San Pedro, Calif. - Anna Mae Strand, 94, an Ironwood native, long-time resident, and beloved mother, grandmother, and aunt passed away unexpectedly in San Pedro, California on March 3, 2020.
To plant a memorial tree in honor of Anna Mae Strand, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.
She was born on January 2, 1926, in Ironwood, Michigan, daughter of the late Peter and Mary (Denocenti) DeSantis.
Anna graduated from St. Ambrose High School in Ironwood, Michigan as Valedictorian in the Class of 1943. She then enrolled in the United States Cadet Nurse Corps, a government training program designed to alleviate the nursing shortage caused by the Second World War. She trained at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota and graduated from the program in 1946. She then returned to Ironwood and was employed as an operating room nurse at Grand View Hospital.
In 1948 she was married to David O. Strand at St, Ambrose Church in Ironwood. David preceded her in death in 1953.
Subsequently, Anna was employed by the City of Ironwood in various capacities in the City Clerk’s Office, Treasurer’s Office, Health Department, and Carnegie Library. She later attended Northland College and earned her bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Northern Michigan University, graduating Summa Cum Laude. She then taught in the Allied Health Program at Gogebic Community College for sixteen years until her retirement in 1991.
She was extremely proud of her Italian and Latin heritage and traced her paternal roots back to 11th Century Rome and Spanish nobility. She was well known as an excellent Italian cook, using top-secret word-of-mouth recipes handed down through generations of her family. She loved teaching her nieces and nephews to make noodles, gnocchi, sauces, and pizza fritte. Her biscotti’s were legendary. Some of the family dubbed her the Pasta Lady. She enjoyed reminiscing about ‘the old days’ and loved reading history, biographies, and Mary Higgins Clark novels. She closely followed the events of the day through newspapers and the various television news channels.
Anna was a very devout Catholic and watched or attended Mass daily and took communion weekly. She was a member of the Gold Star Wives of America, Phi Kappa Phi National Education Society, and a past member of the Resurrection Choir at Our Lady of Peace Church.
Besides her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by her brothers, Joseph, Robert, and Peter, and a nephew, Phillip DeSantis.
Anna is survived by her son, Peter (Dolores) of San Pedro, California; grandchildren, Derek of Chicago, Dana (Lanlin) Wong of Los Angeles, and Megan of Chicago; great-grandchildren, Remington and Vivienne Wong of Los Angeles; nieces and nephews, Jeanne (Kirk) DeSantis-Hopinka of Lake Delton, Wisconsin, Joseph DeSantis of Chicago, David (Kathy) DeSantis of Ringle, Wisconsin, Thomas DeSantis, of Mosinee, Wisconsin, and Monica (David) Tackes of Stratford, Wisconsin; great-nieces and nephews, Devanne (Jake) Skalitzky of Kronenwetter, Wisconsin, Mitchel (Shelby) DeSantis of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Paul (Patty) Tackes of Stratford, Andrew Tackes of Stratford, Andre (Ashley) Tackes of Milwaukee, Robert DeSantis of Mosinee, Terry Tackes of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, Dondrick Tackes of Stevens Point, Wisconsin, and Bryan (Kazia) Rehwinkel of Delta Junction, Alaska.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at a future date in the spring.
Interment will take place at Riverside Cemetery in Ironwood in the spring.
Masses can be said for Anna at Our Lady of Peace, Sisters of the Precious Blood (https://www.srspreciousbloodnh.org/), and Monastery of the Holy Cross (http://www.holycrosscarmel.com/index.html).
The family has chosen McKevitt-Patrick Funeral Home Ironwood, to honor Anna’s legacy of life. You can leave a condolence or a tribute at mckevittpatrickfuneralhome.com.