Annie was born July 1, 1911 at home on Montgomery St. in San Jose, CA to Swiss German immigrants, Lorenz and Marie Baumann. She was an “oops baby,” born eleven years after her four older siblings, Joe, Freida, Rose, and Bill.
She was born with severe hearing loss. But, all on her own, she learned to overcome her hearing limitations. She learned to speak and she could read lips like nobody’s business.
When Annie was about 3 or 4, the family moved to Gonzales following the Meyenberg Dairy milk plant. She remembered horse and buggy rides with the local grocer and had fond memories of her childhood years spent there.
In 1935 she married John Carl Schweizer, a dairy farmer in Modesto, CA. They lived in Modesto for 10 years before their daughter Jo was born in 1945. In 1949, John passed away, and Annie and Jo moved back to San Jose.
Annie first worked at Wool Cannery. Then in 1960, she went to work at St. Patrick’s Church as the rectory housekeeper. She worked there 15 years until her retirement in 1975.
It turned out to be a long retirement! Along with keeping her garden in order, she was an active member of the Young Ladies Institute and volunteered at the Youth Science Thrift Shop. She campaigned for Sam Liccardo in his successful bids for San Jose city council and mayor. She was a member of the Monterey County Swiss American Club, the Pro Ticino Nord California Swiss Club, and the Swiss Benevolent Society.
She attended and enjoyed various events in San Jose and in Monterey County. Just last month, March of 2018, she was honored at the Monterey Dixieland Jazz Bash by the Bay. In August of 2017 San Jose awarded her a commendation in celebration of her 106th birthday and a lifetime of achievements.
Annie was special and unique. We held her in awe not only for the number of years she attained, or for all the world events she witnessed, but for the fact that she truly enjoyed those years. Whether playing jacks on the front porch with her great-grand nieces in her eighties, arm wrestling with anyone who dared challenge her in her hundreds, or rocking out to jazz and dancing the chicken polka at any age, she always delighted us. With her keen, devilish sense of humor, just what would she do next? We wanted to know and waited to hear. Her birthdays were true celebrations, not only for her, but for the rest of us. Although it wasn’t rational, we believed she would live forever.
After a very short illness, she passed away peacefully on March 31, 2018, just three months shy of her 107th birthday. We were privileged to have known her and are reluctant to let her go. We’ll take to heart the life lessons she taught us and she will always remain an inspiration. A toast in her honor; may she forever rest in peace.
Preceding her in death are her parents, siblings, nephews Bill, Bob, and Dick Baumann, Edward Vance, and nieces Lauretta Panziera and Joine Fregoso.
She is survived by her daughter Jo, niece Doris Lindley, and numerous great nieces and nephews.
Mass will be celebrated in her Memory at Santa Teresa Catholic Church, 794 Calero Ave., San Jose on Friday, April 13 at 12:30 pm.
In addition, there will be a Memorial Celebration at Pessagno Winery in Monterey County, 1645 River Road, Gonzales on Sunday, April 15 at 11:00 am.
Donations in her memory can be made to PICO International (People Improving Communities through Organizing), 171 Santa Rosa Ave., Oakland, CA 94610, in care of Fr. John Baumann S.J. or the Swiss Benevolent Society, Suite 600, Pier 17, San Francisco, CA 94111.
Funeral Arrangements by Struve and Laporte Funeral Home.
Online condolences to www.struveandlaporte.com