Surrounded by her loving family, Ann “Nana” Elizabeth Lannert Gootee drew her final earthly breath on December 8, 2013, at the Heritage Nursing Home in Elmwood, WI. In the deafening silence that followed, she seemed to whisper “I love ya’, kid!” one last time.
Ann was born on May 2, 1926, to R. Benhart and Francis Marian (Colcher) Lannert in Springfield, Ohio. She grew up in Springfield and attended Lincoln Elementary, Hayward Junior High, and Springfield High School.
In 1944, she met a dashing and courageous Marine who swept her off her feet. On June 24, she married Harold “Jack” Gootee; their 65-year union was blessed with 3 children – Pamela, Timothy, and Benhart. Ann was an entrepreneur and a consummate artist; she left whimsy in her wake. She graduated from Wittenberg University with an associate degree in art, and used her many talents to bring joy to others. Like the beautiful handmade ornaments she gave each year, Ann “Nana’s” life was a colorful and light-filled, Christmas tree adorned with beautiful memories, quirky figures, treasured friends, and faithful companions. For her grandchildren, Nana was synonymous with Christmas. Ann possessed a keen mind and a sharp tongue along with a natural toughness and heart of gold. If she wasn’t sketching and creating, she could be found attacking crossword puzzles or reading her Bible like a novel. Her faith in Jesus was real and personal. Ann became a church elder in the First United Presbyterian Church in the 1960s, and faithfully served in that capacity until her death.
Ann loved to travel and made many extended trips to Minnesota to spend time with her daughter and son-in-law much to her granddaughters’ sheer delight. She completed a European tour with her sister, Lou Zook, in the 1980s and fell in love with Belgium. In 1989, she and Jack visited Australia and New Zealand where he’d spent time recovering during WWII.
Ann could weave a delightful yarn and her experiences increased her vast library of anecdotal experiences. The majority of her years Ann lived in Springfield, Ohio, near her cherished family and friends. In January 2007, Ann relocated with Jack to Glenwood City, Wisconsin, to be near their daughter and son-in-law, Pam and Bob Keil. Soon thereafter, Jack was moved to the Alzheimer’s unit at The Heritage Nursing Home in Elmwood, WI. Ann moved to Heritage on October 1, 2008, and was at Jack’s side when he passed away on January 27, 2010. She had an active social life making many new and beloved friends during her time in Wisconsin. With a box of Cracker Jacks and a bottle of Coke in hand, she enjoyed watching Cincinnati Red’s baseball games especially when her sons, Tim and Ben, came from Ohio for visits. Her birthdays during those final years were beautiful tea parties hosted by her daughter, Pam.
Ann “Nana” gave lavishly throughout her life and inspired a family of givers. Christmas provides the perfect backdrop for celebrating of her life and memory.
Ann “Nana” is survived by her daughter – Pamela (Robert) Keil of Glenwood City; grandchildren – Wendy (Christopher) Gabriel of Fargo, ND (children: Caleigh & Cadence), Jane (Scott) Strong of Menomonie, WI (children: Drake, Colin, Forrest & Graeme), Heidi (Jasen) Mark of Plymouth, MN (children: Brittany & Ashley Mattson), Sarah (Kevin) Heinonen of Leawood, KS (children: Bailey, Brayden, Bellamy & Bryghten); son – Timothy (Cindy) Gootee of Springfield, OH; grandchildren – Kimberly Gootee of Dayton, OH, Adam (Leslie) Gootee of Spencerville, OH (children: Samantha, Lucas & Tyra), Rachel (Tom) Shoemaker of Lima, OH (child: Emma Jo); son – Benhart Gootee of Springfield, OH; grandchild – Kelly Gootee of Columbus, OH (child: Violet); sister – Nancy Louise “Lou” (Jack) Zook of Springfield, OH; nephew – Erik Zook (children: Jesse & Jorden) of Springfield, OH; nephew – Daniel Zook of Springfield, OH; and cousin – Esther Ellen Manuel of Springfield, OH. Additionally, Ann is survived by many nieces, nephews and dear friends.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Harold “Jack” Gootee; parents, R. Benhart & Francis Marian (Colcher) Lannert; and grandson, David Gootee.
A celebration of life for Ann will be held at 3 p.m. on Friday, December 20, 2013 at the O’Connell Family Funeral Home in Baldwin, WI. Visitation will be 1 hour prior to services. Services are in the care of the O’Connell Family Funeral Home and Countryside Cremation – Baldwin Chapel, 715.684.3434, www.oconnellfuneralhomes.com