Annette (Shannon) Spann


Annette Spann, also fondly known as Net and Nettie, was born in Waterbury, Connecticut. Daughter of Walter "Hap" and Christine Shannon, she was the youngest of three children. She lived in Watertown, Connecticut and attended St John’s School and Sacred Heart High School.

Her memories of growing up in Watertown, along with cherished brothers Danny and Walt, were happy ones including skating on the pond near Taft School, learning to swim at Camp Wapasa Girl Scout camp, and cheering for Walt at high school swim meets.

A strong family presence surrounded Annette, especially from her dear Aunt Emmy. Emmy doted on Nettie and was a lifelong role model of immeasurable kindness and determination. She reminded Nettie that "You can do anything you put your mind to.”

After high school, Annette enrolled in the Waterbury Hospital School of Nursing. Though initially homesick, she thrived in the program, enjoyed her newfound independence and graduated as a registered nurse. Her nursing career began at Waterbury Hospital, but a fateful ski trip led her to meet Dick Spann. They married in 1965, and Annette embarked on a new chapter in Arlington, Massachusetts. At this time, Annette met Ken and Gale Nill and Linda Hornbuckle who became Annette’s fast friends, wise advisors and ardent supporters.

In 1966, Christopher was born, followed by Megan in 1970. While navigating the challenges of motherhood, particularly after her divorce, Annette remained a pillar of strength for her children. She instilled in them the values of kindness, hard work and humility. She was immensely proud of them and the lives and families they built.

Annette found great fulfillment in her work as a nurse at Mount Auburn Hospital, where she built many valued friendships in her 30 years there. Starting out on a surgical floor, she later worked in the recovery room and day surgery. She had a knack for putting other people at ease and listening which made her an excellent nurse, as evidenced by numerous thank you notes and gifts she received from her patients.

In Lexington, where Annette lived for 50 years, a network of friends and Freemont Street neighbors provided invaluable support and enrichment to her life. Through tennis, she met Joanie Birmingham, Lis Myers, and Connie Dineen and many others, forging lifelong friendships filled with lots of laughter and fun. The families became very close, spending time together at the tennis club, in New Hampshire on Lake Winnipausake and skiing at Loon Mountain. When the four friends turned 50, they traveled to Switzerland and Italy for a wonderful adventure and celebration.

With her best friend Anne Coccoluto, Annette found a sisterhood. Together, they had many meals and adventures, shared holidays, attended plays and movies, connected with daily phone calls and offered unwavering support to each other through life's ups and downs. Annette and Anne enjoyed traveling together. They loved trips to Gloucester and Rockport and to the Surf Hotel on Block Island. They took many bus trips throughout the northeast and as far away as South Carolina with their favorite tour guide Al.

Annette pursued her Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences at Northeastern University by taking night courses and graduating in 1986. Her love for music blossomed into a passion for classical music which was always playing on the radio in the kitchen. She was a Boston Philharmonic season ticket holder for over two decades.

A testament to her financial prudence, Annette became a founding member of the all-women 128 Investment Club, educating herself about investing and navigating the stock market.

In 1995, daughter Megan married Bill Dennen from nearby Cumberland, Rhode Island. The joy at their wedding reflected the happiness, love and warmth of both families. Annette celebrated many wonderful birthdays for her grandkids and happy holidays with the large and loving Dennen family.

The arrival of grandchildren, Michaela, Devon, Henry, Ryer and Owen, brought immense joy to Annette's life. She cherished her role as a grandmother, fostering a love for books, the outdoors, and play. Her grandchildren have fond memories of playing at Grandma's house and snacking on her delicious Christmas cookies. Later on, gatherings at the Cheesecake Factory with her grandkids became a much-loved tradition. With the recent birth of Winona Mae, Annette also became a great-grandmother!

As Alzheimer's crept in, Annette's world narrowed. Yet, the comfort of familiar surroundings in her Lexington home and neighborhood provided solace.

The last five years of her life were spent in Franklin supported by Megan, Bill, Chris and many wonderful staff at The Enclave. Annette was known there for her strong personality, sly winks and love of desserts. In her final days, the care of many, including kind hospice nurses, allowed her to peacefully leave this life and join her beloved family members who passed before her.

Annette leaves behind a legacy of resilience, love and kindness. She will be deeply missed by her family and the many friends whose lives she touched.

Services will be held privately, the Charles F. Oteri and Son Franklin Funeral Home 33 Cottage St. is honored to assist the family. Guestbook

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