Annie (Ann) F. Larsen, age 95 from Cheboygan, Michigan and Zephyrhills, Florida passed away peacefully, May 29, 2019 at Mill Creek Assisted Living surrounded by her loving family and under the care of the compassionate staff from Mill Creek and the U.P. Home Health and Hospice nurses.
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Ann, or Nona as many people referred to her, was born February 2, 1924 in Ishpeming to Frank and Mary (Vanelli) Barbiere. The family moved to Gwinn, where Ann grew up and later met her husband, Kenneth R. Larsen while he was working with the US Army Corps of Engineers surveying for the K.I Sawyer Air Force Base and staying at the Gwinn Inn. Her love of music and dancing brought her to the Inn and the rest is history.
They moved to Cheboygan where they raised 3 children, and made a lovely home on Long Lake which would later become host to family picnics, reunions and special Fourth of July celebrations featuring Uncle Sam water skiing around the lake behind the 1962 Rinkerbuilt. A particularly memorable event was the 2016 marriage of grandson, Michael to Gaylynn out on the dock. While in Cheboygan, Ann was a member of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic church and the Daughters of Isabella.
While wintering in Arizona and Florida, Ann was very active in plays and other social events held in the parks and became a friend to many.
Ann was married to Ken in 1956 and was his loving wife of 62 years and a loving mother and Nona to her family.
She was preceded in death by her parents Mary & Frank Barbiere, brothers John, Joseph, Frank, and Dominic, sisters Mary Beltrame and Madeline Delbello, and beloved grandson Rudy Ray Larsen.
She is survived by husband Ken Larsen, children Marie (Jim) Wisniewski of Arizona, Nanette (John) Merica of Traverse City, MI and Jim (Pam) Larsen of Gwinn, MI, sister Antoinette Willette of Gwinn, MI as well as six grandchildren, two great grandchildren with one on the way and several nieces and nephews.
Nona enjoyed 30 years of retirement and traveling. Winters were spent in Sun City, Arizona, Lake Okeechobee, and Zephyrhills, Florida.
She was very sweet; having a way of instantly connecting with people and making others feel good. Phrases like “You are the most beautiful girl I have ever seen” or “Oh, how handsome you are” were not uncommon. Still, she was feisty. Whether shooting a 22 rifle out at camp, riding on a 4-wheeler, going for a boat ride or diving off the dock at the lake as recently as last summer, Nona never shied away from the action.
Most of all, she was all about family. Family was the most important part of her life. Ann and husband Ken rarely missed a family gathering traveling far and wide for weddings, graduations, anniversaries and other events.
Ann was a “Rosie the Riveter” building aircraft during WWII and also was a “Gozzard Girl” working at the garment factory in Gwinn. You could not keep Ann down, as she overcame several physical challenges and fought for life all the way to the very end. She will be greatly missed by her family and all those who have known her.
A celebration of life will take place on Thursday, June 6th at the Marquette Church of Christ, 1104 W. Fair Avenue, Marquette, MI.
The family will receive guests from 10 AM – 11 AM, services from 11 AM – 12 PM followed by fellowship over lunch.
Jim Larsen, minister for Marquette Church of Christ will officiate.
Arrangements are entrusted to Koskey Funeral Home.