Ann was born in Washington, DC. After graduating from Notre Dame Academy, she entered the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, the community of women religious that had been her teachers since elementary school. Following the formation period in Ilchester, Maryland and graduation from Trinity College in Washington, she began a lifetime career as educator.
After a few years teaching in Washington, DC, Ann was invited to establish a Special Education program in the Diocese of Brooklyn, New York. While recruiting teachers and arranging for special education classes in parochial schools in Brooklyn and Queens, she obtained an MA degree in Special Education at Columbia University and undertook doctoral studies.
In 1969, influenced by the forces for change brought about by the Second Vatican Council II, Ann left religious life and the following year married William F. Powers, who had been a Brooklyn diocesan priest. After a year working with the New York City Board of Education to establish a program for the multiply handicapped, Ann moved to Suffolk County, Long Island where she taught with the Board of Community Educational Services (BOCES) and where Ann and Bill’s two children, William Daniel and Amy Louise were born.
In 1973, when the family moved from Lake Ronkonkoma to Setauket, Ann began a 26-year career in the Child Study Department of St. Joseph’s College, Patchogue. For many of those years, she was chair of the department and mentored junior faculty as well as taught a generation of budding classroom teachers throughout Long Island.
Ann and Bill shared with their children a sabbatical year in Floresville, Texas, where Ann served as principal of Sacred Heart parochial school. The family also shared a faculty exchange semester in El Paso. Another sabbatical year, while the children were in college, was spent as house parents for Boys Hope in St. Louis, Missouri. A final sabbatical year was spent in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. That happy experience led to the decision to retire to Chapel Hill in 1999.
In 2011, Ann and Bill moved to the Carolina Meadows Retirement Community in Chapel Hill. Almost immediately, Ann began serving as a volunteer in the Pines, the Carolina Meadows skilled nursing facility. Eventually, she became chair of the volunteer group. As in her earlier life she had guided young students to work with children, so now she helped older people to work with nursing home residents.
Ann is survived by Bill, her husband of 53 years. Also, she leaves behind two children and six grandchildren. Her son, Bill, Jr., and his wife Melissa, live in Samaipata, Bolivia. Her daughter, Amy, and her husband, Andrew, live in Richmond, Vermont. The six grandchildren range in age from 19 to one. They are: Leo, Amaya, Huck, Roy, Clea, and Rio. She also leaves behind her brother Rudy Goddard, his wife Brenda, and numerous friends from all stages of her life.
There will be a Mass celebrating Ann’s life this Saturday, April 15 at 2 PM in the Newman Center in Chapel Hill. (218 Pittsboro Street, Chapel Hill, NC.) If you cannot be present in person, you might spend a few minutes with us in spirit.
After the Mass, a reception will be held at Carolina Meadows, the retirement community where Ann and I have lived for the past 11 years. All are invited.
Walker’s Funeral Home in Chapel Hill is assisting the family.
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