Ann H. Briski, 96, of Thorp, Wisconsin passed away on November 10, 2020. Heartland Hospice and Lake Hallie Memory Care provided Ann with exceptional care and abundant love during the final years of her amazing life. All those who knew Ann were changed for the better by the joy she inspired through her genuine heart, sweet spirit, and beautiful smile.
Ann was born November 13, 1923 in Schiller Park, Illinois to Basil and Martha (Straszkowski) Harycki. She received her early education at Yeager School, and graduated from Thorp High School in 1941. After graduation, Ann worked at Thorp Finance Corporation from 1941 to 1945. She then moved to Chicago, Illinois, and took a job with Employer’s Mutual Insurance Company in the Secretarial Department.
Ann married Frank N. Briski on September 6, 1947 at St. Matthew’s Church, Chicago Illinois. To hear her tell their story, Grandma would say, "There weren’t many men to choose from after the war. Grandpa was in good shape… He never had a fighting chance!" After the birth of their first son, James, the family moved to Thorp in 1950. They later welcomed a second son, Larry, and a daughter, Susan into the world. Ann and Frank farmed until 1970. Ann then worked for ITT Insurance Company as a Secretary, retiring in 1981.
As a member of the American Legion Auxiliary and Parish Council of Catholic Women (PCCW) for St. Bernard-Hedwig Church of Thorp, WI, Ann enjoyed being active and working to help others every opportunity she was given. Her selfless heart of service was a gift to her family and her community. She loved gardening, flowers, needlework, cooking and baking. Her greatest love was her grandchildren. She also adored her wonderful great-grandchildren, and she enjoyed baby-sitting and watching them grow-up. Grandpa’s angels, Jessica and Sarah, were honored to become Grandma’s angels in the later years. They were blessed throughout their lives by a role model of unshakable faith, genuine beauty, and the kind of strength that can triumph over unimaginable hardship. Ann cultivated a legacy of deep and abiding love throughout the many lives fortunate to be touched by hers.
Ann is survived by one daughter, Susan (Andrew) Corrao; one daughter-in-law, Darlene Slowiak; three grandchildren, Phillip Briski, Jessica (Rick) Podolak, and Sarah (Brad) Rogers; and her great-grandchildren, Carissa, Hunter, Brendan, Riley, Kaylee, Logan, Camryn, Grace, and Luke; as well as many nieces, nephews and extended family, including her extra special nieces, Theresa and Kathy. She is preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Frank (1999); two sons, Larry (1978) and Jimmy (2019); her brother, Joseph Harycki; her sisters - Marie Kautenberg, Florence Olsak, and Dorothy Briski, and many other dear family members and friends. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.
Ann wished for this poem to be shared when her earthly journey ended:
When I come to the end of the road, and when the sun sets for me.
I want no rites in a gloom-filled room. Why cry for a soul set free?
Miss me awhile, but not too long, and not with your head bowed low.
Remember the love we once shared. Miss me, but let me go.
For this is a journey that we all must take, and each one must go alone.
It’s all a part of the Master’s plan, a step on the road to home.
When you are lonely and sick at heart, go to friends in need.
Bury your sorrow not in tears, but instead in doing good deeds.
Miss me, but let me go, for I am forever home.