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Anna C. Richardson Swihart, Cañon City’s first woman to be named Realtor of the Year (1987) was welcomed into Heaven on May 23, 2019. She was born in Harrah, OK, in 1923: the first child born to PE and Gladys Carpenter.
Anna Lilac was the first person in her family to be a valedictorian. She was Harrah High School’s Valedictorian of 1941 and delivered a speech full of hope and, with Pearl Harbor still fresh in their minds, recognized the “revolution taking place around us”. As a fresh graduate from Hills Business University in Oklahoma City, she took the train to Wash DC and began working for the new Social Security Office. Another first is that she paid her first income tax bill by depleting the savings account she had since childhood!
Anna transferred to Kansas City, joined the USO Girls’ Choral Club, and met her husband, the late Deal Richardson of Cañon City. They married in 1944 and moved to Colorado. She spent her life as a devoted mother to eight children ensuring them of a loving home with solid spiritual values, whether in Buena Vista or Cañon City.
When her first marriage ended and her children were raised, Anna embarked on a new career in real estate. By 1978, she had received the Educational Achievement in Real Estate award, earned her broker license, and was serving as second vice-president of the Business and Professional Women’s Club. A year later, she opened her own real estate office in Cañon City: Anna Realty, Your Bridge Between Homes. Anna was a charter member and past president of the Toastmistress Club of Cañon City. In 1983, she was named Cañon City’s Business Woman of the Year.
George Swihart came into Anna’s life, and they were married in 1987. They enjoyed traveling until his death in 1994, including a memorable trip to Hawaii. Never one to slow down, Anna moved to Salida where she was co-owner and hostess of a bed and breakfast for ten years. She returned to Cañon City in 2010.
In addition to playing the piano, Anna found relaxation in painting, gardening, sewing, and reading, including a daily dose from her Bible. A member of the First United Methodist Church, Anna served as a trustee, was in the hand bell choir, loaded her van with friends to attend women’s retreats, and joined other women in making quilts to be given away. She was a volunteer driver for Meals on Wheels, performed at nursing homes with the Red Bowtie Band, and took up line dancing with a group that march-danced in local parades.
She is survived by her children, Arthur (Honey), Deanna (Bill), Candice Richardson, and Gayle Harp of Cañon City, Omar (Anne) Richardson of Grand Junction, Dan (Marsha) Richardson of Texas, and Cheryl (Don) Monaghan of Washington.
She was preceded in death by her brother, Gene Carpenter (Florida); sister, Crystal Merritt (Oklahoma); and her eldest son, Weldon.
Anna was dearly loved and will be sorely missed by her children, friends, numerous nieces and nephews, her cousins, Echo Lipe and Peggy Gervais, 20 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren. Anna’s favorite saying was, “You have to get up early if you are going to have any fun!” Her deepest wish is for people to accept Christ as their Savior. May we all continue to follow her shining example and think of others first.
Memorial service, 11:00AM Thursday, June 20, 2019, First United Methodist Church, 801 Main Street, Canon City, CO 81212 with reception to follow.
In lieu of flowers memorial donation can be made in Anna’s name to Safe Watch in Canon City, CO.
1415 15th Street, Canon City CO 81212
There's still time to send flowers to the Memorial Service at the First United Methodist Church (Canon City) at 11:00 AM on June 20, 2019.
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