Anna M. O’Bannon (nee’ Kabicek), 98, a longtime resident of Lake of the Woods, passed away quietly in her home on Tuesday, April 23, 2019.
“Anne” or “Annie”, as she was known to family and friends, was a first-generation American born to an immigrant family - her father was Yugoslavian, her mother Czechoslovakian. One of nine children, she was expected to care for her younger siblings from an early age. Her younger sister Eleanor remembers that “Anne was like a second mother to me; she took me to the zoo, the circus, a baseball game, the Ice Capades and even helped me get my first job. Later, Anne taught my husband Jim how to jitterbug. When Anne and I were expecting at the same time, we ended up in separate hospitals, giving birth on the same day, which made the local news. For years afterward, we laughed how I lost that race.”
At the age of 25, Anne displayed her love of adventure when she answered an ad for civilian stenographers to join the US Army Counter-Intelligence Corps, part of the US Occupation Forces in post-war Germany. When Anne arrived in February 1946, World War II had been over for less than ten months. Anne witnessed first-hand the horrific devastation of war; her experience affected her attitude toward conflict and service to country for the remainder of her life. Whenever she would hear people saying harsh things about others, she would wonder aloud why people could not find a way to just get along with one another. As a career military spouse and a volunteer with the Red Cross, she found ways to serve.
While stationed in Germany, Anne met and married the love of her life, Army Lieutenant Bob O’Bannon. She remained an Army spouse for the next twenty years, traveling with her family to posts in Texas, Japan, Maryland, Kentucky, the Philippines, and Virginia. Her beloved husband Bob died in 2013. They were married for sixty-six years.
Anne was a lifelong devotee’ of physical fitness. As a child and young adult, she was active in the DTJ, a Czechoslovakian social/gymnastics club in her hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. She loved to play golf and water-ski. Her husband boasted Anne would beat most men he knew at golf, including him. True to form, she continued to walk largely unassisted until the age of 96. Even after her health began to fail, people would routinely comment on Anne’s courageous and gracious nature. She simply refused to complain and would respond to the slightest kindness with a sweet smile and a sincere thank you. She loved the music of the forties and fifties and sang her favorite songs until the end of her life.
Anne is survived by her two sisters Eleanor and Dorothy; her four children Vicki, Robert, Michael (Janelle), and Kathleen; five grandchildren, Jim (Jenn), Anna (Kevin), Adam, Laura and Liam; and two great-grandchildren, Conner and Sean.
A private funeral service was held May 1, 2019, at Johnson Funeral Home in Locust Grove, Virginia, with Pastor Jeffrey Smith presiding. Internment took place at Culpeper National Cemetery, Culpeper, Virginia, where Anne was laid to rest with her beloved Bob.
Online guestbook is available at johnsoncares.com.