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Ann G. Kangas

Quechee, Vt. — Ann G. Kangas, 79, died Sunday October 27, 2013 at home surrounded by her family.

She was born March 2, 1934, in Worcester, Mass. a daughter of John and Anna (Poskus) Adamonis. After graduating from high school in Worcester, Ann received her nursing degree from the Worcester-Hahnemann Hospital School of Nursing in 1954. She later earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Castleton State College in 1978.

Ann was married to Lawrence Kangas April 23, 1955, in Worcester, where they lived until moving to Wilder, Vt. in 1962. Upon moving to the Upper Valley, she worked at the Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital in Hanover, N.H. until 1974 when she began her career with the Hartford School District. Ann taught Health Occupations at the Hartford Career and Technology Center from 1974 until 1992, where her accomplishments included certifying over 85 students as Certified Nursing Assistants. In addition, she also taught an evening CNA class at the VOC center for adult students and from that program she certified 105 nursing assistants. In 1992, she became the school nurse at the middle school in Hartford where she worked until retiring and moving to Quechee in 1999.

Ann was not one to sit on the sidelines and watch, but rather one to take life by the reigns. Locally, special education was very limited in the early 70’s and she advocated to the state for its expansion. When her special needs daughter was denied access to swimming lessons at the town pool, Ann received the necessary certifications and became the Hartford Pool Director from 1973 until 1978. She not only taught her daughter to swim, but also put together one of the best swimming programs in the area and helped organize disaster drills for local emergency service personnel. She was also an integral part in establishing the Special Olympics in the Upper Valley area where she not only fulfilled the requirement of nurse, but also coached, nurtured and loved. She remained active for many years, including coaching the Vermont Special Olympic swim team to the International Games in Baton Rouge, La. in 1983. In addition to her other duties Ann was a dedicated volunteer with the American Red Cross, teaching CPR and first Aid; an active member of St. Anthony’s church where she taught religious education classes; and as a Den Mother for the Wilder Boy Scouts.

Ann enjoyed traveling, gardening, reading, swimming and spending time with her grandchildren. Regardless of her role as teacher, instructor, boss, or coach, she was fondly referred to as “mom” by many. She impacted many lives on many different levels.

Ann was predeceased by her husband, Larry in 2006 and a son James in 2010. She is survived by her children, Laura Marzulli and her husband, Dino and their children, Anthony and Christopher of Elk Grove Village, Ill.; John Kangas and his wife, Melanie and their children, Deven, Justine, Stephanie, Michael, Miranda and Gabriella of Concord, N.H. and Teresa Kangas of Quechee, Vt.; a brother, John Adamonis of Columbus, Ohio; as well as cousins, nieces and nephews.

Visiting hours will be held Sunday evening from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Knight Funeral Home in White River Jct. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Monday 11 a.m. at St. Anthony’s Church in White River Jct. with burial following in the Mt. Olivet Cemetery.

Condolences may be expressed to Ann’s family in an online guestbook at www.knightfuneralhomes.com.

Contributions in her memory may be made to the High Horses Therapeutic Riding Program, 2727 Christian St, White River Junction, VT 05001.