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Ann McCray Olsen Thackeray

Date of Death: January 16, 2024

Date of Birth: April 1, 1946


Ann Marie McCray Thackeray passed away on January 16, 2024 at her cottage home in Harpswell, Maine. She was 77 years old. Ann was born on April 1, 1946 to Wilson and Kathleen (McDade) McCray. She was the eldest of their three daughters.

Ann grew up in Lewiston, Maine and was one of twenty-one first cousins! Most of them lived in Canada and it was always a great adventure to take a road trip to go visiting or to family reunions. She graduated from Lewiston High School and went on to receive a bachelor’s degree at Southern Connecticut State University in 1968. Shortly thereafter, she found herself in a master’s degree program out “west” at Utah State University. In Utah, she met and married Paul Olsen. They were married for many years but eventually parted and went their separate ways.

Ann started her career as a librarian in Logan at the county library. This led to her long tenure of over 25 years as the librarian at Box Elder Middle School in Brigham City. She was affectionally known as “Annie” to teachers and staff though she preferred to be called Ann without an “e”. She was cherished for all the fantastic bulletin boards she made with her student library aids. The environment she created in the library was always peaceful, reverent, bright, and welcoming. She was a loving, patient, kind friend and mentor to many students over the decades.

Ann took great care of her appearance. She loved dressing professionally in her beautiful outfits. She wore brightly colored skirts and blouses. She accessorized them with heavy and bold, artistic necklaces, bracelets, and earrings she had collected from her many travels. She never missed a manicure or pedicure appointment and wore the same magenta colored polish for years. Those bold and bright colors represented her personality! Being an extremely intelligent and well-read woman, she could join in any debate or conversation with wise and thoughtful input. She was poised and polished in fighting for any good cause and was never known to be docile or a doormat. She kept all her brilliant faculties right up until the end of her days.

Ann was a voracious reader. She devoured thousands of books in her lifetime. She collected books, gifted books, conversed about books, and built a fantastic collection of books in “her” school library. Of particular interest to English teachers at BEMS (pre-internet) was the collection of several hundred books on current societal, environmental, and health topics that interested teens for their first research papers. She welcomed full classes for weeks at a time, teaching and supporting 8th and 9th grade students in writing those big MLA style research papers. Besides fiction novels, she also had magazines, comic books, children’s books, graphic novels, classics, and audio books so there was something inviting and relevant for everyone. Annie’s ripple effect in support of literacy will never be fully known, but certainly cannot be denied.

Ann was a dear friend to many. She took friends to doctor’s and other appointments, helped them with paperwork, listened to their health issues, took people into her home to support them getting back on their feet, and helped some with financial problems. She was generous with her means and resources. She was a patient and beautiful listener—always fully hearing compassionately rather than waiting to pounce with advice or a quick response.

Later in life, Ann met and married John Thackeray and resided with him in Morgan, Utah. She loved the beautiful Morgan Valley even though it made her commute quite far every day to Brigham City. He proceeded her in death and she always missed him. This lingering sadness perhaps led her to leave Utah and return to her childhood hometown in Maine in 2018. Also proceeding Ann in death are both of her parents, and her sister Jane. She is survived by her heart-sister of over 40 years, Debra Ward of Hyrum, Utah, sister Pam and Daniel Grossman of Fort Collins, Colorado, niece Heidi Marion and great-niece Edie Marion, niece Erica (Brad) Grossman, and nephew Austin (Michelle) Grossman. She is also survived by her God-children Cy and Chandra (Barth) Martz.

Friends, colleagues, family, and loved ones may call at an open-house, Celebration of Life, in honor of Ann Thackeray: Tuesday March 5, 2024 from 6:00-7:30 pm at the Box Elder Middle School Library 18 S 500 E Brigham City, Utah 84302

You may contact Pam Butterweck by call or text at 801-941-7271 with questions, comments, or condolences.


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