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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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May 26, 2019

4/23/2019 7:30:00 AM
Shirley Ann Rueckert

Heaven gained an angel when Shirley Ann Rueckert, known to her loved ones as Ann, passed away on the morning of Tuesday, April 16, 2019. All who had the honor of knowing Ann will remember her generous heart, persistent spirit, impeccable wit and her tireless efforts to improve the world around her. Whether it was by cultivating a beautiful garden, nurturing her children and grandchildren, or advocating for those with special needs, Ann was not one to miss an opportunity to speak her mind... and make the world a better place. She has left behind a lasting legacy of love and advocacy.

Ann was born in Peterborough, England July 9, 1939. Growing up, Ann was one of five children. Being one of only two girls in a house full of boys, Ann was instilled with a feisty spirit, quick wit, and a sharpened sense of humor at an early age, attributes which would remain with her throughout her entire life.

It was in her hometown of Peterborough that Ann would meet and eventually marry the love of her life, Frank Rueckert, a young man from Rhinelander, who had been stationed with the United States Air Force in Europe at the time. After getting married July 9, 1960 and eventually laying down roots in Rhinelander, Ann and Frank were blessed with four children: Deborah, Robin, Jody, and Kristine. Ann loved each of her children dearly and was incredibly proud of the people they had become, a fact she was willing to share with anyone and everyone. In addition to being a dedicated mother and wife, Ann had an incredible work ethic and stayed quite busy. As a working mom, Ann helped her husband manage their grocery store while maintaining a happy and loving home for her children and for many children on their neighborhood block, who would come to think of Ann as something of a second mom to them.

Even as a busy mom of four, Ann never forgot her British roots and made time for her friends, especially her English girls, a group which would always have a special place in her heart. In addition to her English girls, Ann formed many other lifelong friendships. Ann held her friends near and dear to her heart and cherished her time with them. Nothing brought Ann greater pride, however, than having the honor and privilege of raising her daughter, Krissy, who was born with cognitive disabilities and cerebral palsy. Ann was not only an incredible mother and caretaker to Krissy, she also became a fierce advocate for her daughter and for others in the community with special needs. Ann's efforts brought about positive changes in the local school system and beyond, a legacy which will benefit those with special needs in the community for generations to come.

In addition to being a remarkable mother and friend, Ann was also a proud grandmother to her eight grandchildren: Meghan, Josh, Alyshia, Jacob, Sam, Chad, Ryan, and Garret. A born matriarch, Ann played an active role in her grandchildren's lives. Just like she had with her own children, Ann made sure to shower her grandchildren with love. When they were kids, she took them on countless bike riding adventures around Rhinelander, and, as adults, she always made sure to take a special interest in their lives, never allowing them to forget how much she loved them.

Though Ann gracefully juggled many responsibilities in her life, she made sure to make time for fun. She and Frank took many memorable trips across the country as well as back to her home in England. For many years, she enjoyed biking, spending time with her family and friends, cultivating her beautiful English-style garden, and, of course, fitting in time to read her "saucy" romance novels while enjoying a cup of tea, a hobby which provoked much playful teasing from many of her loved ones over the years, especially Frank. Never one to miss an opportunity for banter, Ann always managed to come up with a witty comeback or two when such an occasion presented itself.

Ann will be missed by all, but will be forever remembered in our hearts. Ann was preceded in death by her mother and father, Anne and Mason, and her daughter, Krissy. She is survived by her loving husband, Frank; her loving children: Deb Ross, Robin (and Angie) Rueckert, and Jody (and Jeff) McFarlane; her grandchildren: Meghan Ross, Josh Rueckert, Alyshia (and Patrick) McGregor, Jacob McFarlane, Sam Ross, Chad McFarlane, Ryan McFarlane, and Garret Rueckert; her brothers: Peter, Alan, and David; and her sister, Susan.

Visitation for Ann will be held Friday, April 26, 2019 from 10 a.m. to noon with a memorial service following at noon, all at the Carlson Funeral Home. Deacon Ronald Bosi will be officiating. Interment will take place at Northland Memorial Park Cemetery immediately following the service. In lieu of flowers, please consider sending a memorial donation in memory of Ann Rueckert to Headwaters, Inc. at P.O. Box 618 Rhinelander, WI 54501. You may leave your private condolences for the Rueckert family at The Carlson Funeral Home (715-369-1414) is handling the arrangements for the Rueckert family.

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