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In loving memory of
Ann Marie Zvanovec
  • November 12, 1937
  • -
  • November 10, 2020

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Obituary

Ann Marie (Tebbetts) Zvanovec passed away at age 82 on November 10, 2020 in The Villages, Florida, where she had been living upon leaving her long-time home, Sea Cabin, in Newport, Rhode Island. Ann was born in Salem, Massachusetts. She was raised in Peabody, MA by her maternal grandparents, William and Annie Marrs. She learned to sew at age four on her nana’s treadle sewing machine by making clothes for her thirteen dolls. Ann attended Peabody schools, and after graduating from high school she studied at night at Merrimack College while she worked day jobs at Old Mr. Boston and Raytheon. At a dance at the Sherry Biltmore Hotel ballroom in Boston in early 1959, Ann met a young navy lieutenant, Joe Zvanovec. They were married in January of 1960, beginning an adventurous life together, and their three daughters were born in the early sixties. Joe always told her that he couldn’t believe his good fortune to have married such a beauty. As a family, they moved to many duty stations throughout the United States and South America during Joe’s years of service in the U.S. Navy. In the late 1970s after returning from Brazil, Ann went back to the “civilian” work force in Newport, Rhode Island, armed with the skills she had learned after two decades as a navy wife along with her innate determination, style, and grace under pressure. In the mid-1980s, Ann and Joe moved to San Diego, CA—driving across the United States with Fred, their Amazon parrot. Ann eventually rose through the ranks to serve as assistant vice president at Science Applications International Corporation in corporate business development. At home, her amazing design eye transformed the house and garden which were always evolving, and Joe would say when Ann arrived back home a feeling of warmth would suffuse the house. She was constantly learning something new and challenging which brought beauty to our lives, such as attaining a certificate of mastery in ikebana from the Ohara School, and throughout her life she made incredible quilts, wall hangings, and clothing. During the COVID-19 global pandemic, Ann made well over 100 face masks for family and friends. In Newport she enjoyed sewing and quilting with the Flamingos, and in The Villages with the Southern Belles. She earned numerous awards for her quilts from Quilters by the Sea. After retirement, Ann relished being a tour guide in the Newport mansions, including the Breakers and the Elms. Her spirit of volunteerism and love of Rhode Island’s “lively experiment” led her to serve many years on the Newport Historic District Commission and the Castle Hill Neighborhood Association. An unforgettable, elegant, generous, and dynamic spirit with boundless energy, we can’t believe she is gone. She was preceded in death by her husband of fifty-six years, Cdr. Ladimir Joseph Zvanovec, USN Ret., parents Eleanor and Burle Tebbetts, and brother William Tebbetts, of Boston, MA. She is survived by her three daughters, Kathleen Zvanovec (Timothy Higbee) of Hope, ME; Denise Zvanovec (Liang-Neng Wong) of San Rafael, CA; and Nancy Richardson of San Diego, CA. She leaves behind her siblings Albert Tebbetts (Maria), Robert Tebbetts (Julie), and Eleanor Barnard (Fred), all of The Villages, FL. Her loss is mourned by her brother-in-law Joel Zvanovec (Jeannie) of Haskins, OH. She is also survived by two grandsons, Shane Clayton (Noele) of Poway, CA and Gavin Wong of San Rafael, CA along with many nieces and nephews throughout the United States. Because of COVID-19, the family will be celebrating Ann’s life at a later date. She will be interred at the Massachusetts National Cemetery on Cape Cod.


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  1. 16 Jan 2021
    Marguerite O’Rourke lit a candle:
    Lit since January 16, 2021 at 1:59:15 PM

  2. 04 Jan 2021
    Patrick McGrath says:
    Kathy, Nancy, and Denise,
    I was so saddened to see the news of the passing of your Mom. What a flood of memories and emotion thinking back through all of the years that I have had the pleasure of knowing your family. Ann and Joe were always so gentle, kind, and trusting in our relationship as their contractor and throughout the years I have known you all since High School.
    Ann had a great laugh. We could talk for hours and she was always so exuberant in whatever she took on. Her excitement was infectious when she dove into a new project and she finished whatever she started as a Master. As Turner said, her tenure on the HDC was professional and she loved to do her homework. The work that she did when she quilted was extraordinary! The remarkable quilts she made were so beautiful and anyone who has one of her masterpieces should be very proud! It makes me sad to drive by the old house on Mary Jane and not see the Sea Cabin sign over the door, as your home will always be Sea Cabin to me. I am one of the lucky ones to have known your parents so well and I hope that you all have nothing but wonderful memories of them. Ann is in my prayers and will always be remembered as a happy person that you wanted to be near. My blessings to you all.

