Fond memories from family and friends:
t was a very sporty little car. Red with white trim, and it had a steering wheel that controlled the front wheels and pedals inside the body of the car which allowed me to zip along the sidewalks of Buffalo like a NASCAR driver. Hank and Anna had a beat-up old car, but seven-year-old Billy got a cool new one. That was just one of hundreds of examples of Anna's priorities.
She used to say that her kids were all spoiled rotten... then add that she would not have it any other way! Spoiled with things; but more important, spoiled with love.
And it worked. Her sacrifices made each of the Sauro children feel like we were the most important, precious and worthy kids in the world. We all developed a confidence that trust and love made flourish.
Those seeds she planted are forever a part of my outlook on life. I just hope I can do half as well as a parent as Anna Sophia Sauro did.
hen I was about 12 or 14, she brought me a brochure she'd sent for about the World Campus Afloat, Semester at Sea. She said, "You're going to go on this someday." And I did, when I was 19, and it was a life-changing event for me. It was expensive, but she and Dad managed to make it happen for me. Thank you!
My Mom was arguably the strongest woman I ever knew. She was "Women's Lib" before anyone ever thought that way. She taught me to be a strong, independent woman and to not put up with crap from anyone! She was smart, witty, well-informed, stubborn, but loving and devoted. From her I got a grand appreciation for humor (from Dad, too), my fascination with current affairs, a love for politics, CASINOS, TRAVEL, and how to keep a box score card in baseball! Even though we didn't agree, I admired her devout faith and beliefs. She never waivered.
She is dearly missed, but I'm grateful for her peaceful passing, and so glad she's with Dad enjoying good times again. She is with me always.
Where to even begin to write memories of Mom???
ASS - An early childhood memory of her monogramming ASS on her big purse and proudly carrying it around, watching people stare!
Always having the "cool" mom and dad. .. always being the "hang out" house for friends, especially slumber parties!
The ever-present mom...physically and emotionally. Wow! What a gift! The after school chats ...the late night chats... the ONLY WfiEN ASKED FOR motherly advice on child-rearing or relationship issues ...the KNOWINGNESS that she would ALWAYS be there for me, day or night, fully present, fully loving, nurturing, and ultimately, laughing.
VEGAS!! Cruises! Frankie !!! Home Shopping Network!! Politics!! Women's Rights!! Art Appreciation!!
Integrity, Honesty, Honor, Humor, Faith, Perspective, Gratitude, Prayer, Courage, Strength, Resilience, Respect, Caring, Nurturing, Trust, Being Still, Joy, Support, Dependability, Wisdom, Intuition, Forgiveness and Hope ...these are what my Mom taught me.
I love you, Mom, and will miss our special bond every day for the rest of my life.
have so many wonderful memories of my Grandma, I don"t even know where to begin. I want to share a few. When I was young, my Grandma and I would flip through her art books. We would look at paintings by Rembrandt, Monet, Van Gogh... just to name a few, and she would tell me why she loved them. I believe this is where I got my love of art.
My Grandma used to read the Eloise books to me ...we would laugh hysterically every time, it never got old-.I still hear her voice in my head when I read the books.
When I was about 8 or 9, I was in San Diego with my Grandparents. One night I got sick with the flu and vomitted. My Grandma took care of me. She let me stay in her bed with her. She put the lights and TV on low, stroked my head, and stayed awake while I feel asleep. I felt so safe and comforted. I will never Forget that feeling.
My Grandma and I would play Gin Rummy together all the time when I was growing up. We would watch game shows (usually Pyramid or Jeopardy), play Gin and eat Dutch cookies. It was wonderful. We would do puzzles together all the time. We used to do a puzzle of the United States, and as we placed each state in its proper position, we would talk about that particular state. It was our own private geography lesson.
My Grandma and I had a little 'game" we would play. Whenever we said 'I love you' to each other, which was often, we would say 'I love you more than you love me" and the other would respond, 'No, I love you more than you love me." This would go on for a while, until we would give up laughing. It never got old.
