Continuing the Crook County News Since 1884

Anabel Jean Wattier

Anabel (Ann) was born December 24, 1931 and passed away in a nursing home in Mobile, Alabama, on June 10, 2023 at the age of 92.

At the age of seven Ann lost her adoptive parents, Troy and Jennie Lambert and her beloved grandmother, Anna Johnson. When she was 20, she lost her dear Aunt Freida, who had raised her after the loss of her parents; her daughter, Nancy Ann Johnson, died at the age of thirty-two; and Ann was preceded in death by her aunt Betty and uncle Harold Johnson and her loving husbands, Rome Johnson, Leland Baker and our dad, Kenneth Wattier.

Anabel is survived by her beloved friend since kindergarten, Marvine Engel; her Johnson family cousins: Nancy, Annamae, Bill (Charli) and their children, Angie, Andie, AJ, Aimee and Emily; her family from her marriage to Leland Baker; her family from her marriage to Kenneth Wattier: Kim, Kevin, Greg, Kelly (Dante), Jeff, Steve (Donna), Mark (Sheila), Kristen and all of their 24 grandchildren who loved her dearly.

The "dash" between 1931 and 2023 represents a lot of life fully lived. Ann was adopted at birth into a Swedish family and fully embraced her heritage, even visiting Sweden later in life.

Her home always had an extra Swedish Christmas tree and she loved to share her Julbock ornaments. She also embraced her Lutheran faith, sharing it with our dad, Ken, who was baptized into the church.

When Ann was a child, her scrapbook states that she lived with her parents in a "lovely three-room boxcar" up in the mountains of Colorado where her father worked as a telegraph operator for the railroad.

At the age of four she suffered an accident that would leave her with a lifelong challenge. On July 4, 1936 they were crossing the tracks to get ice to make ice cream. Her father placed her on the train car passing Ann to her uncle on the other side.

The train suddenly lurched forward without whistling a warning and Anabel fell under the train. She was quickly rescued but tragically lost her left arm.

Ann shared that she remembers that, "I finally got to ride in the caboose on the way down the mountain to get to the hospital."

Anabel loved life! Despite losing her arm and having lost nearly everyone important to her in her early childhood, Ann persevered with grace and determination.

Marvine Engel recalls the kindergarten teacher telling the class to be nice to the new student because she only has one arm. Marvine tied Ann's shoes for her that day and began a beloved friendship for life.

Ann had a beautiful love affair with Colorado nature, aspen leaves, snow, the friendship of the artist Angelo di Benedetto, the Rocky Mountains and the moving melodies of John Denver. She cherished many happy years with Rome and her daughter, Nancy Ann, entertaining guests in their mountain cabin in Jones Pass.

However, her land and cabin were reclaimed when a road was put through. Her heart was broken but the cherished memories remained until the end.

In 1960, Ann earned a degree in Interior Decorating at University of Colorado, Boulder.

Her resume states that over an 18-year period she held the following jobs: Clerk, Jefferson County Clerk's Office, Golden, Colorado; Clerk, Jefferson County Treasurer's Office, Golden Colorado; City Clerk/Treasurer's Office, Central City, Colorado; Dispatcher, Gilpin County Sheriff's Department, Central City, Colorado working with local police and Highway Patrol.

Ann taught adult and youth Sunday School, was a Brownie and Girl Scout Leader, leader of church youth groups, President of church groups, PTA President and VFW Auxiliary President.

In Ken's words, "Anabel excelled in school, was active in sports, played trumpet in band, enjoyed cross country skiing and spent her life proving that a one-armed woman can do whatever it takes."

Ann and her second husband, Leland, settled in Sundance, Wyoming, where she was a housewife for 16 years, endearing herself to his children and grandchildren. After his death she became an Information Representative at the Wyoming Visitor's Center.

She truly enjoyed helping visitors discover the treasures of Wyoming. When her birth records were finally released in 2010, she discovered that she was born in Rock Springs and had been a Wyoming girl all along!

In 2002, after having met our dad, Ann told her cousin Nancy, "I'm not going to get married again, I'm not going to marry a man with children". Well, she married our dad August 7, 2004 in Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church in Sundance, Wyoming during the week of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and became our loving "bonus" mom and a wonderful "Grandma Ann" to our children.

To get us moving and out the door, Ann would often say "we're burnin' daylight!" Together they thoroughly enjoyed sharing with us the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming.

Family and friends will gather for a Mass of Christian Burial at Church of Our Savior July 21, 2023 11 a.m., 1801 Cody Road South, Mobile, AL 36695. Interment will take place at a later date in her beloved Black Hills in Pine Slope Cemetery in Belle Fourche, South Dakota, where she will be laid to rest with our father, Kenneth Wattier.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

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