July 28, 2014


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National Anthem-WHS Choir


Ann Marie Eagan Print E-mail

Dec. 8, 1957-March 14, 2014

Ann Eagan was born in Waushara County.  She was the second child of Jim and Vonnie Eagan, who owned and managed a family dairy farm outside of Wautoma.

After graduating from Wautoma High School, Ann decided to attend Northern Arizona University in faraway Flagstaff where she met her future husband, Phil (Tony) Mlsna, in an astrophysics class in 1978. After graduating in May 1980 with a Bachelor’s degree in Astronomy and Atmospheric Physics, Ann joined Phil who was working for a high-tech company in Fort Collins, CO. She eventually found her way into a classified staff position at the library of Colorado State University. It was there that she found her passion for library work and decided to make librarianship her career.

Ann loved living in Colorado where she made many friends and became active in numerous outdoors pursuits including hiking and backpacking in the Rockies as well as travelling to explore the national parks in the western U.S. She became an avid belly dancer and co-founded a local dance troupe called “The Flames of the Desert”.  She also published a newsletter for the belly dance community in northern Colorado.

Ann and Phil wed in February 1989. By the late 80’s, Ann had decided to pursue graduate work in Library Science and, along with Phil, journeyed to the University of Arizona in Tucson where she completed her Masters in Library Science in December 1990. She worked for two years at the University of Nevada, Reno managing a branch library, returning to Tucson in 1992 as Phil pursued his Ph.D. in electrical engineering.  Ann worked in the Science and Engineering Library at University of Arizona until the summer of 1999, when she was hired at Northern Arizona University as Head of the Reference Department at Cline Library. She remained there for the rest of her career.

Ann contracted a rare and aggressive form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in early 2007. Although she achieved complete remission through chemotherapy, the disease returned four years later.  Additional chemotherapy kept it at bay until January of this year. Despite the best efforts of her oncologists and other physicians, she was unable to survive this renewed battle with cancer. Family and friends were at her side when Ann passed away at the University Medical Center in Tucson.

Ann was active in a variety of organizations in the Flagstaff community, serving as General Chairman of the 2007 Climb to Conquer Cancer and secretary of the Master Gardener Association of Flagstaff. She was active in the Flagstaff Dark Skies Coalition and the local Cancer Support Group. Ann was also a volunteer and docent at the Flagstaff Arboretum as well as a regular presence in Jack Welch’s walking group as they left footprints all over Flagstaff. She accomplished over a dozen backpack trips in Grand Canyon National Park and several river trips on the Colorado and the San Juan. In recent years, she and her husband travelled to British Columbia, Ireland, central China, and the United Kingdom.

She made friends easily and many became lifelong friends. Ann’s positive outlook and can-do attitude were infectious and endearing. She always looked for the best in people.  Her cats were central to her life so much so tht Phil often called her “The Cat Whisperer”.

Ann was preceded in death by her parents: James and LaVan (Knickelbine) Eagan.  She is survived by her husband: Phil Mlsna, Flagstaff; her brother: Patrick Eagan and wife, Mary Jo, Phoenix; and her sisters: Margaret (Peg) Eagan and husband, Larry Names, and Kathryn and husband Michael Auck of central Wisconsin. She has numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins scattered across the U.S. and beyond.

A Celebration of Life of Ann Eagan was held on Saturday, March 29 at the Flagstaff Arboretum.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in Ann’s name to either the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society of the American Cancer Society https://donate.lls.org/lls/donate or toward a memorial landscape feature to be placed at The Arboretum at Flagstaff, 4001 S. Woody Mountain Rd., Flagstaff AZ 86001-8775 http://www.thearb.org.


 

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