Ann ("Andy") Fleming, much-admired and much-loved, died peacefully on April 26, 2012, surrounded by her family. She would have been ninety in August.
Ann was born in Des Moines on August 31, 1922 to James Wilson Wallace and Virginia Stubbs Wallace. Ann grew up in Des Moines and graduated from Roosevelt High School. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Iowa State University, where, in middle age, she did post-graduate work at the College of Design in the field of landscape architecture. She married Robert J. Fleming in 1944 in Des Moines and in 1950 moved with him to their farm in Carlisle, where they would live for the rest of their lives. Bob died in 2007.
Ann was the great-granddaughter of Henry ("Uncle Henry") Wallace and Nancy Cantwell Wallace, founders and editors of the agricultural journal, Wallace's Farmer. Her paternal grandfather was Henry Cantwell Wallace, Editor of Wallace's Farmer and, at the time of his death, United States Secretary of Agriculture. Her uncle was Henry Agard Wallace, Vice President of the United States of America, U. S. Secretary of Agriculture, and U. S. Secretary of Commerce. H. A. Wallace, along with Ann's father and other Iowans, were founders of the Pioneer Hi-Bred Seed Corn Company.
Gardening and agriculture were in her blood. Ann was a landscape designer and the owner/manager of Danamere Nursery in Carlisle, where she propagated, grew, and sold shade trees and ornamental shrubs. Her particular interest was to introduce unusual or under-represented plants to Iowa gardens. Ann was an Instructor in Residential Landscape in the Adult Education Department of Carlisle High School.
Public service was a parallel and consuming career. Ann was an energetic volunteer and leader at an extraordinary number of Iowa charities and educational institutions. At the time of her death she was a Trustee of Simpson College in Indianola. She chaired the Carlisle School Board. A dedicated environmentalist, she served as a Founding Director and as President of the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, as a Director and Zone Chair of The Garden Club of America, as President of the Des Moines Founders Garden Club, as a Director of the Des Moines Botanical Center, and as a Director of the Iowa Environmental Council. She was also a member of the boards of Planned Parenthood of Des Moines and of the Civic Music Association. She served as President of Orchard Place and was a member of the ISU School of Design's Development Council.
Ann was a President of the Des Moines Junior League and co-chaired the Woman's Division of the Des Moines United Way Campaign. She was a member of Proteus and of the National Society of The Colonial Dames of America. Notably, she was the first female president of The Pioneer Club of Des Moines.
Ann's primary charitable interest in recent years was the Wallace House Foundation of Des Moines (now merged with the H. A. Wallace Birthplace Foundation in Orient and renamed the Wallace Centers of Iowa). There, she was a founding Trustee and Chair and was a tireless supporter of the Centers' educational and community-building mission and programs.
Ann Wallace Fleming is survived by her brother, David Wallace; by three sons, Robert (Susan), James (Allison), and Erik (Torrance Watkins); by five granddaughters, Jennifer Smith (Marty), Elizabeth Fleming (James Worrell), Katherine Capecchi (Dan), Christine Halbrook (John), and Anne Wright (Bill); and by seven great-grandchildren, with an eighth on the way. She is also survived by her devoted friends, Tom and Mary Jo Williams.
Visitation will be the evening of Thursday, May 10 from 4:00 to 6:00 at Iles Funeral Homes -Dunn's Chapel, 2121 Grand Avenue, Des Moines. The family invites all who wish to join in celebrating Ann's life to attend a memorial service on Friday, May 11 at 10:30 AM at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, where the deceased was a lifelong member.
It was Ann's wish that, in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be directed to the Wallace Centers of Iowa, the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, Orchard Place, or the Cathedral Church of St. Paul.
ARRANGEMENTS BY ILES FUNERAL HOMES ~ DUNN'S CHAPEL.
Read Ann Fleming's Obituary and Guestbook on ilesfuneralhomes.com.