Cover photo for Anna Elizabeth Nearing's Obituary
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1920 Anna 2017

Anna Elizabeth Nearing

December 27, 1920 — November 30, 2017

Anna Elizabeth Nearing, age 96, of South Kansas City, passed away peacefully on November 30, 2017 at Brighton Gardens assisted living facility in Prairie Village, Kansas. Visitation will be held from 9:30-10:30am on Saturday, December 9th at St. Thomas More Parish, 11822 Holmes Road, Kansas City, Missouri 64131. Mass of Christian Burial will follow, beginning at 10:30am. Anna was born on December 27, 1920 to Theodore Dueser and Louise (Pieshl) Dueser on her fathers family farm in Ellinwood, Kansas. Anna was the youngest of five children, having one brother and three sisters. She grew up without indoor plumbing on the farm, where they grew wheat and raised a variety of animals. Anna did the dishes with her older sister, Josephine, who was the closest to her in age. When Anna was 6-years-old she was sometimes responsible for killing a chicken that her family would eat. She spoke of being a "daddys girl" and said her father was soft on her and her mother disciplined them more. She followed her father around the farm, helping him out. She said, "When I was young I walked with big steps to keep up with him." Anna and her family went to Catholic Church every Sunday, unless it snowed too much. Her parents both spoke fluent German so her and her siblings were raised with the German language at home and learned English at school. She remembers her older brother, Frank, as a first grader learning the word "dog" in English and writing "dog" on his paper and proclaiming, "D-O-G, hund!" Hund is the German word for dog. Anna graduated from Kansas State University in 1942 with a Bachelors Degree in Mathematics. She taught high school in Kansas for four years and then attended Cornell University in New York for graduate school. She finished the coursework for her Masters Degree, but her advisor wanted her to do her thesis in geometry, and she wanted to do in practical math, so she never completed the dissertation. Its at Cornell University where she met the love of her life, Frank H. Nearing. Frank had served in the Navy in 1943 during WWII on a ship in the South Pacific. He was working on his Doctoral Degree at Cornell. They married in 1956 when she was 35 and working at Boeing in Wichita, Kansas. Frank and Anna moved to Iran so that Frank could teach agriculture to Iranian citizens where he had been working for the Aid for International Development program of the U.S. State Department. They moved back to the United States in 1959 to have children in a better healthcare system. Anna and Frank brought three children into the world; their eldest daughter, Jean, and the twins, Elizabeth and Vicki.Anna remained very social, independent, and active in the church and neighborhood. She often hosted bridge games which she learned to play in Iran from Frank, who learned bridge from his Baptist mother! Anna was involved in many organizations, including the Red Bridge Social Club, AAUW, Red Bridge Homes Association, Girl Scouts, and the PTA.Anna is preceded in death by her parents, Theodore and Louise Dueser; husband, Frank H. Nearing; brother, Frank Dueser; and her three sisters, Clara Crowther, Loretta Pecchioni, and Josephine Aaron. She is survived by her daughters, Jean Nearing, Elizabeth Grant, and Vicki Somodi; and her granddaughter, Rachel Somodi. Anna had a challenging life. Her family didnt have much while she was growing up and she recalls the Dust Bowl and The Great Depression and how it affected the farm. She suffered from measles and mumps before vaccines existed for them. Anna raised one of her children with Cerebral Palsy and her husband, Frank, died in 1993 from prostate cancer. She was alone after that and resisted finally moving into an assisted living home in 2011. When asked what she would name the title of a book about the story of her life, she replied "Step by Step". Anna will be remembered as a loving mother, dear friend, and one of the most strong-headed, proud, stubborn, and independent women.

Following Mass there will be a luncheon downstairs in the parish hall. SERVICES Visitation
Saturday, December 9, 2017 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM
St. Thomas More Church 11822 Holmes Road Kansas City, MO 64131
Mass of Christian Burial
Saturday, December 9, 2017 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
St. Thomas More Church 11822 Holmes Road Kansas City, MO 64131

Following Mass there will be a luncheon downstairs in the parish hall.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Anna Elizabeth Nearing, please visit our flower store.


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