Ann Hatfield Thurm
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Cape Canaveral, FL
Ann Hatfield Thurm, 84, was born a proud American on the Fourth of July, 1929 in Nashville, Tennessee. She went to be with the Lord on March 3, 2014, with her loving family at her side.
Upon completing nursing school at the U.S. Public Health Services in New Orleans, LA, she worked as a Registered Nurse in that area. In 1963, she and her family moved from Atlanta, GA with the space program to the newly incorporated City of Cape Canaveral, Florida. As the loving, responsible mother of two young boys, John and Charles Ross, she soon became active in the new community which depended mainly on volunteers for its amenities. Her interest in schools and recreation helped form the first City Recreation Board, which she chaired for six years, and this led to her serving on the Brevard County District 2 Recreation Board. Ann also did volunteer work for the Brevard Chamber of Commerce, the Brevard Health and Public Assistance program, the City Election Board, and Our Saviour's Catholic Church.
While working as a bookkeeper for the Merritt Island Sanitation Company, Ann married Mayor of Cape Canaveral Richard Thurm in 1968 and they produced one son, Richard Thurm, Jr. During this time she continued her service to the City, being active in zoning issues, sanitation infrastructure installation and was a member of the Beautification Board when elected to the City Council in 1972. She served until she became Mayor in 1977, when she continued to serve the citizen's needs, including the establishment of building density limits, a contract for police services with the Brevard County Sheriff Office (BCSO, a modem wastewater treatment facility, and non-commercial beachfront property ordinances. The decision to contract for law enforcement with the BCSO rather than continue with the troubled City Police Department was a flagship effort of hers. She returned to the City Council for an additional three years in 1989, completing ten years service on the Council and 13 years service on the Board of Adjustment.
Always interested in History, Ann was named City Historian in 1986. She amalgamated a multiple volume comprehensive scrapbook of photographs and newspaper clippings of the history of the City, currently available for viewing at the Cape Canaveral Public Library, and wrote "The History of Cape Canaveral and the Cape Canaveral Area", published by the City in 1994. The book is an historical account of both the city and the area before the arrival of the space program, the first such work to be compiled, and garnered her a membership with the State Historical Society. She remained the City's Historian until her death.
Ann also became interested in her family genealogy, becoming a member of historical groups such as the Daughters of the American Revolution, where she served as regent of the Philip Perry Chapter. She was also honored with memberships in the Lighthouse Chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy, the Daughters of 1812 Society, and the Daughters of American Colonists.
Ann was preceded in death by her mother Mary Hatfield, and is survived by her devoted husband of 45 years, Richard Thurm, sons John Ross of Tennessee, Charles Ross and his wife Patricia of Merritt Island, and Richard Thurm Jr. of Cape Canaveral; brother, James Hatfield and sister, Lorna Russell of Tennessee. She is also survived by three step-grandchildren; Summer Thompson, Tiffany Gregg, and Andrea Vargas, and one great-grandson, Anthony Daniel Vargas Jr.
Visitation will be from 6 - 8 P.M. Thursday, March 6th at Beckman-Williamson Funeral Home in Cocoa Beach. A Mass of
Christian Burial will be 10:30 A.M. Friday, March 7th at Church of Our Saviour in Cocoa Beach. Interment will be in Brevard Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Central Brevard Humane Society, 1020 Cox Rd., Cocoa, FL 32926. You may sign Ann's guestbook at beckman-williamson.com.
Beckman Williamson Funeral Home
101 North Brevard Avenue Cocoa Beach, FL 32931
Published in FLORIDA TODAY from Mar. 5 to Mar. 7, 2014