Ann Elizabeth Rynearson

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  • "Kathy, John and family, we are very sad to hear that Ann..."
    - Randall Clemons
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    - Kim Svaglic
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Service Information
Marion Nelson Funeral Home
454 S Buckmoore Rd
Lake Wales, FL

Rynearson, Ann Elizabeth (nee Manry) Ann Elizabeth Manry Rynearson, PhD, age 75, passed away peacefully in her sleep at Evelyn's House hospice in St. Louis on Thursday, September 27, 2018. Her death is a loss to many in the St. Louis community, but especially her husband Sam Rynearson and the entire Manry/Rynearson families. Ann began life in Jacksonville, FL, as the oldest child of Dr. and Mrs. W.E. Manry, Jr. Her family moved to Lake Wales, FL, where her father was one of the few family doctors in the area. Ann's passion for education began with her bachelor's and master's degrees in Anthropology from Tulane University and she later attained her doctorate in anthropology from Washington University in St. Louis. Throughout her career she published many professional articles and produced the film Weaving Bitter with the Sweet involving a Laotian refugee woman from St. Louis returning to her village in Laos. She continued to follow her passion for learning all through life and during her last 8 years loved attending classes at the Washington University Life Long Learning Institute. Ann began her work at the International Institute of St. Louis in 1980 as a part-time vocational English instructor for newly arriving refugees, eventually rising to the level of an Executive Vice President of the Institute. Throughout her career Ann was actively involved in many refugee groups and assisted individuals in learning to live in America. In 1987, she created the agency's research and development department, which eventually grew to a division with events, research grants, community crime prevention and safety projects, and community outreach. Ann retired in 2009. Ann's many achievements included helping found, along with Anna Crosslin, the International Institute President & CEO, the International Folkfest, which after 14 years then became the International Institute's Festival of Nations. She served as Festival director in 2008 and 2009, by which time the Festival of Nations was attracting 125,000 visitors annually. The Festival of Nations fit with Ann's long-term desire to encourage refugees to continue their cultural heritage, especially in the arts. Ann Rynearson has been a significant factor in building the International Institute to the organization it is today, said Anna Crosslin, Institute President & CEO. She has ensured that our programs operate effectively and efficiently and also with a heart. Ann is survived by her husband of 52 years, Sam Rynearson, and her sister Kathy Manry Smith (Bill) and brother John Manry (Mary), as well as niece Katie Manry Hogan (Steve) and nephews Matthew Manry, MD and Steve Manry. In lieu of flowers, the family would like donations in Ann's memory to the International Institute of St. Louis or to the Washington University Life Long Learning Institute Endowment Fund. Services: A family service and burial will take place in Lake Wales, FL. A service of celebration and remembrance will be held at the International Institute of St. Louis at the Hall of Nations on October 27, at 10:00 a.m. The family also offers sincere thanks to the wonderful people at Evelyn's House hospice who cared for Ann, and for us.
Published in St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Oct. 2, 2018
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