Ann Frigyesi Garriott

Ann Picture

Click to view: Live Stream. CODE: Cunningham

Ann Frigyesi Garriott

Ann was born in Sopron, Hungary on September 17, 1955 to Ferencz (Frank) and Anna Frigyesi. She passed away peacefully on January 22, 2021 in Alexandria, Virginia.

Soon after her birth, the Hungarian Revolution tore the country apart, forcing Ann’s parents to make the difficult decision to flee their homeland. With Ann, eighteen months old at the time, they narrowly escaped to Austria and eventually made their way to America. In February of 1957 they arrived in South Bend, Indiana, where a growing Hungarian community welcomed them. Ann’s sister, Maria, was born later that year.

As a young girl, Ann’s induction to become a United States citizen was nothing short of adorable. While signing her citizenship papers in the presence of a judge and her parents, wrought with nerves created by three onlooking adults, she accidentally spilled the contents of the judge’s inkwell onto his desk blotter. Endeared by her little flushed cheeks, the judge gave her a pat of encouragement and laughed, showing even then she had a knack for making an entrance.

Growing up in a Hungarian household, Ann started first grade at Our Lady of Hungary School without knowing the English language. Undeterred, she quickly established herself as an exceptional student while freeing her thoughts and creativity through sketching and painting, a promising hint of her talents to come. Her artistic ability gave her an eye for refinement, a piece of her essence she nurtured and gifted to others throughout her life.

As a young girl, Ann recited Hungarian poetry, written by her mother, at many events honoring Hungarian freedom fighters. She learned various folk dances from her native country and, for several years, performed them in the annual Harvest dance celebrations wearing costumes sewed by her mother. At the age of ten, Ann and her family returned to Hungary for the first time since coming to America, where they reunited with their overseas relatives.

Although Ann’s parents did not have a strong grasp of the English language, they were determined to not throw away their shot at the American dream. Ultimately, Ann’s parents established a successful home building and remodeling business in their new country. As their family business grew, it became Ann’s responsibility to translate and write sales contracts throughout her childhood. Participation in the family business extended to helping out at open houses, subdivision grand openings, and other similar events. Through experiences like these, Ann developed an extraordinary work ethic at a very young age, a core value which defined her throughout her adult life.

Ann entered Marian High School In 1969 and flourished as an Honor student. She continued her education at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana, and in 1977 she graduated magna cum laude. Thereafter, she earned a Juris Doctor from the Valparaiso University School of Law in 1980.

While in Law School, she met the love of her life, Gale Garriott. As a first year law student, Ann’s striking appearance was immediately noticed by several potential suitors. But serendipity intervened and provided an opportunity for the one that had an instantaneous feeling of love at first sight to win her heart. They were married in 1981 and together they relocated to Arizona. For most of her legal career she was a prosecuting attorney for city and state governments. She practiced law with an innate sense of command, but also with a touch of humor. She was affectionately nicknamed “Zsa Zsa” by her favorite judge, to which she often responded by playfully tugging on his tie, something her effortless charm allowed her, and only her, to get away with.

Although somewhat hesitant to fully accept living in the Southwest, her skepticism faded to a brightened perspective for how truly beautiful her life in the desert could be. Ann made Arizona her home for over thirty years and found comfort in the warm environment perpetually filled with blue skies and sunshine. In addition to the bond built among family, she also shared life’s experiences with a special group of loving friends.

While in Arizona, home improvement projects became one of her very favorite activities. She knew her way around a Home Depot like she knew her way around a Nordstrom and was constantly on the lookout for ways to upgrade her family’s home in her unique style.

Later in life, Ann’s career path reunited with her upbringing in her parent’s residential construction business. She found a special passion as a realtor because she had learned first-hand how fulfilling it was to be part of the solution that connected people with homes. Her clients quickly learned that she had their best interests at heart and to trust her advice because she would not hesitate to steer them away from a potential sale that she knew wasn’t quite right for them, even if that meant giving up a commission.

Throughout Ann’s life, her children were a source of pride and great joy. She fiercely protected them, and they lovingly nicknamed her, “Mama Bear.” Ann had a clear sense of how life should be lived and taught her children to become well turned-out adults whom others would respect. She served as a strong female role model for Lexi and showed her how to navigate life’s challenges gracefully but with conviction, regularly referring to her as a glass of “pink champagne”. Understanding Andy’s goals in life, Ann knew the weight of her words and how her advice would leave an everlasting imprint for Andy to use as a guiding light to reach his potential, fully aware of what her “baby dog” was capable of achieving.

