Anna Francis Bloch
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Anna Francis Bloch

Anna Francis Bloch, long time champion of the important artistic legacy of her late husband, Albert Bloch, died on April 8, 2014. She was 101.

Anna's warmth and sharp insights were well known to her many friends. Always interested in the well-being of others, she would patiently listen to concerns and punctuate the end with the calming clarity of her simple wisdom. Throughout her long and rich life, her thoughts were always of others and the many that surrounded her learned much about the important pleasures of life.

Born in Kansas City, Kansas, to Mabel and John Francis on January 26, 1913, Anna was a very bright student, graduating high school at age 16 and starting college at Kansas University in Lawrence later that same year. She received her Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts and completed extensive work towards her Master's degree at KU. Although a competent painter, the fullest, ever-continuing thrill of her life was meeting, knowing and marrying artist Albert Bloch. Their friendship began in 1934 and their official wedding was on January 26, 1951; he passed away in 1961. Anna nurtured, championed and loved Albert Bloch through his life and attended to his legacy with wisdom and continual strength until her death this April. She had the foresight to create the Albert Bloch Foundation years before her death to continue the care of Albert's and her artistic legacies forevermore.

Anna was preceded in death by her parents and two brothers: John (surviving wife Jeane) and Richard (wife Frances). She is survived by nieces Marie Ditzler (husband Emmett), Cynthia Himmelberg (husband Danny), Cheryl Hadlock (husband Michael) and nephews John Francis (wife Pat), Robert Francis (wife Cheryl) and Richard Francis (wife Caren). Also surviving are step-grandsons Scott Bloch (wife Catherine) and William Bloch (partner Diane Birnbaum); grand nieces and nephews Amy and Jeremy and many others.

Anna's passing was at her home, as she had always wanted, and her ashes were scattered on a bright spring day in a serene Kansas meadow full of wildflowers and the songs of her beloved Kansas birds.

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Published in Lawrence Journal-World on Nov. 9, 2014.