Ann McGuffey was full of life, love, and energy from the beginning of her life. She was born at St. David's Hospital in Austin, Texas on June 1, 1994. She came home to a house she would always know as home in the beautiful hills west of Austin.
Ann's parents were Thomas David McGuffey and Sally Dunn McGuffey and she had an older brother, Kyle Steven McGuffey. She had loving grandparents. Ann's maternal grandparents were George Harvey Dunn, Jr. and Betty Witt Dunn. Her paternal grandparents were George Thomas McGuffey and Mary Louise McGuffey. She also thought of Betty McGuffey as her grandmother.
Ann had four wonderful pairs of aunts and uncles. They were Sandra and Harvey Dunn, Cynthia and Steve Schultz, Patty and John Pippen, and Susan and Jeff Warren. She had nine great cousins. They were Amanda Dunn Stellick, Megan Dunn Kent, William Dunn, Kaitlin Dunn, Joshua Dunn, Jim Warren, Kelly Warren, Jack Pippen, and Charlie Pippen.
Ann was an unusual baby. She didn't cry. Instead, she was always letting out her unique little cackle. This foreshadowed how she would go through life with her beautiful smile.
Ann's early childhood was filled with family and friends. Most of her time was spent with her brother, who was just fifteen months older than Ann. They were great pals and they had fun growing up together and sharing so many experiences.
Ann went to a preschool program at her church. One day she came home and said that one of her friends had a dog that was going to have puppies. She announced she was going to get one. A couple of months later her forgotten wish was granted when Duchess came home. They were spectacular friends and this began her lifelong passion for dogs.
When Ann was five years old she started her busy path of extracurricular activities. Even though she could barely make it down the length of the pool, she followed her brother's footsteps and joined the Barton Creek West swim team. This became a summer tradition for the next eleven years of her life.
Ann went to kindergarten through fifth grade at Barton Creek Elementary School. She found great teachers and new friends there. New activities included dance, soccer, basketball, and Brownies. She also began to participate in the family hobby of working in movies. In fifth grade she was hired for stunt work and to be a stand-in for a star in the movie "Shark Boy and Lava Girl". For a few weeks she would leave school at lunch time and go to her eight hour work shift. She had a fantastic experience working with the cast and crew of this film.
Ann then moved on to West Ridge Middle School. She was still in the neighborhood, but found more new friends and excellent teachers. Ann dove right in and was a cheerleader, played in the band, was on student council, took drama, and was on the volleyball, basketball, and track team. She even managed to study enough to make the National Junior Honor Society.
As she progressed to Westlake High School her world expanded and Ann began to focus her interests. She concentrated on dance, where she was a member and officer of the Star Stepper dance team for three years; film, where she took classes for two years and then had and internship with the Austin Film Society; and yearbook, where she served on the staff for three years and was a section editor and traveled to Minneapolis for the national convention.
And Ann was fortunate to travel to many more places. She went on trips to the Pacific Northwest, California, Florida, South Carolina, Missouri, and Virginia. She took several ski trips to Angel Fire and the resorts of Salt Lake City. She traveled often in Texas, to dude ranches, rivers, and lakes in the Hill Country or many times to the beach at South Padre Island. Traveling with her parents and brother was fun, but she always liked when friends, neighbors, or extended family were able to go.
Ann's friends were a huge part of her life. She had many over the years and loved them deeply. Although focused on her friends throughout her life, she was very close to her extended family. Even though they did not live in Austin, her grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins did live in Texas. This meant several trips or visits a year, including the annual Christmas and Fourth of July visits. Of course, the July trip included the traditional blueberry pick with the hot dog lunch following.
One treat for Ann each summer was her trip to the Dunn grandparents for the Sun City summer camp. It was even more fun because it often included cousins Kelly, Kaitlin, Josh, and Jim and her brother, Kyle. Ann went as a camper for several years and then returned as a counselor for three years.
Ann liked working with young children. In addition to working as a camp counselor she babysat and worked as a nanny for a few summers. She also worked for several years as a Sunday school teacher for preschoolers at Westlake Hills Presbyterian Church.
Ann's love for dogs reached new heights when she surprised the family one summer day with eleven new dogs. It was a mother dog and her ten one week old puppies. Ann and family fostered the dogs for the summer for the Austin Pets Alive shelter. When the puppies were old enough they and their mom were permanently adopted by ten new families. One of the puppies, Maple, remained behind and became a permanent part of the McGuffey family.
Ann spent the final months of her life as a freshman at Texas Tech University. She jumped right in the first week she was there and joined Zeta Tau Alpha sorority. After that it was full speed ahead with classes, parties, a part time job in the Mass Communications Department, and tailgates and football games. She made hundreds of new friends, and a few very special friends she loved very much.
Ann's room had a couple of plaques that gave insight into her thinking. The first said "Life is short, buy the damn shoes!!" She happily did that, along with clothes, too.
The second said "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain." She did love to dance, and she did go through life joyfully.