In addition to her children, Ann also developed a special affection for Bichon Frises, and they returned the feeling by always being at her side. To no one’s surprise, she even managed to train and then certify her beloved “PJ” as a service dog.

In 2014, Ann moved to Alexandria, Virginia to join her husband because of his job relocation. She embraced the culture of the Washington, D.C. metro area and formed many special friendships there. Getting lost in museums, immersing herself in theater performances, experiencing musical events, and exploring her new surroundings were just a few of her favorite things. She delighted in becoming a knowledgeable tour guide of her new-found home to her family and friends. She never missed an opportunity to ride along with her many visitors who wanted to explore the city by taking a Segway tour.

Not only did Ann have a very inquisitive mind but she was also a life-long learner. From a young age, she was a voracious reader and pursued knowledge for its own sake. As a result, she became a skilled conversationalist who could talk with anyone about anything, which she thoroughly enjoyed. She was equally at ease starting a conversation with strangers in a sports bar as she was discussing the issues of the day with persons attending a black-tie event.

Ann was a beautiful person, both inside and out. She was elegant, charming, generous, and playful – classic with a twist. She would entertain everyone with the kind of witty humor that caused listeners to burst out with laughter. She was an amazing problem solver and rarely missed finding the perfect answer. She had a remarkable eye for quality and an unmatched talent for making everything and everyone in her family look and feel better. Her energy was contagious and doing anything with her was always memorable. She had a presence that cannot be replaced.

She will be missed by everyone that came to know her.

Ann was preceded in death by her parents, is survived by her husband, Gale, their two children, Lexi and Andy, and her sister Maria Frigyesi Etling.

A celebration of life memorial service starting at 1:00 pm is planned for February 27, 2021 at the Cunningham Funeral Home, 811 Cameron Street, Alexandria, Virginia (cunninghamfuneralhome.net). A memorial service in Scottsdale, Arizona will follow at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations to Arizona Power Paws (www.azpowerpaws.org), a charitable organization whose mission is to provide highly skilled dogs to children and adults with disabilities, would be appreciated.

1 1

1 1

2

2

3

3

4

4

5

5

6

6

7

7

8

8

9

9

10

10

11

11

12 2

12 2

13

13

14

14

15

15

16

16

17

17

18

18

19

19

20

20

21

21

22

22

23

23

24

24

25

25

26

26

Offer Condolence for the family of Ann Frigyesi Garriott

Gathering

Cunningham Turch Funeral Home

811 Cameron Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

02/27/2021

1:00pm - 4:00pm

Celebration of Life

Cunningham Turch Funeral Home

811 Cameron Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

02/27/2021

1:00pm -

Condolence Messages

  1. Judy Hums says:

    Ann and I first met in a sewing/ craft class for high school students in downtown South Bend.

    Later we were roommates at St. Mary’s. We lived in a triple room and our 3rd roommate was a little unusual. We survived and learned a lot about different types of people.

    Ann was a wonderful roommate. I am happy that we remained friends while we remained in South Bend.

    I was sorry to read in the St. Mary’s Courier that Anne had passed away. I shall remember Ann and her family in my prayers.

  2. Cathy McIntyre says:

    Dear Gale, Lexi & Andy,

    I just heard today (3/11) of Ann’s passing. My hear breaks for all of you. As you well know, Ann was a vey special person. A friend to everyone she met and I am pleased to have been so lucky to have worked with her in her days at Scottsdale. Be assured of my prayers for her and for all of you. May she rest in peace.

  3. Steve and Diana Thelen says:

    We are friends of Maria and Chet who send our sympathy to Gale and family. We had the pleasure of getting to know Ann at gatherings that were held at Maria and Chet’s home . We loved Annie’s ability to make everyone feel welcome and smile . We enjoyed her social spirit and love for others . Her memory will never be lost in our hearts.

  4. Brian Hamer says:

    Gale, what a beautiful service on Saturday. My deepest condolences to you and your family. Please know that my thoughts are with you. Brian

  5. Terry Garber says:

    Gale, I am so sorry! Know all too well how hard this is. I enjoyed the few brief times I had with Ann; wish I could have known her better. Know that you and your families are in my prayers. May her memory always be a blessing.

  6. Ruth Truman says:

    So sad to hear about Ann’s passing– what an amazing lady! Gale, you did a wonderful job of writing about Ann’s life; so many things I never knew–it was sweet to read about her many passions in life. Your family was blessed to have her at the helm and we wish you many memories throughout the years to come.

