Anne Von Der Ahe
Margaret Anne McGranaghan (Anne Von Der Ahe) was the first child born to Jerome and Ellen McGranaghan in Oneida, New York, on November 26, 1924. Her birth was promptly followed by the first annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, which she claimed was a celebration in her honor. Annie was whip smart and beautiful, flying through school and achieving degrees in Mathematics and Physics from Marywood University and Syracuse University. She found her way West just after World War II, where she met and married Walter R. Von Der Ahe. They settled in Long Beach and started a family. In 1958, Walter and Annie purchased property on the Truckee River and in 1966 made it their permanent residence. As a mother of four in the Sierras, she promoted the Far West Ski Association; she was a member of Corpus Christi Parish, and Squaw Valley Sporting Club. She was a member of the TRPA in the seventies. She inspired and cultivated amazing bonds with women and men of all ages throughout her life. An attentive friend, drinking buddy, travel partner, fast walker, spontaneous singer, and lover of raunchy jokes —this and more garnered her reputation of being “a hell of a broad”. Always dressed for occasions, Annie proudly showcased “the best legs to come out of NY State” (stocking-ed, of course). She was fluently versed in the finest things, but appreciated the 99 ₵ Store more. Incredibly self aware with her consumption (she felt the responsibility of her global footprint before the term was coined), she grasped the awesome scope of the universe, and her enormous heart understood the power of empathy, goodness, and selflessness.
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Affectionately known by her grandchildren as Grannie Annie, she deeply valued her independence. In her 60’s, Annie returned to southern California, learned the computer, and rejoined the work force as a travel agent at Eckdahl Sundin Travel. At age 75, she walked 75 miles in the Avon breast cancer fundraiser from Santa Barbara to Ventura carrying the name of her granddaughter’s second grade teacher. This serious scholar kept an immaculate house that was always spotlessly tidy, and adorned with artifacts of her impeccable taste and personal history. Every weekend she lovingly hosted her eldest son, Eric, and his partner, Mary, cooking meals and taking them on outings. Spending time in her space, amidst her inspiring collection of diverse music, art, literature, and knick-knacks, was an elevating experience. Her affection of such possessions was only trumped by her constant appreciation of the natural world. The woman hollered out to the moon whenever the full saucer hung in the heavens. She constantly talked about the size or age of trees only to interrupt herself with a drop of her jaw, a deep inhale, and her trademark laugh of wonderment. Anytime she had company she insisted they stop whatever they were doing as the sun set, and join her outside, because “they were MISSING the SHOW!” Her sense of humor is legendary. Anne Von Der Ahe died on October 30, 2014 four weeks shy of her 90th birthday. She loved her family. Boy oh boy, do we love her. She is survived by Chris and Laurie Von Der Ahe, Maria and Steve Harrison, and Matthew Von Der Ahe, six grandchildren, and innumerable friends.
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