Ann Christine Mathews died on Friday November 5, 2021 after a courageous battle with Parkinson’s Disease.
She was born in Cooperstown New York on January 3, 1944, to the late Elmer and Janet (Busacker) Mathews. The oldest of three daughters she is survived by Cathy Ezra, Udim Israel and Susan Bluestein, Vancouver Washington and her beloved cat Pewter.
After graduating from Bethlehem Central High School, she received her B.S. with honors in Home Economics Education at SUNY Oneonta. She taught briefly in Pearl River New York then completed her M.Ed. in Child Development and Family Relations at The Pennsylvania State University. She launched her community education career with Cornell Cooperative Extension in Tompkins County, New York in 1970 retiring 30 years later after having served 8 years in a statewide leadership role. Accolades highlight Ann’s inspiration, mentoring, wisdom and congeniality.
Ann’s community development legacy includes her work with collaborators in the formative years of the Child Development Council of Central NY, establishing the Women’s Opportunity Center, and building the Women’s Fund of the Community Foundation of Tompkins County. She served on the United Way board, volunteered for the Suicide Prevention and Crisis Service, Planned Parenthood, and addressed child abuse and neglect by designing the Child Sexual Abuse project with the Advocacy Center, Ithaca City School District and other collaborators.
In retirement Ann volunteered at the SPCA of Tompkins County, Family Reading Partnership, and English as a Second Language program. Ann loved exploring the world with family and friends. In 2016 she moved to Kendal at Ithaca where she enjoyed her Thursday Dining Club, book club, the swimming pool and developed many friendships.
Ann’s keen curiosity and creative interests were expressed through travel, time in nature, literature, basket making, gift-giving, entertaining, supporting local music and theatre arts, and watching the NASA station on TV. She was famous for her power naps, great sense of humor and never ending optimism, fueled by chocolate. By her example Ann taught us how to be change agents in the circles we inhabit.
Ann is sorely missed by her friends and family in Israel and across the United States. The family asks those who would like to make a donation in Ann’s memory to kindly consider the organizations she supported; Child Development Council https://wwchilddevelopmentcouncil.org/, Women’s Opportunity Center https://www.womensopportunity.org/, Women’s Fund of the Community Foundation of Tompkins County https://www.cftompkins.org/, Suicide Prevention and Crisis Service https://ithacacrisis.org/, SPCA https://www.spcaonline.com/, or Family Reading Partnership http://www.familyreading.org/.
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