ANN McNEER McLEOD

Obituary
14 entries
  • "I am very sad to hear that Ann has passed away. Ann was a..."
    - Ofra Friedman
  • "Ann was my colleague. She was a supportive of our..."
    - Bill Foege
  • "My life was changed in so many ways by my friend, Ann. Her..."
    - Karen Gerber
  • "Rest in Peace Dr McLeod. You inspired my life."
    - N. Louella Venrick
  • "The family of Fonchen Lord is deeply grateful to Ann..."
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ANN McNEER McLEOD, 73

LAKE ALFRED - My sister Ann was born Ann Betticher McNeer at the beginning of World War II in New York City. Her maternal grandparents were John and Artemisa Evans of Lake Alfred, Florida, and her paternal grandparents were Arthur and Florence McNeer, also of Lake Alfred. Mr. Evans was a pioneer in the citrus industry. Her father was Dr. Gordon Palmer McNeer, Chief of Staff of Gastric Services at the Memorial Sloane-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. Her mother was Artemisa Evans, a devoted wife and wonderful mother to her children. Late in life, she was married to Dr. Robert Lee McLeod, President of Centre College in Kentucky, and a minister in the First Presbyterian Church of Winter Haven, Florida.
Ann grew up in Manhasset, Long Island, where she attended Manhasset High School. Many of her life-long friends come from this period in her life: the Allalemdjian family, the Leslie family, Dwight Beach, Linda Wakem, Pat Barrow, Connie Collins, Ann Fiero and so many others. She was loyal to them throughout her life. She went on to college at Lindenwood University. She then earned an M.A. in Archeology at Washington University, where she studied the Classical period in Greece, and an M.A. in Psychology at SUNY.
Our family moved into New York City in the early 1960's. During this time Ann was the Director of Admissions at the Allen Stevenson School. Because of her passion for Classical and Renaissance Art, Ann applied for and was granted a position as Vice President at the Villa Mercede in Florence, Italy. She was there during the flood of 1966 and was one of the "Angels in the Mud" who rescued precious tomes of rare books from the National Library when the Arno River overflowed its banks.
When our family moved back to Lake Alfred in the early 1970s, Ann lived with her mother in the house that our maternal grandparents had built in 1923. During this time she worked with her mother as an advocate to preserve the quality of life that we as a family had experienced in Central Florida. She lived in that house with our mother for thirteen years until she purchased a lovely condominium on a lake in Winter Haven. Ann loved the water. As a teenager she had sailed on Long Island Sound with her friends Dwight Beach and Charles Leslie. She had a small sailboat at her condo, and she made frequent trips to Vero Beach, Sanibel Island and Sand Key.
Ann's life has been a very rich and rewarding one. For thirty-five years she was a Professor of Art History and Psychology at Polk State College on the Winter Haven and Lakeland campuses. During this time, she traveled to China, Egypt, Russia and Spain. From Russia she returned with a collection of religious relics that she has charged her dear friend Daniel Land with delivering to St. John the Divine in New York City to honor her father who was once a student there. She was a portrait artist and studied under the tutelage of Ruth Messana, a highly-respected artist residing in Central Florida. She also worked tirelessly to promote the sculptures of her long-time friend Al Kriston.
Upon her retirement from Polk State College in 2005, she embarked on a new career that was emblematic of her love for her family and her passion for the arts. She was on the Board of the Ridge Art Association. She was a founding member of the Archeology Club at Polk State College. She was a docent at the Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland.
To honor her mother Artemisa, who had also been a portrait artist and photography enthusiast, she created the ARTEMIS COLLECTION, which drew from the works of artists from Central Florida. The original collection was represented by Maija Baynes, Winfred Burks, Elizabeth Clement, Brooks Conard, Al Kriston, Gene Leedy, Fonchen Lord, Ruth Messana, Therman Statom, Chryssie Tavrides and Kenneth Treister. The collection was formally introduced to the public at the ARC Gallery at MOSI, the Museum of Science & Industry, in Tampa, Florida, from September 23rd to October 20th, 2010. She was assisted with this project by Ofra Friedman.
The capstone for Ann's career is the project Art in Public Places that she has pursued diligently during the final decade of her life. The scenario for this culminating expression of her life played out on the four campuses of Polk State College with the generous assistance and guidance of the Provost, Dr. Sharon E. Miller. I invite you to visit these campuses in order to fully appreciate her legacy: you will see the poignant landscapes of a vanishing Florida depicted by Maija Baines, the extensive photographic exhibition of the architectural masterpieces of Gene Leedy, the brilliant photographs of flowers by Kenneth Treister, the inspired sculptures by Al Kriston and the imposing works by Fonchen Lord that will forever bring a smile to the faces of future generations of students and visitors to the Polk State College campuses.
Because she is such a private person, Ann chose to involve as few of her friends and family as possible in her final days. She was cared for with great compassion by the staff at the Good Shepherd Hospice in Auburndale, Florida, where she died on Christmas morning of respiratory failure.
She is survived by her brother, Dr. Gordon E. McNeer, who resides in Clayton, Georgia, and in Florida by her cousins Hunter McNeer, Flo McNeer Hamilton, Tom Evans, Micha Evans Ewell and Linda McNeer Johnson. She is also survived by her uncle Walter Evans and her cousins Nancy Evans and Jean Tarr of Centerville, Ohio, and by her cousin John Evans of Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Funeral arrangements have been made by the Ott-Laughlin Funeral Home in Winter Haven, Florida. Her family and friends are invited to meet there at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 19th. There will be a graveside service at 11:00 a.m. at the Lakeside Cemetery in Winter Haven followed by a reception and celebration of her life at 12:00 noon in the Fine Arts Building at Polk State College.

Funeral Home
Ott-Laughlin Funeral Home
645 West Central Ave
Winter Haven, FL 33880
(863) 293-2133
Published in Ledger from Jan. 6 to Jan. 7, 2013
Funeral Home Details
Winter Haven, FL   (863) 293-2133
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