A Day For Ann Daley

Ann Daley stands beside her 80th birthday cake, which reflects her years on the piano.

I got a bigger window into the big world of Ann Daley Sunday afternoon at her 80th birthday party.

I’ve known Ann for a few years through my work at the Bemidji Pioneer. I’m not sure when we met, but it might have been at the Bemidji Senior Center’s (now the Paul Bunyan Senior Activity Center) annual style show that was done as a beautiful tribute to the late Ann Stennes, titled “Hats off to Ann Stennes.”

I also visited with Ann when her granddaughter and a friend recorded a CD of piano music. It was then that I learned of Ann’s love for and talent in piano and her musical influences on her family.

Then there was the Senior Scene, the monthly publication for and by senior citizens that is now called PrimeTime. A while back, Ann started writing a column every month, and it grew to the point that we now usually plan to use it on the front of each month’s edition.

Ann calls me once in a while to ask questions or make a change in an article, we had lunch together once at the Senior Center, and we’ve seen each other occasionally at various functions. Plus, I’ve run into Ann two or three times during our separate noon walks (I walk with Bethany Wesley from the Pioneer, and we blog about our walks at www.trailmix.areavoices.com).

So we don’t see each other very often, but I admire the heck out of Ann Daley. She works so hard for other people, and she just never slows down. You’d think that at 80 years old, she’d feel entitled to sit back and relax, but she just keeps adding more to her plate.

She is always busy with the Senior Center, where served on the board of directors from 1999-2008 and was president for five of those years. She volunteers with Nielson Place and serves on the boards of the United Way of Bemidji Area and Northwoods Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers and Adult Day Services. She brings music to residents at Goldpine Home. And I’m sure there’s more.

Ann also works with RSVP/America Reads, through which she reads to Paul Daman’s class at Northern Elementary, where she also set up a wonderful pen pal program between the children and seniors at the Senior Center. She wrote a PrimeTime article about the program when it started, and wrote about the program again when the pen pals got the chance to meet one another. What an awesome way for kids and elders to brighten each other’s lives! That’s the kind of thing that Ann Daley does — brighten people’s lives.

Not too long ago she became a “girl singer” with Dennis Doeden and Jim Thompson — I love it! The enthusiasm that woman has should be bottled and sold. :)

I haven’t known her very long, but on Sunday I got to visit with people who have known her for many years.

This is Anne with her longtime friends. Their kids grew up together and the families are still close. Scotty is on the left and Marie is in the middle. They were both delightful to visit with. It’s wonderful when people can maintain long-term friendships with others, especially when they stay nearby for years and years. My old friends are scattered, and we rarely talk. It’s nice when we do talk, but there’s a distance there that wouldn’t have existed if we’d been around each other the way these lovely ladies and their families have been.

Ann's son played guitar while she played piano.

I met Ann’s son and daughter-in-law, both of whom work in music education, and I visited with her daughter, who was the one who invited me to the party when she asked me if I could print out some articles about her mom to put up. I was so glad for the invitation. It was a beautiful party on a beautiful day with a lot of beautiful people.

Happy birthday, Ann, and best wishes for many more great birthdays!

8 Responses

  1. Stella Nelson

    Ann—you look great! And the tiara is really you! :) I can’t believe you’re 80–my congratulations to you & I wish you all the best!


  2. Patt Rall

    Congratulations Ann–you are a shining beacon in this community for youngsters and oldsters alike. We are all so blessed to have you in our presence, even those of us who have not been around a long time like Marie and Scottie–great picture!

  3. Scotty Tesar

    Years ago, my late husband, Dick, who was a good friend of Ann and Stan Daley , made the statement: “You have a lot of acquaintances, but DARN FEW FRIENDS”. How true those words were. Ann and I worked together for many years, and it has been my/our joy to count her and Stan among our dear “FRIENDS” !!!!

  4. Nancy Henrickson

    Ann, Happy Belated Birthday again! I have been so blessed knowing you — you are truly a great and wonderful lady “Miss Ann of Daleyville”! Wish I had even a quarter of your stamina and good cheer!

  5. Merlyn & Velma Wesloh

    Congratulations on your 80th. Can’t believe you are older than I am. Hope you have many more. We are enjoying Texas weather.

  6. Susan Paulsberg Jorgens

    Ann I goggled your name and found this article! You look wonderful, young looking like your Mom! The last time I saw you was at Kathy Skene’s funeral and I always enjoy visiting with you. We are having a family get together this summer in Breezy Point, north of Brainerd, that is where I live, and would love it if you could somehow join us or maybe Margo and I could come and see you? Time slips away too quickly. Take care and hope this finds it’s way to you. Just reply to my email. love – Susan (wayne’s daughter)

  7. Josie Proulx

    Greetings Ann….. What an 80th celebration you had. How come it’s taken me so long to see this wonderful artical about it?? I know we celebrate in our small intimate group but still want to hear about all the other fun parties that are held in your honor….The photos are great. And soon to be 82 with lots of life left in you. Another VERY HAPPY Birthday Special friend. With Love from Mentor.

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