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Life Story / Obituary
As family and friends can surely attest, Ann Albright-Shannon truly understood the secret to a life well lived. She was a constant source of strength, even in the most difficult of times, and she always had an encouraging word to say. Nothing brought Ann greater joy than surrounding herself with her loved ones, no matter how simple the moments. She was always willing to go above and beyond to serve others, and her insatiable zest for life could be felt by all those around her. Deeply missed, Ann will be forever held in the hearts of friends and family.
The 1930s are remembered as a tumultuous decade for the United States. The Great Depression wore on, and many families struggled to make ends meet. It was a dark time for much of the country. In the midst of hardship, however, there was a ray of light for Forrest and Pearl (Benson) Wilhelm of Ottawa, Illinois, as they eagerly anticipated the arrival of their second child. On March 12, 1934, their wait was over, and they welcomed their daughter, Ann Louise, into the world.
Growing up, Ann was a typical young girl of her generation in many ways. She was raised in the family home alongside her older brother. Ann was known to be somewhat quiet and reserved, and she tended to avoid being the center of attention. Her father, Forrest, liked buying nice used cars, including a Cadillac that he loved but Ann considered too flashy for her taste. She was once given a pearl ring as an award at school, but she felt awkward wearing it. Ann attended local schools and went on to attend a private college in Illinois for two years. She then transferred to Michigan State University to pursue a degree in teaching. Ann would go on to build a career for herself as a teacher. She worked in Godwin Public Schools for 31 years, impacting countless lives.
All who knew Anne can certainly agree that, of all the things she loved in life, she treasured her family above all else. She married and was overjoyed to welcome her two beloved children, Kathi and David, into her heart and home. Ann thrived in her role as a mother and devoted herself to raising her children in Kentwood, Michigan. She was very involved in the lives of Kathi and David, and she was their biggest supporter. Even when her children were adults, Ann loved to see them whenever she could. She sometimes traveled out to California to visit David. Later in life, Ann was thrilled to become a grandmother and even a great-grandmother. She adored her grandson, David, and her great-grandchildren, Jayden and Avery. Ann always considered herself blessed to watch her family tree grow to include so many loved ones.
In her later years, Ann enjoyed walking to stay active and would often walk at local malls. It was there that she met a man named Mike Shannon. The two began a friendship and quickly became very close. Ann and Mike were married in a small ceremony at Trinity Congregational Church in 2013, then settled down on the Northwest side of Grand Rapids. In 2017, they moved into Covenant Living of Great Lakes to spend the rest of their years together, enjoying a simple and happy life.
Never one to sit still for long, Ann pursued many hobbies to stay busy in her free time. She was an avid reader and owned many books. Ann enjoyed classical music, and she had season tickets to the Grand Rapids Symphony. More than anything else, she was known for her sweet personality and kind spirit.
When reflecting on the life of Ann Albright-Shannon, it is easy to see both her unwavering strength and unconditional love for her family. She was a shining example of service and generosity, and she poured her heart and soul into all that she did. A devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, Ann was a friend to many and beloved by all. Her generosity and sweet demeanor allowed her to touch the hearts of countless others. Though she will be dearly missed, Ann leaves behind a priceless legacy that her loved ones will be proud to carry on in her footsteps.
ALBRIGHT-SHANNON – Ann Albright-Shannon age 89, of Grand Rapids, passed away on January 30, 2024. She will be lovingly remembered by her husband, Mike Shannon; children, Kathi (Chris) Hopkins and David (Oscar Orozco) Albright; grandson, David Friesen; and great-grandchildren, Jayden and Avery Friesen. Ann was a graduate of Michigan State University and worked as a teacher for Godwin Public Schools for 31 years. A memorial service will be held at 2 PM on Tuesday March 12, 2024 in the Chapel of Covenant Living of the Great Lakes, 2510 Lake Michigan Dr. NW. Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of your choice. Please visit www.heritagelifestory.com to submit a favorite memory, photo or to sign the guestbook online.