Ann Marie Davis went home to be with Jesus at the age of 77 on Saturday, August 12, 2023 in Claremore, Oklahoma.
Ann Marie Paden was born October 2, 1945 in Checotah, Oklahoma to Dale and Darlis Paden. Ann was the youngest and most competitive of Dale and Darlis’ three children. Ann loved to dance with her brother, Bob, and sister, Arka, in their living room growing up in Checotah. Darlis would buy the newest records and the three of them would rush home from school to learn the latest dances from American Bandstand. Ann continued her love of music throughout her life. She had a beautiful voice, played the drums and the flute, and was President of the Checotah High School Band. After graduating from Checotah High School in 1963 with her childhood best friend and cousin, Susie Martin Ferguson, Ann attended Connors State College. It was at Connors that Ann met her best friend, Linda “Fitzy” Fitzgerald. Ann went on to earn her Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah. She also completed masters degrees to become a Reading Specialist and Public School Administrator. In 1969 her father moved Ann to Las Vegas, Nevada where she began her teaching career at Jim Bridger Junior High. Ann cherished her time in Las Vegas. As soon as she moved to Las Vegas, Ann met Mary Rector. Mary became a lifelong friend, fellow teacher, roommate, and eventually the godmother of Ann’s only child.
After her unforgettable year in Las Vegas, Ann began teaching English at Sequoyah High School in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Soon after moving back, Ann was introduced to Eddie Davis. Eddie and Ann were married on July 29, 1972. Four years later they welcomed home their only daughter, Sarah. When Eddie passed away in 1986, Ann put her doctoral degree at Oklahoma State University on hold to focus on her daughter. She was a loving mother, best friend, and also devoted educator.
Ann established her career with Fort Gibson Public Schools. She was assistant superintendent for 19 years until she retired in 1998. While at Fort Gibson, Ann was blessed again with her friends Kirby Milne, Nancy Turlington, Ruth Carnegey, Nancy Williams, Sonya Hunt, and Sue Harris. In 2003, Ann’s only granddaughter, Zoee Elizabeth was born. She was the light of Ann’s life!
After her retirement, Ann did not stop working or learning. She consulted with school districts in Oklahoma, worked to help others that were unemployed, and began her second doctoral program at Oral Roberts University. In 2012, Ann moved to Grove, Oklahoma and became a full time Grammy to Zoee.
Ann was a devout Christian whose love of the Lord is undeniable. Until we see her again in Heaven, we have comfort knowing Ann is with Jesus; singing, dancing, and restored!
Ann is preceded in death by her parents, Dale and Darlis Paden; husband, James Edward Davis, Jr.; brother-in-law, Ron Wilson; and brother, Bob Paden. Ann is survived by her daughter Sarah Heird and husband Tim; granddaughter, Zoee Rolland; sister, Arka Wilson; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Ben and Phyllis Davis; sister-in-law, Charlene Fabian; sister-in-law, Carolyn Newman; much loved cousins, nieces and nephews, their families, and her beloved lifelong friends.
Ann’s daughter would like to thank the nurses and certified nurse assistants that diligently and lovingly cared for Ann during her stays at Integris Health Grove Hospital, Saint Francis Hospital Vinita, The Villages at Southern Hills in Tulsa, and Emerald Care Center in Claremore.
A combined visitation and celebration of Ann’s life will be held from 2:00 to 4:00 in the afternoon on Friday, August 25, 2023 at Hart Funeral Home, 1506 North Grand Avenue, Tahlequah, Oklahoma.