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Anna M. Gremer
Age 106, passed away on November 14, 2023, in Saint Paul, MN.
Anna was born on May 8, 1917 to William and Ida Zedel. She grew up in Bradford Pennsylvania and had two younger sisters (Helen and Nellie) and a younger brother (Charles). She talked about her family being strongly influenced by Pennsylvania Dutch customs.
Anna became a licensed practical nurse and was extremely devoted to her patients. She married Dyer Lamb, who was a WWII veteran. She then transferred her incredible work ethic to being a homemaker 'extraordinaire'. She was very active in the Ladies Auxiliary of the VFW in Bradford, even serving as an officer. She had many stories of her life with the VFW - learning to cook and bake there, meeting good friends, and traveling to places like New York City for national conventions. Anna and Dyer eventually moved to Ocala, Florida and Anna lived there until Dyer passed away, at which time she moved to Minnesota.
Once in Minnesota, Anna became involved with Little Brothers-Friends of the Elderly (now called Friends and Co.). She met many wonderful friends through the organization, including the love of her life, Bobby Gremer. Bobby and Anna met at a Little Brothers-Friends of the Elderly Thanksgiving meal in 2006. According to a newsletter published by LBFTE, "they happened to be seated at the same table but at opposite ends. 'I had my eye on him,' she said. So, Anna got up, walked to the other end of the table, put her hand on Bob's shoulder, and wished him a happy Thanksgiving. Bob turned, looked Anna right in the eye, and gave Anna his card, saying, 'Call me.' " They were engaged six months later. After they got married, Anna joined Bobby in his Selby Ave home in St. Paul where they would sit on the porch, watching people and traffic pass by. Both of them enjoyed joking around and playing tricks on one another resulting in a house full of laughter and joy. Anna always talked about how good Bobby was to her.
Anna's faith and identity as a Catholic were fundamental to who she was. She talked about how she had always wanted to be a missionary but that her parents wouldn't let her. Even though she didn't officially get the title of 'missionary', Anna lived her life as if she had, being a role model of deep faith and caring for others. She joined the parish at St. Peter Claver after meeting Bobby. She loved the parish community she found there and remained committed to it even after she wasn't able to attend in person. Anna delighted in (and took great comfort in) the fact that she had a number of good friends that were priests.
Anna had a special place in her heart for police officers and firefighters. She was extremely proud of her work as a neighborhood watch volunteer for the Ocala police department and she had great admiration for the firefighters of Station 14 in St. Paul who had been so helpful as she and Bobby aged in their home. The team at Station 14 visited Anna on her 100th and 106th birthdays, much to her utter delight!
Anna was always so grateful for everything and everyone who stepped into her world. Despite some devastating events in her childhood, her faith and loving kindness helped her persevere and find purpose in her life. She took pride in writing stories of faith and giving them out to her friends. She loved doing her craft work and was still able to beautifully 'paint' in adult coloring books until the very end. She loved music and was an accomplished dancer. She had a wonderful and mischievous sense of humor, bringing herself to tears of laughter when she would say to visitors as they left, "Now don't do anything stupid!" Saying good bye on the phone sounded too final for Anna so it was always, "So long." And we all know how much she looked forward to celebrating her birthday each year on May 8th!
Thank you, Anna, for blessing us all with your faith, your courage and your love for life! It was truly an honor to be your friend.
Survived by nieces, Diane Myers and Helen Maline; nephew, Gary Kane; and a multitude of friends. Long time member of St. Peter Claver Catholic Church.
Funeral Service Friday, December 1, 11:00am, at SIMPLE TRADITIONS BY BRADSHAW (671 Snelling Ave. S, St. Paul) with visitation an hour prior.
Interment at Calvary Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers donations in Anna's name are preferred to Catholic Charities or Friends and Co.
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