When I was about 20, and had just broken up with my boyfriend and was feeling really down, I went to my grandparents" house. They made me some food (as always) and my Grandma sat in the kitchen with me and listened as 1 talked about my feelings. I told her how sad and upset I was, and she listened and consoled me and validated my feelings. It is so amazing that a 20-year old girl and a 78-year old woman could relate to each other so well.
The last year of Grandma's life will remain in my memory forever. I was so blessed to spend at least one night at week at my Grandma's watching silly reality television (American Idol or the Apprentice). She would always get dressed up For the occasion-.a nice blouse, earrings, and a little make-up. She was always so happy to see her girls (mom, Patti, and I). It was a wonderful weekly tradition that 1 feel so blessed to have had. Even though her health was failing, we continued our tradition even up to the Tuesday night before she died. I thank God for that.
My Grandma was the best grandma in the world-it's a trite thing to say, but I really believe it. We had a very special bond. I Feel like the luckiest grandchild in the world to be able to be so close with my Grandmother in a very real, loving, emotional way. I will miss her so, so much. She was one of my very favorite people on the planet and it is very hard for me to believe that she is gone.
I love you more than you love me, Grandma.
Thoughts about my dear Aunt Anna:
Anna was always there for me as well as the rest of our family. Whenever I traveled to Phoenix, I stayed with Anna and Hank. Most nights Anna and I would stay up until at least 2 AM talking about everything you could imagine. She was very opinionated but always made you feel like she cared about your point of view even when you disagreed with her.
As a child, our family followed the Sauro family from Canada to Florida and on to Tucson. I was in my junior year in high school when we parted ways and our family moved to California. Growing up we lived within walking distance of the Sauro's. Anna was another mother to me in a way. I adored her and loved her and will miss her greatly. The big question is what's going to happen to her Dali"esque" painting? Maybe it should be retired.
I'm sorry that your mom has passed. It's very difficult to lose a parent. But, there is another way to think about this. When I think of Hank I always laugh. That's because he always made me laugh. So, when your mom and dad meet again he's going to make her laugh just like he always made all of us laugh. Can't you just imagine all of the jokes he's been saving while he's been waiting?! Bless them both.
Nanci, Bill, Patti, & Sarah,
My favorite memory of Anna is one Saturday when she and Patti and Jay and I had an early lunch at the Quilted Bear. It was 11 am. We sat down and Anna said, "Shall we have a drink?" Patti said, "Mother, it's only 11:00!" Anna replied, "So? I think you should be able to have a drink anytime you damn well want!" So we did!
I'll always remember that fabulous spirit!
remember a few fond summers visiting anna and hank. And my siblings have always had wonderful stories about now your mom was always there for them. Our hearts are with you during this time. At St. Christopher Church in San Jose, prayers were said for your motner during the late morning Sunday session. I can see her sitting with Nanci and my mother and brother having cocktails having a ball playing cards! I just know in my heart they are all in a wonderful place.
--John van Ark
God bless you, I send you and your family my love, heart, and prayers. And I feel your mom in celebration really of a very beautiful transition. It appears her soul was really ready to dig in and grow and learn and play angel now, which is why she chose to cross. She and you will work together now. What a beautiful gift you have given her to be there this way for her transition into light. I KNOW she heard you. I feel her spirit in bliss.
God bless you,
Memories and musings that Anna gave to me:
· A new-found appreciation for Frank Sinatra music
· "Mod" Design for interiors
· Best Mother-In-Law award with her quote, "I never interfere" and a hearty chuckle!
· Garage sale finds in china and crystal, some antique and all unique
· Jack Daniels
· Holding cigarette filters as a prop to quit smoking
· Political discussions at the dinner table
· Zoute drops, shortbread and a good, well-done roast beef
· Coffee always
· Uno card games
· An over-the-top crystal chandelier in a beach condo
· The color blue
· Always lots of hugs, always glad to see me
· Home Shopping Network
· Child Rearing advice "just put the book in the bathroom for them to read"
· Support and love for her family
nna Sauro was one of the nicest, kindest ladies I have ever had the privilege of knowing. I especially remember playing "UNO" with her, Hank, Steve, Nanci, Dee Dee, and Patti. What a laugh! She would laugh when she won, when she lost, or when she drew! Nothing could keep her down. When she was told she had cancer and a short time to live (13 years ago) she just stared death in the face, spit in its eye and said that she was going to outlive the guy who told her that. I think she did!
