After a brief illness, Anna (Ann) Charlebois passed away peacefully at Evanston Hospital on December 18, 2021. The elder of two daughters, Ann was born to Anna Dorothy (Reynolds) and Michael Ryan in Gary, Indiana, on April 27, 1928. As a girl, Ann enjoyed spending summers with her maternal grandparents on a farm near Marshall, Illinois. Though born in a time when women’s education was less valued than today, Ann attended community college. Throughout her life, Ann kept the value of education close to her heart and encouraged this importance with her family.
She met her future husband, William (Bill) Charlebois, at St. Mark’s Grade School in Gary, and she became reacquainted with him at a party with friends in 1950. After Bill proposed a reported 100 times, Ann finally said “yes” on Christmas Eve in 1950. Ann and Bill were married in Gary at St. Mark’s Catholic Church on June 9, 1951. They spent much of their lives in Indianapolis after residing in Clarendon Hills, Illinois; Hessville, Indiana; and Manistee, Michigan. At the time of her death, Ann was a resident at Three Crowns Park in Evanston, Illinois.
Ann and Bill were the loving parents of six children. Having grown up in a small family, Ann craved the fun and boisterous sense of love that comes with having many children. As in any large household, there was a beautiful balance of love and chaos. Every summer Ann packed up the trailer, and the family of eight crisscrossed the country visiting family and creating lifelong memories, a tradition her youngest daughter has passed down to her children. Always proud of her Irish-American heritage, Ann visited County Cork, Ireland, with her daughter in 1974. Ann’s unconditional love took the form of gentle guidance to encourage each of her loved ones to be as good a person as she knew they could be.
When her youngest child was ten years old, Ann’s love of art, notably artwork of mothers and children, led her to open a do-it-yourself framing and art gallery in Greenwood, Indiana. For more than twenty years, Showcase Art & Framing Gallery was a well-established part of the southside art community. After selling her business, Ann continued to volunteer with the Southside Art League for many years.
In her later years, Ann enjoyed spending time with family, reading, and napping. Holidays, especially Christmas, were an important time in the Charlebois family. At this time of year, the smells of spritz cookies, Mexican wedding cakes, and toffee bars would fill the air. Years after her children were grown, they would come together with their own families to decorate the family tree, reminiscing about childhood holidays and making new memories as an extended family. Through tracing the faces of her children and grandchildren with her finger, teaching her left-handed granddaughter how to tie her shoes, reading with her young grandchildren, and watching her youngest great-grandchildren run through the grass, the joy and sparkle in Ann’s eyes was palpable.
Ann was known for her collection of fleurs-de-lis and her love of pink roses. Throughout her life, Ann’s quiet dignity and grace, wisdom, inner strength and perseverance, and love for her family created the cornerstone of what would become a large family that loved her so, so, so much.
Ann was preceded in death by her husband Bill, her son Robert, and his wife Rena.
She is survived by her children: Linda Charlebois, Thomas Charlebois (Doug Mitchell), Ellen Lane (Frank), Eileen Underwood (Dean), and Patrice Charlebois (Martin Berg). Ann is survived by all her grandchildren and great-grandchildren: David Underwood (Amber), Jennifer McGee (Jason), Emma Charlebois (Michael Sinanis), Juliana Charlebois-Berg, Ethan Charlebois-Berg, Lucas Underwood, Gavin McGee, Madelyn McGee, Jaxon Underwood, Juliette Charlebois- Sinanis, and William Charlebois-Sinanis. Ann is also survived by her sister, Agnes Domonkos (Steve), and brother-in-law, Thomas “Ted” Charlebois, as well as many nieces and nephews.
Visitation and morning prayers will be private. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 10:00 a.m., December 31, 2021, at St. Barnabas Catholic Church. Burial at Calvary Cemetery will follow the service. In light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, masks and social distancing are required for all persons attending. O’Riley Funeral Home is in care of arrangements. Streaming services are available for those unable to attend. Watch the Funeral Mass here: https://vimeo.com/660446887
Memorial donations may be made to the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, which encourages early literacy by providing books to children from birth to age five, and to Habitat for Humanity, which builds homes for families in need.
Friday, December 31, 2021
Starts at 10:00am (Eastern time)
St. Barnabas Catholic Church