Ode to Annie

by John Steven Mickman, CEO/Founder
Mickman Brothers, Inc.

I was talking to a friend of mine about how sad I was that our friend Annie had passed, and he said that yes, life was short – and fleeting.

But I remember the day I met Annie, and it was a long, lifetime ago. The lucky ones among us remember the bright eyed beautiful young woman that captured my friend Tony’s soul and became the heartbeat of their family.

Annie was the one that was always waiting in the mist on the dock of the B&B Cannery, soon with baby Hope in her arms, as the Marcy J returned home from her fishing sojourns at sea with bountiful holds full of King Crab, Snow Crab or shrimp.

Annie was one of the early women entrepreneurs inspiring others to follow in her footsteps. I was amazed and so impressed when Annie founded her bookstore, The Shire, in the small town of Kodiak, Alaska and grew it to success – even while juggling all the responsibilities of mothering Hope and Molly.

Most people shy away from risk. Not Annie Jones. Just think of all the dozens of enterprises and adventures she and Tony took on over the years! Some were wildly successful; some went south. But through all the decades of uncertainty, all of us took strength from the way Annie endured the hard times and rejoiced in the good times. Annie was not faint of heart. Annie was the heart.

When Annie smiled, she smiled with her entire essence. Her big, bright smile seemed to melt away a person’s problems – if even for a short while. Even during her last month’s, Annie was still able to share her smile – even as she knew she was fading. How many of us have that strength of character?

For those that came to know Annie, she made us all want to be better people. To have faith. To have joy. To know true love – for Tony, for her children and for her grandchildren. For all of us.

So no, I don’t believe life is short and fleeting – although I don’t know how Annie felt about this. What I do know is that Annie lived a meaningful and purposeful life for herself and for everyone she touched for over 70 years.

What I wish is that I could be more like Annie. I think all that met Annie would like to be more like her. I believe the world would be a better place if we were all more like her.

We all miss you Annie. Thank you for sharing your life with us.

Annie’s Friend,
John Mickman

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