She especially loved her family. Her whole life was devoted to her family and she never let them down!
She was wise to a fault! When everyone began buying stocks, she told Hank to "stick with bonds-they're safer" and, sure enough, she was unaffected by the fall in the stock market!
I'm going to miss her greatly; but, every time I see Nanci, I see a little bit of Anna. She certainly is "her mother's daughter".
Anna, go with peace. We all love you.
nfortunately, it's been too many years since I last saw Anna, probably only once in the last 25 years. My memories of her were always positive. She was a very genuine, no-nonsense, intelligent person with wide interests based on being a reader and a watcher of serious TV programs. I always enjoyed the repartee between Anna and Hank. If she agreed with what you were saying she would inject by saying, "EXACTLY".
Anna had a good sense of humour. She loved Jazz and Siratratype music. In fact, I remember she had her picture taken with Old Blue Eyes.
She had a great interest in politics, particularly Republican politics: She could be very serious about many things, but always ended on a high note, always looking for the better side of an issue.
Monn and I spent many days and nights at the van Ark family home on Albany Avenue and Anna and Hank lived next door, and also at Mom and Pops' Leaside home where Anna and Hank also visited, so we shared many good times together.
Anna was a warm and loving person and we are all blessed for her being part of our lives.
Remembering ...something I will never forget, are the times I spent with Anna (and Hank) playing cards and having drinks and or dinner. I don't recall ever leaving without my cheeks sore from laughing! The banter that Anna shared during those evenings was great, some being one liners, some short stories, or even just the egging on of Hank. At times I laughed so hard I would cry. Those uncontrollable laughter-filled evenings, and the generosity that was shared is something that I will always remember.
Anna always amazed us. She was soooo very funny, and yet so very classy at the same time. In the past it seemed that each time we saw her, she & Hank had just returned from a cruise or vacation, and we always wanted to hear all the details. There was one particular time that they had just returned from an exciting cruise. She was telling us all about it, when we said to Anna, "Oh Annie, we would love to see your pictures from the trip". She looked a bit put out and replied, "Oh Dah-ling, we don't do pictures". That was so Anna!
In days past when Anna-was feeling better, she and Shay would talk for hours on the phone. I would hear them laughing and it sounded like a party. After what seemed like an eternity, Shay would come in and I'd say, "What did you and Annie talk about for such a long time?" And Shay would say, "You know? 1'm not sure ... but we sure enjoyed it".
We think of Anna often and a smile comes to both of our faces. We had some wonderful times together that we'il! never forget. Anna was a very special lady and you guys were blessed tremendously to have her as your mother. We both loved our parents; but we both always thought how cool Hank and Anna would have been to have as mom and dad: They loved you so and they both knew just how very much YOU loved them.
We love you very much.
--Doug & Shay Patterson
hen Grandpa went to fight in WWII, Grandma joined up after him. One of my favorite stories is the one where she has just joined the Royal Canadian Air Force and gets a letter from Hank who tells her that, whatever she does, she mustn't join the Royal Canadian Air Force. She went to her commanding officer, expecting, it seems, that this excuse would get her out of it. Grandma's imitation of the woman's reply; "I don't think so, dear," is one that I will never be able to capture in the perfect Dutch/Canadian accent that she had, followed by that great raspy laugh.
I loved snarling up my nose when she and Dad ate Zoute drops. I loved learning funny little Dutch children's songs. I loved the stories she would tell me about herself and her family. No other relative could be so depended upon to fill in the family gaps for a family history project - you got Grandma started and stood back. There was nothing, it seemed, that she wouldn't divulge.
She and Grandpa's relationship was special, as she was the type of woman who could make constant demands and still be adored. (Do they make such couples anymore?)
It has only been a week, and oh, God... how I miss having grandparents.
A Tribute to My Sister:
nna was a very beautiful woman in all ways. She had a bright mind and she loved her family passionately. She was always so proud of you, individually and collectively. She was a voracious reader and loved TV. This made her extremely well informed.
Growing up, I often asked for her opinion and it was sound and always helpful, but full of optimism, humour and love.
