Ann McGuinness Halnon, 93, of Salisbury
SALISBURY — Ann McGuinness Halnon, age 93, passed away in the comfort of her home on Oct. 27, 2021, in Salisbury, Vt.
Ann was born at home on Aug. 3, 1928, in Brooklyn, N.Y. She was the youngest child of the late Maryann “Molly” McCabe McGuinness and the late Thomas John McGuinness. Her parents were both born in Ireland, and their five eldest children were born in Scotland. Ann was the only child born in the United States.
She attended Catholic schools in Brooklyn prior to attending and graduating from Tilden High School in 1946. While in high school she spent her summers as a nanny for a family that summered on Lake Dunmore in Salisbury. She did this on the condition that they find a way for her to attend Mass each Sunday. They arranged for Sarah “Sadie” and Frank Halnon to bring her to St. Mary’s Church in Middlebury.
During the summer of 1946, the Halnons brought Ann to meet their youngest son, Jim, at the train station in Middlebury as he was returning home from his service as a Lieutenant Colonel in the USAF at the end of World War II. It was love at first sight. They returned to that spot where they first saw each other every year thereafter on the anniversary of their meeting for a kiss until Jim passed in December of 2009.
Ann and James “Jim” McNulla Halnon were married at St. Rose of Lima Church in Brooklyn on Oct. 18, 1947. They settled in Salisbury on the family farm. Ann quickly took up all of the essentials for living a self-sufficient country life. Gardening, canning, cooking, baking, and sewing became pastimes out of necessity, but she enjoyed them for most of the remainder of her life, although her favorite pastime was listening to big band music on the radio after dinner and dancing with her beloved Jim.
In 1950 a hurricane destroyed most of their farm and Jim gave up farming. In 1967 they built their dream house on the hill of the same property and Jim named it “Ann-amare” — to love Ann. Ann worked for many years as a clerk in the Salisbury Post Office and eventually became the Postmaster. Since both Ann and Jim worked in the post office they knew every person in town. They were also both very involved in St Mary’s Church, where Ann taught religion classes for 18 years.
Their Irish Catholic heritage was very important to both of them. When they retired they began traveling to Ireland and Scotland aboard the Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary II. They dearly loved these trips and made the journey 10 times. They especially enjoyed finding beloved McGuinness family members in Scotland and made many other dear friends all along the way. Ann also became a painter late in life doing landscapes of the many places they visited in the U.K.
Ann is survived by her children James “Jim” (Sheila) Halnon of Sharon, Vt.; Margaret “Peggy” (Marvin “Bud”) McCollum of Hamilton, Ohio; Theresa “Terry” (Robert “Bob”) Johnson of Danville, Vt.; Thomas “Tom” (Robin) Halnon of East Middlebury, Vt.; and Maureen (David) Wheeler of Charlotte, Vt. She is also survived by her 12 grandchildren: Sean, Ann (Berida) and Evan Halnon; Michael and James McCollum; Erik and Brett Johnson; Emily (Mullen) and Olivia Halnon; and Ian, Ross and Finn Wheeler. Ann is also survived by one great-grandson, Daniel Mullen, as well as many nieces, nephews, their children and grandchildren.
Ann was predeceased by her adoring husband Jim; her siblings Mary, Joseph, Thomas, James and Margaret; and all of her in-laws. She was the last survivor of their generation on both sides of the family.
The interment was at St Mary’s Cemetery on Tuesday, Nov. 9, for immediate family only. A Memorial Mass will occur at a later date.
The family would like to express our deepest thanks to Gabe Cameron and Nikki Belanger, who loved, supported and cared for our mom in countless ways. We also want to extend our profound thanks to doctors Laura Weiland, PA-C; Even Perler, DDS; Douglas Campbell, MD; Michael LaMantia, MD, MPH; and Lynn Wilkinson, MD, whose loving care was amplified during the pandemic when contacts were so limited. We are especially grateful for the support of Hospice at the end of her life. In lieu of flowers, Memorial gifts may be made to Addison County Home Health & Hospice at achhh.org/memorial-gifts.html. ◊
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