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Anne Gammon DeForest

Obituary for Anne Gammon DeForest

May 28, 1920 - May 16, 2017
San Antonio, Texas | Age 96


Anne DeForest, 96, mother of four children-- a minister, an artist, an educator, and a nurse-- died on Tuesday, May 16, 2017, in San Antonio, Texas. Her memorial will be Saturday May 20th, 11:00am at St. Thomas Episcopal Church (San Antonio).

Anne was an avid reader, an English teacher of 10 years in San Antonio and Hempstead, Texas, a reader for the blind, a giver to many outreach causes, and a life-long Daughter of the King in the Episcopal Church. She was a secretary for the State Commission for the Blind, transcribing books and reading them for the blind. She worked as a secretary for scientists at Houston's UT Health Science Center transcribing their research material. Her last career stint was at the Episcopal High School where she worked in the admission office. After her retirement she volunteered at The Guild Shop, an Episcopal resale shop in Houston that raised millions of dollars for the elderly and indigent. Before that, she was a full time mom and minister's wife.

As a young woman she was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, a family tradition. But she renounced her membership in the 1940's following the example of Eleanor Roosevelt, regarding discrimination issues. As a young college student she wanted to be a Christian missionary, but love intervened and she choose to marry Jack DeForest. Thus she became a minister's wife and later a mother to four and an servant to the Lord. She possessed immense personal faith and worked tirelessly in the churches that her husband, The Rev. Jack DeForest served in San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Hempstead, and Houston. Much of the "behind the scenes" work of those churches was done because she and other women made it happened.

A great joy of hers was to prepare the Sunday meal for her family. She would set the table on Saturday, then shop for the meal, get the food set up that evening, then on Sunday put it in the oven early, get dressed, round up the four kids for church, and then return home to set out the cooked roast for her family. This happened not once, but over and over again, year after year. These meals became great memories for the kids. Everything was great except the dinner rolls that she could not keep from burning, over and over. It became the inside family joke on Anne.

Throughout her life her mind" sparkled with a wonder of all things" especially for art, literature, music and the natural world. She enjoyed reading book after book and seeing the great art in museums. Her family had many, many picnics on the grounds of the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio after museum visits. She took the kids there because it was free and the young family had few resources for such luxuries at that time of their lives.

Later in her marriage after the kids left, Anne and Jack took many quick beach trips to enjoy the air, the waves, and the shell hunting. She and Jack were still working and these trips gave them a brief respite together. Her family possesses a very extensive shell collection from the beaches of Texas because of those trips. It was their time together unless some grandkids came to visit, then it became another family outing.

Another activity that Anne and Jack loved was to read the "Forward Day by Day," daily devotionals and pray for the people who on the weekly prayer list of their church. This was probably their most important spiritual and emotional time together in those later years.

She loved the McNay, the Menil Art Museum and the Museum of Natural History in Houston. She always maintained an annual membership, so she could take her kids and grandkids to the museum. She always supported the arts with her time and her contributions. She encouraged her children and grandchildren and everyone to go to museums. In her years after Jack's death, she donated to over 30 natural, service, and artistic causes around the world sharing her financial gifts with organizations that were doing what she believed to be the Lord's work. It seemed she was on an extensive shared mailing list.

She leaves her children, John William DeForest (Nancy), Carol Anne DeForest (Barron Boyd), Catherine Gillespie (Rodney), Florence DeForest (Gerald Whitcomb), seven grandchildren, and twelve great grandchildren. Whenever the kids and grandkids came, she became totally absorbed into their lives taking them swimming, making picture books with them, and of course outings to the museums and beach.

Her guiding principle of life was "live simply, so that you can give generously." And that she did.

Memorials may be sent to St. Thomas Episcopal Church or to the AA programs at the church. You are invited to sign the Guestbook at

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Suggested Memorial Donations

  • St. Thomas Episcopal Church
    1416 N. Loop 1604 East
    San Antonio, TX 78232

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Porter Loring Mortuary North

2102 North Loop 1604 East
San Antonio, TX 78232
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