ANNE TIERNEY ANGEL
August 16, 1912 – December 27, 2013
Anna (Anne) Margaret Tierney Angel was born to Edward Alexander Tierney and Mary Cecilia Quiett on August 16, 1912, at Providence Hospital in Kansas City, Kansas, the fourth of eight children.
She had a very challenging childhood. Her mother unexpectedly died in 1925 at 40 years of age. As a little girl she described herself as "her mother's shadow." Anne never truly got over her mother's premature death. It left Anne – then 12 - most of the responsibility of caring for three of her brothers. Her task was compounded when little brother Ed fell from a school slide and hit his head on the bricks. The children took him home in their wagon to heal. No doctor was called, and months later Ed developed seizures and was thereafter handicapped.
This is her story.
Anne was an industrious young girl. To put food on the table, she got a job at Style Book Cleaners, pressing and repairing garments, while attending St. James School. She continued to care for her two younger brothers, graduated from Bartlett Beauty School in 1929, and survived the Depression working as a beautician in Kansas City. In the mid-1930's, Anne supplemented her income by working at cosmetology conventions. She hand modeled jewelry and artificial fingernails, demonstrated false eyelashes, and showed off the newest hairstyles and fashionable hats. She partnered with a friend and eventually bought her own beauty shop.
Anne had three loves in her lifetime.
During a brief time in Minnesota, she fell in love with an accomplished pilot and a World War I Ace. When Long Beach, California was hit by a serious earthquake, he volunteered to help in the crisis. His plane was caught in a heavy fog; he hit a mountainside and was killed.
Upon returning to Kansas City, Anne was busy working and helping with the family when she became engaged to an attorney. She kept putting off a marriage date and her fiancé tired of the situation and met someone else: a serious blow.
In 1940, through friends she met Joseph W. Angel, Sr., an AT&T telegrapher, and they married April 28, 1942. Son Joseph, Jr. (J.W. or Jay) was born February 23, 1944.
In 1948, while Anne was still running the beauty shop, her pregnant sister-in-law Leona was diagnosed with terminal cancer. She died the day after giving birth to a baby girl, also named Leona. Anne invited her brother Julian and the baby Leona to live with the Angels until such time as Julian could manage. "Nonnie" became a lifetime daughter to Anne.
Anne and Joseph divorced in 1949. She was now a single mother, working full time and raising J.W. Her siblings had made their own ways; disabled Ed, Jr. remained in the Tierney family home with his father and widowed brother Julian. Then Anne's father died and later Julian had a stroke, leaving Ed without care. Anne and J.W. went to stay with Ed for six weeks – and never left. Anne enrolled Ed in a Goodwill rehabilitation program and he became an older brother to J.W.
In 1985 when Anne could no longer safely manage Ed's care, she admitted him to a residential care center for disabled senior citizens, St. Joseph's Home. She remained committed to him until his death in 1998 at the age of 82. Anne visited daily and volunteered on projects for the betterment of the home. Her efforts were recognized in 1991when she was honored at the Annual Bishop's Recognition Dinner for her charitable work.
Professionally, Anne grew. After her divorce, she started her financial career working briefly for a collection agency. Titles have changed over the years, but Anne was proud to say that she was the first woman officer ever for City National Bank (now known as United Missouri Bank of Kansas City). She worked in collections for the small loan department; was a tenacious representative, but always a lady, and proud to say that she got their loss ratio down lower than it had been in years. She was given the responsibility of training new employees, usually college-educated men. Some would go on to be bank presidents throughout the country. One became Kansas City's youngest millionaire at the time and would say Anne taught him everything he knew.
After her retirement, Anne elected to volunteer for various groups. She received recognition awards from the Good Shepherd Manor Thrift Shop; Retired Senior Volunteer Program for Jackson, Clay and Platte Counties; St. Joseph's Home for the Aging; and the Shepherd Center. She taught craft classes and enjoyed many kinds of needlework. Anne also performed for schools and civic groups as the fully-adorned clown, named "Buttons," and loved to show off her handmade costume.
At 85, with eyesight and hearing challenges, Anne made the brave decision to leave Kansas City and move to Portland to be near son J.W. and the grandchildren. She didn't skip a beat: enjoying making new friends, walking near her home in N.W. Portland, and taking trips to Arch Cape, Sisters, Lopez Island, and Mexico. She was always ready for a new adventure and enjoyed meeting all the people along the way. For several years after relocating Anne could be seen about town in one of her perky hats, with a welcoming smile and a hearty laugh. She loved people.
Anne celebrated her 100th birthday in 2012 at a party in her honor attended by family and many friends. It was time to return the pleasure to this remarkable and wonderful person, and she had a great time.
Anne was "Irish" and always proud to say that her maiden name was Tierney and was from a big Catholic family – very Irish. That was the family lore. She made two trips to her ancestral land with J.W. But, genealogy work in Portland uncovered the fact that some of her roots were likely from Prince Edward Island in Canada, more Scottish, and not as solidly Irish as she thought. That insight brought out one of her robust laughs and the comment that her family would surely be surprised after all the Irish holidays they had celebrated.
She was a wonderful storyteller and could tell stories for hours about her very interesting family and life encounters. She cherished family and typically credited her grandparents and mother for instilling strong values and good manners in all of the children.
An angel (or Anne Angel) took flight from her home on December 27, 2013. Anne was preceded in death by all seven brothers and sisters, Mary Cecilia, Julian Edward, Harry James, Edward Alexander, Cecilia Elizabeth, and twins George Charles and Frederick Herbert Tierney.
Anne is survived by her son Joseph W. Angel, Portland, OR; niece Leona (Nonnie) Dekat, Kansas City, MO; nephew G. Allen Johnson, Ferndale, WA; niece Patricia Anne Burns, Fontana, KS; and niece Mary Beth Quick, Basehor, KS. Grandchildren Shannon Wiltz, Zachariah Angel, Christopher Angel, and Benjamin Angel, Portland, OR; Aimee Angel, New South Wales, Australia; and Peter Angel, San Francisco, CA. Great grandchildren Joshua, Ian and Kathryn Wiltz, Portland, OR and more extended family.
Another very special person in Anne's life was Lorena Fletcher. Lorena was Anne's companion and caregiver for eleven years. Lorena loved Anne and was devoted to her care and well-being and will be forever appreciated for her compassion.
Donations in lieu of flowers may be made in care of Oregon Community Foundation, in the name of the Anne T. Angel Fund, 1221 S. W. Yamhill Street, Ste. 100, Portland, OR 97205.