eric, Mary and Frances; mother-in-law of Linda, Larry and Steve; Grandmother of Andrew, Bethan, James and Anna; Ashley, Whitney and Mary Wesley; and Bradley; Great Grandmother of Willow, Violet and River; Meg and Gus; Lauren and Olivia; Alexander and Brianna; Anna Leith; and Spencer and Anderson. Good friend; Teacher; Student; Encourager; and Child of God. Anna Mary Brannock Faust closed the book on the earthly chapters on April 28, 2013: her "Ray of Hope" shines on.
Service and Visitation: The Funeral Service "A Witness to the Resurrection" will be Friday, May 3 at Eleven o'Clock a.m. in the Chapel at Summersett Funeral Home. Visiting time beginning at 9:30 a.m. precedes the service. Interment will follow at Rowan Memorial Park. Her Pall Bearers are grandsons and grandsons-in-law: Andrew Faust, James Faust, Ashley Garner, Bradley Barger, Ben Senn, Brian Lamp. Retired Presbyterian Minister, Dr. Robert M. Lewis will officiate.
Summersett Funeral Home is serving the Faust family. Online condolences may be made to the family at www.summersettfuneralhome.com.
Published in Salisbury Post on Apr. 30, 2013
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