    I met Ann at the Public Defender’s Office in 1981 when we were first “baby attorneys” together. She was fun to be around, smart and SOOOOO stylish– all the defendants would do a double take when we’d be given our assignments (back then you went to court with a stack of preliminary hearing files you’d just been handed for the day and once a handful of Public Defenders arrived, the jail guards would bring in a room full of defendants from the jails in their striped clothes, all chained together, and we’d squat down in front of them and try to have a private conversation about their case– “private” being a relative term back then, because everyone who was chained together could hear everybody else’s attorney discussing their options). I think many of the clients thought that they had somehow won the lottery and got an expensive, exclusive private attorney masquerading as a public defender.

    I know that the thing Ann wanted most of all was for all of you to be happy, so I’m hoping that even through your grief, you can carry that knowledge and indulge in happiness whenever and however you find it. That will make her smile. Rest in peace, Ann

    Ruth Truman

  7. Steve and Susie Bane says:

    To Gale, Lexi and Andy,

    Susie and I were so saddened by the news of Ann’s passing. We became life long friends around 20 years ago when Ann and Steve worked together. She was truly a beautiful person through and through and is missed.

    You are in our prayers, Steve and Susie Bane

  8. Rosie Bumgardner says:

    Our sincerest condolences to the Garriott and Frigyesi families. Ann loved our daughter, Jenny, whom she once upon a time sat next to on a flight to DC. This chance encounter would eventually bring Andy, whom we think the world of, and Jenny together. My husband shared with me the multiple conversations he had with Ann and Gale that he felt a bond with. I only wish we had more time with her. Rest in Peace and know we will always remember her spirit and beautiful energy.

  9. Julie Mack says:

    To Ann’s family: What a wonderful tribute to her. I so thoroughly enjoyed volunteering with her at Hillwood as a Visitor Services Volunteer. She was such “a light!.” I so enjoyed her effervescent, joyful, and endlessly selfless personality. Her amazing spirit greatly extended to visitors at Hillwood, but more gratefully to us, her co-VSVs. She was a true joy. I pray that your memories of her— so amazing, and so long-lasting for so many — will provide you comfort through this difficult time. She made a difference for so many in her life. What an impact. Not many can say that.
    So very fondly.

    Julie Mack

  10. Dave and Char Geisler says:

    What a privilege it was to have known Ann and to see first hand the love that she had for her family, especially for the love of her life. That love is reflected back in her obituary which you so lovingly crafted, Gale, Lexi, Andy, and Mary. Her memory will always be a blessing.

  11. Amy Lieberman says:

    Ann was a warm, loving, witty, smart and classy woman, and one of the best friends I have ever had in my life. Her loss is one I will feel deeply forever. Rick and I send our love and heartfelt sympathies to you all.

  12. John Tasker says:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you Gale, Lexie, and Andy. Ann had many special qualities and you should keep that in mind as you grieve her loss. You all have a bright future ahead of you. Rely on God to give you strength. Take care… John and Marijana Tasker

  13. Betty and Ted Booden says:

    Maria, I’m so sorry you lost a wonderful sister. Reading her obituary I was blown away by all this woman had accomplished and then I realized this was your sister.
    Ted and I send our deep condolences to your family.

  14. Verenda says:

    Everyone could see the incredible bond that Gale and Ann forged over the many decades of their marriage. They were quick to share their stories of life together, their early dates, that exceptional parking ticket story, Ann’s oh-so-characteristic boldness to chat up a flight seatmate to get a date for Andy, their delight in flying halfway across the continent to participate together in wedding cake tasting and venue shopping for Lexi … Ann left behind a family that was shaped by her voice as a mom, her strength and laughter as a life partner, her bubbling delight at life itself. The most painful part of love is saying goodbye, so your pain at losing Ann must be soul-crushing. But in creating her family, she also created the force that will carry you through … together.

  15. Mike Reissig says:

    Larrilyn and I were very saddened to hear of Ann’s passing. It was a pleasure the see and talk to her at several events through the years. Our thoughts and prayers are with Gale, who has always been such a fine gentleman and a pleasure to work with.

  16. Terri Steenblock says:

    Sending my deepest sympathy. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

  17. Meg and Mike Sweigart says:

    Gale,
    Mike and I were so saddened to hear of Anna’s passing. We have too many fond memories from the old college days and beyond to mention. Our hearts go out to you all. She had a huge, bigger than life personality and heart. We will miss her dearly.

  18. Charlie Helms says:

    Gale and family,

    I don’t even know what to say other than that my heart aches for you. Ann was indeed a beautiful person both inside and out.