  3. 04 Jan 2021
    Turner C. Scott says:
    I had the pleasure of knowing Ann in Newport. I read of her rich life in the Newport Daily News and remember the times I appeared before her on behalf of clients presenting before the Newport Historic District Commision. Ann was always kind, helpful, articulate and smart. In the 40 plus years of practicing law in this community I can surely say Ann ranked up there as one of the bright lights of people who served their community. Always with Ann in a gracious manner, willing smile and style . There have been many times since her tenure on the Commission that I have yearned for her steady hand and insightful comments to guide the Commission along. I am sure the random thoughts of her will soon happily fill your day with her smile and spirit , knowing she loved you in her special way.

  4. 03 Jan 2021
    Robin Murdock says:
    Dear Kathy, Denise, and Nancy,

    Sending my condolences to each of you with your recent loss.

    Reading the beautiful obituary tribute only lends itself to the memories I have of your mother, as it speaks to what an extraordinary person she truly was. She made and left her mark on this world, and with it remains her legacy, which is something to celebrate now and always.

    Hoping for each of you that with the passing of time, the memories of your shared life history and bond with your mom will aid you and light the way through your loss and process of grieving. Know, too, that although unseen, the love between her and each of you and your respective families is something that with her legacy, can and will never change.

    In sympathy,
    Robin (Cilette) Murdock

  5. 31 Dec 2020
    LK3W lit a candle:
    Lit since December 31, 2020 at 12:08:14 PM

  6. 19 Nov 2020
    PAMELA B. PETERS lit a candle:
    Lit since November 19, 2020 at 11:10:13 PM

  7. 18 Nov 2020
    Nancy & Joe Tierno says:
    Mrs Zvanovec,
    You will truly be missed by all your family and friends. I will always remember you as that sweet caring loving soul. Thank you for always welcoming me and my family into your beautiful homes, in Newport and Florida. Nancy has been a best friend of mine for a very long time and I promise I will be here for her the days ahead. You raised 3 beautiful daughters and I will keep them all in my prayers. May you Rest In Peace and back in the arms of your true love. You will deeply be missed.
    Love “Little” Nancy & Joe and family, Justin, Jared and Stephanie ❤️

  8. 18 Nov 2020
    Nancy & Joe Tierno lit a candle:
    Lit since November 18, 2020 at 11:16:33 PM

  9. 18 Nov 2020
    Shane Clayton says:
    You gave all your children and grandchildren a wonderful life, enriched the lives of your siblings and all who called you friend. I feel privileged to have known you and am forever grateful for having you in my life.

    Your kindness and laughter will live on in our hearts.

    Love you always Nana.

  10. 18 Nov 2020
    Shane Clayton lit a candle:
    Lit since November 18, 2020 at 11:40:21 PM

  11. 18 Nov 2020
    Eleanor & Fred Barnard lit a candle:
    Lit since November 18, 2020 at 11:15:30 PM

  12. 18 Nov 2020
    Julie Marvel says:
    She lived a wonderful and full life and was loved by so many. She will be missed every day.
    xo

  13. 18 Nov 2020
    Denise Zvanovec says:
    Dear Mom,

    Life will never be the same without you. You have been the best Mom ever, and my rock and foundation. We miss you.

    Love you always, Denise

  14. 18 Nov 2020
    Denise Zvanovec lit a candle:
    Lit since November 18, 2020 at 11:37:30 PM

  15. 18 Nov 2020
    Nancy Richardson says:
    What a wonderful mother and friend. You will be truly missed. God's peace.
    All my love, Nancy

  16. 18 Nov 2020
    Nancy Richardson lit a candle:
    Lit since November 18, 2020 at 11:32:33 PM

  17. 17 Nov 2020
    Kathy Zvanovec lit a candle:
    Lit since November 17, 2020 at 11:50:20 AM

  18. 17 Nov 2020
    Kathy Zvanovec lit a candle:
    Lit since November 17, 2020 at 11:49:57 AM

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