WORCESTER-Ann T. (Larava) Spitaels died peacefully on March 5, 2023. At 91, she was the last of her generation, preceded in death by her husband Robert Spitaels and sisters Estelle Gribbons and Frances Stewart. Ann was born at home on Kingsbury Street in Worcester. She was a bright student who achieved top honors at South High and Clark University. She was especially proud of her election to the Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society, choosing a career in teaching to share the joy of learning with others. Ann and Bob Spitaels were married in 1955 and proudly raised four children in the home they built on College Hill. Later in life, Ann earned a Masters’ Degree in Library Science and returned to the Worcester Public Schools as an elementary school librarian. After retirement, she continued to work part-time as a school librarian and enthusiastic volunteer for the Worcester Public Library.
Ann was a devout Catholic, worshipping at Sacred Heart parish for most of her life. Even in her 9th decade, she could be found at the church’s food pantry helping those in need. In her spare time, she enjoyed summers at White Horse Beach, friends in the knitting circle, and celebrating the accomplishments of her extended family. After experiencing a stroke, Ann resided at the Knollwood Nursing Center, where she loved to watch the birds, tour the grounds, and entertain the staff with witty stories.
Ann will be remembered for her infectious laughter, her many purple outfits, and her delight in finding a bargain. She leaves behind 4 children, Christine Hunter, Elaina Genser, Michael (Karen) Spitaels, and Jim (Maria) Spitaels; 8 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren. Her family is grateful to the staff of Knollwood, Visiting Angels, and JHC Hospice for their exceptional care.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Ann’s memory may be made to the Knollwood Nursing Center, JHC Hospice, or Saint Anthony’s Food Pantry at Sacred Heart-Saint Catherine Parish. Viewing hours will be held from 5-7 PM on Friday, March 10 at Callahan Fay Caswell Funeral Home 61 Myrtle St. A Funeral Mass will be held at 10AM on Saturday, March 11 in Sacred Heart-Saint Catherine Church 600 Cambridge St. Please go directly to church. Burial will be in St. John’s Cemetery.