No one loved a good argument more than Anna-about politics, the state of the world, and sports Hank particularly, and with anyone else who disagreed with her!
She was generous with her gifts of time, opinions- and things.
Her love of music-eclectic as it was, particularly the Jazz Age with Artie Shaw, Big Band Sounds, Frank Sinatra, (The American Idol of her young life!} were well-known, and Hank shared in all of this with her.
Before WW2, the Major Historical Event of their time, Anna was a volunteer in the Canadian Farm Service Force. This was summer fun for a 15, 16 and y year old, and she and Dora left home to pick fruit in the lush Niagara Falls district-noted now for its excellent wine. Hard work, of course, but lots of teen-aged fun and games.
When Anna was 18, she joined the Royal Canadian Air Force. She was married to Hank, but he left for overseas only two weeks after the wedding. She became a Wireless Operator at Camp Borden in Ontario. It was a proud day when she won her "Sparks" insignia. She could do Morse Code faster than anyone!
We were all proud of her, as we were growing up, and were grateful that we had such rich memories of our times together. She will be greatly missed.
--Mona Van Ark Currie
nna & I are 21 months apart. Anna was born June 21st (longest day of the year) and I was born March 17th (St.Patrick's Day). Being 21 months apart, guess who was the "mistake." Anna made it clear from the beginning that she was the boss. Not being the `brains of the family' I bought into that. But, I finally figured out a way to get even. I told her that since my birthday was in March and hers was in June, there would be a time when I was the same age and wouldn’t have to do what she said. To this day, I am haunted by her laughter! What's so funny? Every year, including this year, we laughed about this and every year I told her I was catching up and she said no way.
I remember when Anna & Hank were in love, around age 13, and I 'covered' for them many times because all the parents were against them. Anna was always on Hank's side. Always maybe a bit strong since their arguments, mostly political, were frequent and so intense!
The fun things I remember are not really fit for 'family fare' such as the Kotex episode, the stuff we `borrowed' from Rieka, but I sure do recall times when Anna literally saved my life. When we lived in Greensville, there was a man always lurking around and one day I ran ahead of Anna and the guy grabbed me. I don't know how she managed it, but she scared the `bejabers' out of him and he let go of me and took off. And the old pervert who used to flash me when I passed his house on the way to school. I thought it was very funny but Anna told dad and he paid the guy a visit.
When we were around 12-13, we went to a so-called summer camp which was really a fruit farm and picked fruit for several weeks. It was an awful lot of work and we hated it. We snuck out a few times and actually hitch-hiked and one night were picked up by a car with 3 guys. They took us for a ride and then brought us back to camp. They were decent men and didn't touch us. Tell me we didn't have a guardian angel that night!
Then there were the sidewalk sales we used to raise money for the `Fresh Air Fund' and the junk we would try to sell. Anna would make up outrageous stories about where we found the stuff and people would donate money just because she was so imaginative. I think she learned that from listening to daddy making up assinine names for plants when people would admire our garden. Anna went to Jarvis High school where she got to wear a neat uniform! I wanted so badly to have an outfit like that but they sent me to a different school - for the mentally challenged (just kidding).
Does me heart good to know the good stuff is in good hands!
--Dora Van Ark
isiting San Diego multiple summers in a row with Sarah: Making Grandma and Grandpa a dinner of Mac n Cheese and Brownies... Going to jewelry shows with her while there... (I have a little ring that she got me that I still have, but doesn't fit anymore!) Going to garage sales with her.
The dolls she would give as presents. In particular, Briar, Sarah and I got matching ballerina dolls when we were all in a dance recital together. Each doll looked like us (including the varied eye colors) and Grandma had costumes made for them that were the same as our own dance performance costumes. I was never able to play with the doll because she was a keepsake (maybe porcelain), but her pink sparkly tutu was my favorite because it matched the one I got to wear when I was 4.
When I think about Grandma Anna, the first thing that comes to mind is that she was not your stereotypical grandmother, baking cookies and so on.
She was a cool grandma, interesting and fun to be around!
Stephenie and I wish to extend our deepest sympathy to you and your family over the passing of your mother. It has been our privilege to serve her for almost two years now and I know that Ann and Helen will miss her a lot. We will make sure that the girls are not scheduled for work so that they may attend services Saturday night.
