Obituary for Ann Bretscher (Smith)
Ann DeVore Smith Bretscher, 79, of Athens, GA, passed away peacefully at home on Thursday, September 14, 2017, after a long and courageous battle with Frontotemporal Degeneration (FTD). She was preceded in death by her parents, Frances R. and George B. Smith, and her brother, George B. Smith, Jr. and his wife Elizabeth S. Smith. She is survived by her husband, Robert George Bretscher, daughters Susan Bretscher Crisler (Jon), Christine Bretscher Cooper, and Prentiss Bretscher Stidham (Thad), and grandchildren Wilson and Frances Crisler, Prentiss Ann Cooper, and Eli and Perrin Stidham. Ann is also survived by her brother Irvin Reese Smith (Sara), her sister Kay Smith Richardson (Philip), a sister-in-law Prentiss S. Murphy, as well as nieces and nephews, Reese Smith, Jr. (Stephanie), Wesley Smith Dodd, Laurence Richardson (Liz), Jeffrey Richardson (Katherine), Anne Richardson, Elizabeth Smith, and Susan Smith Wilson (David).
Ann was born July 9, 1938, in Norfolk, VA, and spent her childhood growing up on the Lynnhaven River in Virginia Beach, VA. At Granby High School in Norfolk, she served as president of the student body. She graduated from Sweet Briar College (1960), where she majored in mathematics. Ann earned her Master’s, Specialist, and Doctorate degrees from the University of Georgia.
While working in Washington, DC, she met Bob Bretscher, who was a student at Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, VA. They married in 1961 and lived in Virginia, Connecticut, and Florida, before settling in Athens, GA, where Bob earned his doctorate in counseling psychology and began his career as a counselor at the University of Georgia. Bob and Ann celebrated their 56th wedding anniversary on September 2, 2017.
A devoted teacher, Ann taught in secondary public schools in Tampa, FL, and Athens, GA. While teaching at the University of Georgia, she served as head of the math department in Developmental Studies, received a number of teaching awards from her peers, and on evaluations from students was often praised as “the best teacher I ever had.”
A lifelong gardener, Ann’s gardens were featured on the Piedmont Garden Tour in 2004. She was a dedicated member of the Altar Guild at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, where she also led the children’s Sunday school program for many years. An indulgent grandmother, devoted mother, and loving wife, she celebrated holidays and birthdays of her loved ones with great enthusiasm, floral arrangements, and parties. She was especially proud of her Virginia heritage and loved playing tennis, walking at the State Botanical Gardens of Georgia, attending weddings, and shopping for perennials for her gardens.
The family will receive friends from 3-5pm at Lord & Stephens Funeral Home East in Athens on September 17, 2017. A memorial service will be held at Emmanuel Episcopal Church at 12:30pm on September 18, 2017. A reception will follow at the Taylor - Grady House, 634 Prince Avenue. A private burial at Oconee Hills Cemetery will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Ann Bretscher to the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration (AFTD), Radnor Station, Building 2, Suite 320, 290 King of Prussia Road, Radnor, PA 19087, to the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, 2450 South Milledge Avenue, Athens, GA 30605, or the charity of your choice.
The family wishes to thank Ann’s remarkable caregivers, including Leila Doonan, Tina Jones, Debra Nanan, Silvia Urrutia, Sholonda Raaid, and Yana Partridge, who enhanced the dignity and comfort of Ann’s final years.
Arrangements are being handled by Lord & Stephens Funeral Home East in Athens, GA.