Ann Louise Flierl, age 78, a lifelong Port Washington, WI resident who quietly and thoughtfully went about brightening the lives of family, friends and anyone she encountered, left this world while sitting in the light of the morning on Feb. 5, 2021.
Born Ann Gryga, she was the youngest daughter of a furniture designer John Gryga and a seamstress, Clara Dominiak, who developed a deep love for her hometown on walks to school along the lakeshore, past Smith Bros. Restaurant, through downtown and up the hill to St. Mary Catholic Church. She graduated from the adjoining school in 1956, and Port Washington High School in 1960.
She married William Flierl August 26, 1967 and the two raised two children, Kathryn and Thomas, mostly on Larabee Street, but later on Roger Street where their home was a touchstone for friends, as well as nieces and nephews, who were always welcomed as one of her own. Ann was a Girl Scout troop leader and active in parish life, from the Christian Mothers to serving as president of the St. Mary School Board. Ann and William were deeply in love and devoted to each other, each a source of strength when the other needed it most, and exceptionally proud of their children. Ann’s career was spent as a paralegal in the Ozaukee County Corporation Counsel’s Office where she retired in 2008.
Her retirement neatly coincided with the birth of her first grandchild. She was a devoted grandmother who believed in making special memories with her grandchildren. She planned outings to museums and parks, each usually followed by a visit to the candy store. She never missed a concert, school event or special occasion and she loved hosting sleepovers, which were followed by blueberry pancake breakfasts.
Ann had a lifelong love of travel, always eager for the next adventure, filling photo album after photo album with images from Germany, France, Austria, Luxembourg and, more recently, trips to Italy and Poland with her sister, Mary. The two could be inseparable, enjoying long walks, shopping trips, sneaking a shot of Krupnik at Polish Fest and time with a circle of friends that went back decades.
Ann was active in civic affairs. She was a member and past president of the Port Washington Historical Society and champion of the restoration of the Light Station and, more recently, construction of the Explorium. She worked tirelessly on events, especially the society’s annual fund-raising gala, and went out of her way to assure every detail was perfect.
That same care extended to her love of having family over, where there always seemed to be fresh flowers on the dining room table, appetizers at the ready and — for the grandkids — ice cream in the freezer.
Her passing leaves a deep hole in the lives of family and friends, one that will not soon — or easily — be filled.
She is survived by her husband of 53 years, William; her daughter Kathryn (Greg) Borowski; son Thomas (Jennifer) Flierl, and her beloved grandchildren, Annaliese, Audrey and George, as well as her sister, Mary (Theodore) Flierl, brother-in-law John (Pat) Flierl, sister-in-law Carol Gryga, and a host of adoring nieces and nephews, and their families, as well as cousins and extended family throughout the country.
She was preceded in death by her parents, John and Clara (Dominiak) Gryga, three brothers John, James and Charles Gryga, and sister-in-law Betty Gryga.
A family Mass has been celebrated. A future celebration of Ann’s life will be held.
Memorials should be made to Port Washington Historical Society, PO Box 491, Port Washington, WI 53074 (www.pwhistory.org).