--Stephenie and Bob Hebert
Carefree/Homecare Companion Service, inc.
Dear Nanci and Sarah,
Please know our thoughts and hearts are with you. As you well know you grieve as hard as you love, which is a painful but necessary process. Your pain truly reflects how much you love. And I am sure your mother was well loved and will be missed greatly. Anyone that is part of producing and raising such wonderful, beautiful people must have been equally wonderful and beautiful.
Please take good care,
New Song Center for Grieving Children
Your parents were wonderful and gracious people who always made me feel welcome as they did with all who met
them ...they were two angels on earth we were blessed to know and enjoy - thank you for sharing them so openly. A fond memory of Anna: I remember that wonderful 4th of July we all went to Nanci's cabin and on the way you took Anna to Fort McDowell and she won $10,00o with Red, White, and Blue on the Fourth of July!! What I remember most is your Mother's Glorious Smile ...her smile was so grand and happy- I will always remember it...
I was so glad to have had the opportunity to have known Anna and Hank. They were just a joy and thoughts of them together give me a warm feeling inside. They are in a good place now but you unfortunately are left to grieve. Thank God you have lots of joyous memories to laugh and cry about and hopefully this process will be a bit easier.
I was so glad to see you and Patti yesterday and give you both big hugs. I will call you next week when I get back from LA. Take care and good luck with everything.
Hi Dear Nanci,
've been thinking alot about your Mom and some of the ways she impacted me all through my life. There were so many ways that the category would be "Anna's Wise Words of Wisdom to Grow Up and Old With."
At about 13 -15 I was a runaway. Things at home were sometimes hell for me, I always ran to your house and your Mom would promptly call my mom and dad and let them know where I was, she did that without me knowing and now as a grandmother, I appreciate what she did for mom and dad. But more importantly, at the time, she would take time to listen to me, calm me and be a best friend and give rational, easy to live with advice.
The other is a cute story she told me. She and your bad, were socialites after they arrived in Tucson, and would dress to the NINES when going out. She always had the GREATEST accessories, she was just 50000 put together. They were invited to a dinner with thenyoung but very married Pat Boone (the singer). At the dinner, she was seated next to him, he.put his hand on her thigh and started raising it higher, whispering that he was a misunderstood husband. As I recall, Anna said out loud to everyone that Mr: Boone had a story to tell about his wonderful wife. The irony of it all was that Pat Boone had always refused to kiss the girls in his movies; saying he was a pure Christian and since he was married he would consider the kissing as cheating. Then he tries to put the MAKE on your Mom!
The other big thing was that I was having a tough time getting in the Air Force, trouble was that I wasn't a US citizen, still Canadian. When I talked to your Mom and bad about it, she got on the phone and called Barry Goldwater's office, and within ten days I was on my way to Basic. Little did I know that stamped on my record was the word in red, POLITICAL CONTACT. So my treatment in Basic was a little more gentle than it might have been.
She has been a major contibutor in my attitude and my ability to survive distress at all levels. In my teen years I spent more time at your house in Florida and Arizona than at my own. And although we haven't been much in touch lately, she has ALWAYS been in my prayers. I love her dearly as well as all of you. She helped shape who and what I am. I Do and will continue to think of My Auntie Anna, with LOVE and SPIRIT.
Take care of yourself and give my love to Patti. Lots of love and prayers,
--Sue Van Ark
My heart is with you and all of the family. I have always felt as though I was a part of your family because you've always made me feel that way. I will miss Anna. I love you.
he first time I met Anna (and Hank) was Thanksgiving of 2000. Dinner was at Nanci's and it was a whirlwind of family and friends I had never met, which was a little overwhelming to me. When we sat down to dinner, Hank started to quietly sing a little song about sweet potatoes as he dished some onto his late. Anna glared at him and whispered under her breath, "Not now, Hank, not now." He looked at her, bobbed his head, and continued his song silently, to himself. This solution pleased them both. Briar and I looked at each other, both realizing how similar we are to them. I do silly things, Briar makes demands, and I decide which of those to ignore or cater to. Every time I think of Anna, I realize how much of her is continued on in Briar.