The Cranberry Lady Dies
Annie Spang, longtime member of the Stuart Yacht and Country Club, died on Saturday, July 7, 2018, at her residence.
She lived an active and vital life. At 99, she baked her special cranberry breads each Christmas season. Starting in November, averaging two per day, she baked as many as 40 loaves, wrapped them and delivered them to friends.
Annie was the daughter of the late John O. and Anna Belz Wagner. She was also preceded in death by her husband. Ralph McCurty Spang; son, Ralph Wagner “Skip” Spang; and brother, John Wagner.
She loved theater, which developed from her childhood when her father, John, would go with Mayor LaGuardia to see Wagner’s Ring Cycle (Annie managed to get “sick” during Act I so she and her brother could play back in their room). She could dance like a professional and did, for a while, with Martha Graham’s troupe in New York.
Her father, a professional baseball player before he started a feed store, took her to Giants games where she’d sit and talk with the likes of Babe Ruth. An amazing athlete herself, she majored in physical education at Ohio University, in Athens, OH, where she met her husband, Ralph. She swam on the swim team and played field hockey.
Later, she took up golf. In the Chicago District Golf Association, she served President of the Women’s Division and won many district championships. She also won championships at Glen Oak Country Club, in Glen Ellyn, IL, and even as a senior at Stuart Yacht and Country Club, Stuart, FL.
She traveled all over the world with her husband and, following his death, with friends. She was a master bridge player, and up to the end swam and walked every day.
Anyone who knew her couldn’t help feeling the joy she brought to everyone. Her smile lit up a room. She’d often be found driving people half her age to appointments or stopping by their hospital room to check on them.
She is survived by her son, Bruce and his partner Myles; daughter-in-law, Pattie; as well as three grandchildren, Katie, Kevin and Matt, and great-grandson, Cameron. She is also survived by her “adopted” daughter, Nancy McDaniel, as well as her Wagner and Spang family nephews, who all knew her as “Auntie Ann.” And surely all her friends who will miss her as much as her family does. She was one of a kind.
A Celebration of Annie’s Life will be held on Monday, October 29, 2018, at 10:00 a.m. at the Stuart Congregational Church, 3110 SE Aster Ln, Stuart, FL 34994. A reception will follow the service at Stuart Yacht and Country Club, 3883 SE Fairway E, Stuart, FL 34997.
Her family asks that memorials be made in Annie’s name to the Environmental Defense Fund, 1875 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20009, Defenders of Wildlife, P.O. Box 1551, Merrifield, VA 22116-1552, or to Greenpeace, 702 H Street NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20001.
Groce Funeral Home on Patton Ave. is assisting the family.