    I remember being around Ann at several events, but the most unforgettable was during your recent Zoom, FTA retirement party. Ann smiled so brightly as you told the story of how you met and how you courted her. The love you shared seemed to burst right out my computer screen. You have in my thoughts and prayers constantly since I got the call from Terri S. sharing the horrible news.

    May you be comforted by the memories you shared and by the thoughts, prayers and support of friends and family. If I (we) can help in anyway, we are here for you.

    Sincerely,
    Charlie Helms

  19. John L. Valentine says:

    We are so sad to hear of the passing of the light of Gale’s life, his beautiful wife Ann. She was a light to all of us in the professional tax community, where Gale served. Her light will continue in all of us. May the Lord’s richest blessings be on the family that remains until we all return again to Him who created us.

    Commissioner John L. Valentine,
    President, Federation of Tax Administrators

  20. Darrell Reeves says:

    My condolences and prayers goes out to Gale and the family.

  21. Linda Tanton says:

    Gale:

    I was so sorry to learn of Ann’s passing. I hope that your memories of your wonderful years with Ann will provide some comfort during these difficult months ahead.

    Please know that you and your family are in my prayers.

  22. Jane DeCell says:

    I will deeply miss Ann. We spent so may happy afternoons together behind the Hillwood volunteer desk. While her knowledge of Hillwood greatly benefitted visitors, it was her gracious welcome that imparted the spirit of Marjorie Post. She was a beautiful person and warm friend to me and our Sunday afternoon team. I extend my deepest sympathy to Ann’s family at this time of loss.

  23. Michelle Minnich Spencer says:

    Anna was one of the weekend warriors at Hillwood. She was a wonderful person with whom to work and to chat, imparting words of encouragement and constant warmth to visitors and colleagues alike. Her easy smile and immense joy at wedding planning are my fondest memories. She is dearly missed. My deepest condolences to her friends and family.

  24. Kiska Williams says:

    Ann was a Sunday Sister at Hillwood. She brightened any visitor’s experience with her friendly, welcoming manner. Her smile, her flare for clothes and hats, her joy at wedding planning are some of my fond memories. She is missed. My deepest sympathies.

  25. Vanessa Cieslak says:

    I am so sorry to hear about Anna. We were in the same group of volunteers that started at Hillwood in the fall of 2018. I really enjoyed working with Anna and getting to know her better. She had such a gracious and welcoming nature and visitors to Hillwood were lucky to have their initial introduction to the estate when talking with her. I will miss her and so deeply sorry such a vibrant person is no longer with us. My deepest condolences to Anna’s family and friends.

  26. Wilhelmina Irshad says:

    Ann, I will miss you very much at Hillwood. You your kind emails and card during my illness were such a support. I will miss your smile, graciousness and vibrant self. Rest in peace, dear Ann. I will not forget you.

  27. Fran Vogel says:

    Ann will be in my heart whenever I go to Hillwood. She was lovely and a good friend. She will be very missed.
    My condolences to all of you

  28. Tom Etling says:

    Carrying a lifetime of memories of you in my heart forever. I will miss you and our long phone chats and many good times together. Rest In Peace.

  29. Khalil Garriott says:

    Uncle Gale, Andy & Lexi: Expressing my deep sympathies for your loss. Aunt Ann was a funny, sweet, thoughtful, loving person in the family. Try to celebrate her life instead of mourn her passing. Thinking of all of you.

  30. Katie Brockhoff says:

    How lucky are we to have such great memories with Annie, the best aunt and godmother a girl could ask for. Will always remember those memories. We will forever miss you and love you.

  31. Jimmy and Lizzie Fahey says:

    We’ll cherish all of the wonderful memories we made as a family throughout the years together. We’ll love and miss you always, Annie. <3

  32. Maria Etling says:

    My beloved sister…

    After Glow
    Unknown Author
    I’d like the memory of me
    To be a happy one.
    I’d like to leave an after glow
    Of smiles when life is done.
    I’d like to leave an echo
    Whispering softly down the ways,
    Of happy times and laughing times
    And bright and sunny days.
    I’d like the tears of those who grieve,
    To dry before the sun
    Of happy memories
    That I leave when life is done.

  33. Jean Petersen says:

    Gary and I are long distant cousins who wish to send our Condolences to Gale and their families. Parting is sweet sorrow and reminds us how much we love each other and how much God loves all of us. We will all meet again in the great plan of happiness on the other side of the veil.

Leave Your Condolence

Please share your message of condolence with the family, It will be visible to the public but your email address will not be published. Required fields (*)

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.