Anne Alice Fleming

Anne Alice Fleming passed away peacefully Dec. 10, 2016, at the age of 94. 

She was born to Herbert H. Thoet and Mary Elizabeth McGonigle. Her father changed his name from Herman during a period of anti-German feeling, as his brother was gassed by the Germans during World War I.

The longtime resident of Garden City and Cutchogue, Anne was the grandchild of immigrants and the first woman in her family to graduate with a baccalaureate. She married Navy pilot William J. Fleming in 1945, who predeceased her.

In 1949 during a polio epidemic, Anne was returning home and realized she may have the contagious virus. She spent over two years in the hospital; the first in an iron lung as she labored to live. Later she asked to be taken off the anti-psychotic drugs and returned home to navigate her family and her life in the ironsides of an Everest and Jennings.

Anne attempted rehabilitation, occasionally walking with crutches and braces and swimming in the ocean and pools. She drove with hand controls and whenever a problem arose, she waited and relied on the decency of unknown Samaritans, the UPS man, service station attendants and a wonderful group of supportive friends and family. Overcoming her physical limits, Anne read, volunteered and attended the theater and museums with a boundless energy, all the while cooking, cleaning and mentoring her young family.

Never defined by her limitations, Anne occasionally endured the inelegant stares and thoughts of those denigrating the disabled. She lived an authentic life before handicapped accessibility, but in the American Dream, was always seated, ever ready, no better than anyone and no less either.

She is survived by her sons, Herb and Bill and five grandchildren, H.J., Kristin, Ashley, Brian and Catharine and four great-grandchildren.

A memorial shall be held at a later date. She would ask that contributions be made to Mercy Hospital, where she served as a volunteer and treasurer.