Yea, though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I will fear no evil; for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4.
Anna Jane (Eisenhard) Stair met her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, at the entrance to the Valley of the Shadow about 3:45 a.m. on March 5th, 2021, as He guided her safely through into His heavenly realm. She was 92 years and 13 days.
Anna Jane was born on February 20th, 1929 in Northampton, Pennsylvania, during the early days of the Great Depression, to the late Lewis A. and Cora M. (Hepner) Eisenhard. She was the youngest and last surviving of six children. She grew up in Lehigh Township on her parents' farm, which was located halfway between Cherryville and Treichlers. As a youth, she was active in 4-H and was a Girl Scout.
She attended her primary education in a two-room school house near Cherryville and completed her secondary education at Northampton High School with the Class of 1946. While still in high school, Anna Jane met and fell in love with John O. Stair at a dance she was attending with her brother Eugene. John, (more commonly referred to as Jack), was a WW2 Veteran who had just recently been honorably discharged from the U.S. Army. After a two-year courtship, Jack and Ann, (as he called her), were married on February 7th, 1948. To this union, five children were born, John, Georga Ann, Cheryl (Dawn), Tami and Eric. The family resided in the Lehigh Valley for the next 21 years with time spent between the farm (ten years), Allentown (two years) and Bethlehem (nine years). During that period of her life, Anna Jane's primary occupation included being a wife, mother, homemaker and hostess. Like most women raised on a farm, she was an outstanding cook and baker.
In 1969, during her 40th year, Jack and Ann packed up the family and moved to Colorado, where Anna Jane would live the remaining 52 years of her life. The family settled in the Denver metropolitan area. During the decade of the seventies, Anna Jane finished raising her two youngest children and began a 30-year career in manufacturing. She was employed by Sunmaster Fabric as a drape assembler, then by AT&T in electronics assembly. Then in 1978, after 30 years of marriage, her husband Jack passed away from coronary heart disease. She continued to work at AT&T until she moved to Westminster in 1986, a community about ten miles northwest of Denver. It was while living there that she went to work for Cobe Laboratories in Arvada, where she was employed as an assembler of electronic medical equipment. She worked at Cobe until her retirement in 1999 at the age of 70. Anna Jane lived in Westminster the remainder of her life. While she was physically able, she hosted many family dinners, especially around the holidays.
She loved having the company of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and enjoyed the visits of relatives from Pennsylvania. When she hit her mid-seventies, Anna Jane had to slow down as mobility became an issue. At this point in time, she was pleased to welcome her pastor and family friend, Tim Lindeman, and other church family, who came to visit and give her communion. Her eldest daughter, Georga Ann, and her youngest daughter, Tami, moved in with Anna Jane and each took on the responsibility of being her caretaker. Following the death of her daughters, in 2008 and 2018 respectively, she decided to carry on alone residing in the comfort of her own home rather than move into a senior community, assisted living facility or nursing home. For the last two-and-a-half years, with frequent visits from her daughter Dawn, her son-in-law, Johnnie, and granddaughters, Heidi and Jennifer, and infrequent, but timely visits from her two sons, John and Eric, Anna Jane managed to stay semi-independent until she contracted Covid-19 in the middle of February, 2021.
She passed away from complications of the disease at Denver Hospice on March 5th, surrounded by her son, Eric, her daughter, Dawn, and husband, Johnnie, and her grandchildren, Christian, Heidi and Jennifer.
Anna Jane was preceded in death by her husband, Jack; her parents, Lewis and Cora Eisenhard; her daughters, Georga Ann Stair and Tami Wolak; her grandson, Ckyle Stair; and her five siblings and their spouses, Lewis Eisenhard, Mahlon and Martha Eisenhard, Thelma and Dr. Robert Gill, Dale and Lorene Eisenhard, and Eugene and Winnifred Eisenhard.
Left to mourn Anna Jane's passing are the families of four of her children, son, John and Helen Stair of Akron, Colorado, and their son, Christian, and wife Sandra and their children, Lucas and Julianna of Parker, Colorado; daughter, Dawn and Johnnie Schaffer, their daughters, Heidi Schaffer and Jennifer Kopp, and her husband, Scott and their sons, Brayden and Breckin Kopp, all of Arvada, Colorado; the sons of the late Tami Wolak, Dane and wife, Kim Wolak, and their children, Blake and Madison of Highlands Ranch, Colorado; and Brandon Wolak of Murfreesboro, Tennessee; son, Eric and Renee Tapia Stair, and their daughter, Ann-Christine of Falcon, Colorado, as well as daughters, Neonna Maxwell, Mariah Maxwell and her daughter, Jada and Ruby Maxwell and her son, Isaiah, all of Denver, Colorado; and, finally, a multitude of nieces, nephews and friends mourn Anna Jane's passing as well.
Epilog: Anna Jane's final days were spent in hospitals where her family was unable to visit her. The ICU Unit at Swedish Medical Center did the next best thing. They set up a telecommunications conference where Anna Jane was able to have a virtual visit with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren on March 2nd and 3rd. Though on a respirator and having a difficult time breathing, the power of the Holy Spirit enabled her to give her offspring two powerful instructions. First, she told them how much she loved Jesus and would be going to be with Him very soon and dance with the angels in Heaven. She implored them to love Jesus also, because she wanted to see them all in Heaven someday. Secondly, she implored the family to stay close to and love each other, to strive to get along despite any differences they may encounter. In short, whether she realized it or not, Anna Jane gave her offspring Jesus's two greatest commandments; Love God and love each other! And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these. Mark 12: 30-31.
A memorial service for Anna Jane Stair will be held at Peace Lutheran Church, 5675 Field Street, Arvada, CO 80002 on Saturday, April 17th, 2021 at 3:30 p.m. in the afternoon with Pastor Tim Lindeman officiating. Inurnment will follow immediately at the church columbarium.
Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints. Psalm 116:15.
Published in Akron News-Reporter on Apr. 8, 2021.