A little bit of sunshine left this earth and returned to heaven to be with her Lord and Savior when Ann Dearman passed away peacefully at home on Saturday, July 29, 2023, surrounded by her loving family. She left an indelible mark of love to all those that she came in contact with during the 89 years God graced us with her presence. Ann never knew a stranger and met everyone with a smile and a warm heart.
Ann was the eldest of 9 siblings with 4 girls and 5 boys. She was born on the outskirts of St. Louis, Missouri on July 3, 1934, and she was baptized and confirmed in St. Andrews Lutheran Church.
After trying to join the Navy but failing her physical, Ann joined the St. Louis USO and was runner-up in the Miss USO Beauty Pageant. In 1954, at a USO dance, she met and later married her Air Force husband, Paul, and they were inseparable for the past 68 years.
After getting married they lived and worked in Ephrata, WA. and Lewiston, ID, and then moved to Florida where they spent the next 46 years while raising their two children, David, and Angela. Ann and Paul worked at the Missile Test Center, which also supported NASA at Cape Canaveral, and Ann also started, owned, and managed an inground pool company, and later, a wine and cheese shop. In 1965, Paul accepted a job offer in Orlando and they moved there in 1979, where Ann started a bookstore (her favorite), and she also worked for Bally Health Center where she taught Water Aerobics classes for many years.
Her husband retired in 1993 and in 2000 they moved to Bigfork, MT., where they lived for the next 23 years. Ann led a swim aerobics class at the Montana Athletic Club in Bigfork while enjoying her retirement in beautiful Montana, a place she grew to love.
Ann’s favorite pastime was teaching children how to swim, and she taught dozens of swimming lessons in pools and in the ocean. She loved crossword puzzles and beating anyone who dared to play her in Scrabble.
Preceding her death are her parents, Marion and John Esche; sister, Mary Ellen Garman; brothers, Roger Esche (stillborn at birth), James Esche, Ray Esche (wife Joann), David Esche (wife Barbra, deceased); nieces, Roxanne Rust, Melissa Rust, Toni Atkins, and nephews Kaelyb Suchevits, James Esche, Jr., and Billy Garman.
Ann is survived by her husband, Paul; son, David (wife, Jennifer Dearman), daughter, Angela; grandchildren, Zackary, Connor, and Avery; twin sisters Sally Parent (husband Jean Parent, deceased) and Ruth Atkins (husband William Atkins, Sr., deceased); and brother Paul Esche.
A very special thanks to Pastor Shawn Osborne of Bethany Lutheran Church in Bigfork for his service and for the comfort he gave our family during this time of incredible grief.
A private family service will be held to honor Ann’s memory. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Ann’s name to: St Jude, Children’s Hospital: https://www.stjude.org/give/memorials-and-dedications.html .To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ann M. Dearman, please visit our flower store.