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Ann Stepan


1943 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
Ann Stepan Obituary
Ann Stepan, a Democratic powerhouse in Chicago, died on April 17, 2015 at her home in Beverly Shores, Indiana. Born September 27, 1943, the fourth of six children of Robert Ruppe and Eilleen Bauser Ruppe, she married Paul H. Stepan upon graduation from Barat College in 1965. She was the loving and beloved mother of Shannon (Jonathan) and Paul (Susan), and proud grandmother of Ava, Kathleen, Owen, and Emily. Ann was a passionate activist for social justice. At age 21 she traveled to Selma, Alabama to participate in the historic civil rights march to Montgomery. For the remainder of her years she directed her vivacious spirit and social awareness into determined action to change and improve our world. Ann's desire for change propelled her into politics. Ann was elected as the first woman Democratic Committeeman for Chicago's 43rd Ward in 1984 and then again in 1988. She developed one of the strongest and most effective grassroots ward organizations in the city, supporting and working with Mayors Richard M. Daley and Rahm Emanuel, State Senator Dawn Clark Netsch, Illinois Attorney General Neil Hartigan, States Attorney Dick Devine, Senators Bill Bradley, Paul Simon, and Adlai Stevenson III, Vice President Joseph Biden, and President Bill Clinton and Senator Hillary Clinton among others. She was an advocate for women candidates and opened the doors for many, including her successor Peg Roth, Honorable Maureen Durkin Roy and State Representative Judy Erwin. From 1991-1993 Ann served as 7th District State Representative in the Illinois General Assembly. In this position she was a member of a Special Task Force and co-sponsored the Lead-Poisoning Prevention Act of 1992. Ann Stepan was a board member of Family Focus and the Better Government Association and a major fund-raiser for Democrats across the nation as a prominent member of the Democratic National Committee. Ann was avid about the arts and a devout Catholic. She was a significant collector of modern art and a Trustee of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. As an active member of Saint Clement Parish, Ann pointed her unique 'grassroots' style to spearhead a successful fundraising effort for vital church renovations. Ann's life was grounded in her enduring love for Paul and her family. She described her marriage as "the love affair of the century." Her devotion for Paul was reflected in the splendor of their marital vow renewal in Assisi, Italy and the intimate personal care she gave him daily throughout a long and difficult illness until his passing. Family and friends remember Ann Stepan as a "force of nature with boundless energy." In addition to her children and grandchildren, she is survived by her siblings, Joan O'Malley, Dee Dee O'Malley, Robert Ruppe, and Christine Ruppe, and her siblings' in-law, Marilee Wehman, Alfred Stepan, Quinn Stepan, Stratford Stepan, Charlotte Shea, and John Stepan. Services will be held on Monday, April 27 at Old Saint Pat's Church at 700 W Adams St., Chicago, IL 60661. Visitation will be held at 8:30am followed by mass at 9:30AM. Funeral Info: 708-636-1193. blakelamboaklawn.com
Published in a Chicago Tribune Media Group Publication on Apr. 23, 2015
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