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Ann Leslie Shames

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Ann Leslie Shames Obituary
Ann Shames
Ann Leslie Levitan Shames died peacefully at her home in Lake Worth, Florida on March 20, 2018. The cause of death was cancer. She was 76 years old.
Ann is survived by her devoted husband Jerry; her children and their spouses: Brian Shames and Beth Deckers, Alison Shames and Ted Marcoux, and Michael Shames and Monica Gradischek; her grandchildren: Hannah Shames, Ethan Shames, Sammy Shames, and Jonah Marcoux; her sister and brother-in-law Susan and Norman Webber, and their children Beth Clark and Pamela Webber; her brother and sister-in-law Dan Levitan and Jerilyn Perine, and their children Gina Levitan and David Levitan; dozens of cousins; and countless friends.
Ann was born on August 7, 1941, the first child of David and Beatrice (Feldman) Levitan. She grew up in Brooklyn and West Hempstead, Long Island and spent treasured childhood summers in Mt. Freedom, New Jersey at the Levitan Lake Bungalow Colony. Ann married Jerry Shames in 1967, and after several years in Stamford, Connecticut, they settled in nearby Westport, Connecticut, where they lived for nearly 30 years. In 2000, Ann and Jerry spent a summer driving across the country. They decided to relocate to Redondo Beach, California, where Ann rediscovered her love of art, took art classes, and painted watercolors. Ann and Jerry became restless after a few years. They sold their home and traveled around the world, visiting nearly every continent over 12 months. Meticulously planned by Jerry, they stayed for weeks and months at a time in various towns and cities, getting to know the cultures, people, and hairdressers of nearly every location. In 2006, they finished their travels and settled down at Wycliffe Golf and Country Club, in Wellington, Florida, where Ann's sister Susan lived. They continued to travel around the country and beyond (by car, plane, and cruise ship), until Ann's death.
Ann graduated from Hofstra University in 1963 and began her teaching career in Long Island. After staying at home to raise her children, Ann went back to school and earned a Master's Degree in Reading in 1981 from Bridgeport University. Ann returned to teaching and worked for the Westport, Connecticut school system for 18 years. She worked in a number of grades and capacities over her career, but her favorite was teaching first grade. Ann took enormous pleasure in teaching children to read and write, and she had a gift for helping kids discover the joy of learning. She was known for making stone soup every Thanksgiving with her first graders, bringing world-class children's authors to the classroom, creating and running a mother-daughter book club, and building a website (shamesworld.com, no longer active) with her students when the internet was still young.
Ann was an avid reader, a sharp bridge player, and a surprisingly competitive and good-humored golf player. She excelled at crossword puzzles and nearly always beat her family in Scrabble. Ann loved to shop—for clothing and jewelry anywhere, anytime; and for housewares whenever the mood or piece struck, whether at Home Goods, in Italy or Turkey.
Ann loved her family and took great pride in her children and grandchildren. Ann thrived in the company of—and was energized by—her friends. Her social calendar was always full. The phone was always ringing. She could talk to and make friends with anyone, from the stranger on the plane to the hair colorist in India. Above all, she laughed—oh how Ann laughed—with everyone.
A memorial service to celebrate Ann's life was held on March 29th at Wycliffe Golf and Country Club. A ceremony will also be held in Mt. Freedom, New Jersey this summer, to scatter her ashes in one of her favorite places. If you wish to contribute in Ann's memory, please send donations in honor of Ann Shames to Mass General Cancer Center, http://www.massgeneral.org/cancer/support/. Memories and condolences can be shared at http://ann-shames.forevermissed.com/. The family would like to thank the nurses at TrustBridge for their loving care and attention in Ann's final weeks.
Ann touched so many of us. She will be remembered. She will be missed.
Published in Westport News from Mar. 28 to Mar. 30, 2018
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