Ann Kinney McCraw went to the Lord she loved so dearly on December 10, 2022. She was born in Sinton, Texas to now deceased family members, Fearil Troutman Kinney and Samuel Kinney.
She is survived by her loving daughters, Elizabeth (Betty) Buenning (Steven, deceased), Carol Ann Benningfield, two adoring grandchildren Amy Sturm (Kevin) and Mark Buenning, and beloved greatgrandchildren, Margaret Ann and Emma Rose Sturm.
After World War I, when her dad came back shell shocked, she went from the farm to town and was raised by her dear foster mother and father, Joe D. and Maydee Sparks, who called her “Lollipop”. Ann loved Texas and its people, her ancestors were pioneers of the state and her heart was as big as her home. She particularly loved Rockport and decided when she first visited there at 8 years old that she wanted to live there some day. She played the violin for President Taft when he and met President Roosevelt when he came to Texas to fish. She made each place she lived, better by her contributions.
Ann graduated from Sinton High School as Salutatorian. After graduation, she attended secretarial school in San Antonio, worked at Ft. San Houston, met and married Gordon Benningfield (deceased). They lived for a time in Tulsa, San Antonio to Corpus Christi until they settled in Mathis, Texas where she lived until 1971. She married the love of her life, Arnold McCraw in 1972. During her years in Mathis, she was a very accomplished business member and community leader. She founded the credit bureau, Chamber of Commerce, PTA at Mathis ISD, and the Order of the Rainbow for Girl’s Chapter in Mathis. She was a Past Matron at Mathis Chapter, OES. She taught at the state credit institute and won the Chilton Award for the Outstanding Credit Bureau in Texas. She was a member of Business & Professional Women and the Mathis Study Club. Arnold and Ann retired to Rockport, Texas where she had always wanted to live in 1982. Arnold died in 1996 and Ann remained with her daughter Carol in Rockport for many years.
Ann was a devout Christian, she taught Sunday School all over South Texas, and helped and helped fund the building of chapels and cabins at church summer camps. In Rockport, she hosted a shrimp luncheon for all the volunteers at Camp Bandina in the Texas Hill Country. She was a fiery Texan -- the first woman to run for School Board in Mathis Texas – which she lost by only 35 votes. She served as president of Band Boosters, city secretary and was active in the Texas Municipal League. She always supported inclusivity and hosted the first party for the entire football team at MHS at her home. She also fought for Title 9 in Texas and advocated for funding of arts, cultural and music programs.
She visited the hospital rooms of many sick South Texans, always bringing joy, a willing hug, prayers (and sometimes pound cake) to those recovering in a hospital or at home. In Rockport, she was part of the original group of “little ‘ol ladies in white tennis shoes” that made crafts and sold crafts to fund the ambulance service that is now available to all in the Rockport-Fulton Area. She was an active member of The Rockport Chapter #479, Order of the Eastern, Rockport Church of Christ, and Bent Oaks Church of Christ.
After a rich and full life in Texas, Ann moved with her beloved dog, “Baby” to live with her daughter Betty and her son-in-law Steve in Palatine, Illinois, where she made new friends, especially at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Crystal Lake. In Chicagoland, Ann traveled to museums, art galleries and musicals and while she lost her vision, she never lost her zest for life of learned to live in the cold. In her final years she moved to Hyattsville, Mayland to live near her greatgranddaughters. Ann celebrated her 100th birthday there surrounded by family and friends.
In lieu of flower, Ann’s family requests donations to Bandina Christian Youth Camp, Bandera, Texas, the Spectrios Center for Low Vision in Wheaton, Illinois, or Sacred Heart Home, her home, in Hyattsville, Maryland.
Funeral service will be Saturday, March 25th at Charlie Marshall Funeral Home, 814 East Main Street, Rockport. Visitation beginning at 10:00 am, services at 11:00 am. There will be a luncheon afterwards at the Rockport Masonic Lodge Hall, 602 Hickory Avenue. All attending Ann’s celebration of life are welcome.