Anne Clifford Kremer

Anne Clifford Kremer

LAKEVILLE — Anne Clifford (Connery) Kremer, a retired social worker and independent bookstore owner, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, aunt and friend to many, died unexpectedly and quickly from an intracranial hemorrhage on Feb. 18, 2024, in Belmont, California. She was 82 years old and had recently moved to Northern California to be near her daughter, Sarah, and son-in-law, Jeff Haber. She was preceded in death by her husband, William “Bill” Kremer and son Joseph Kremer. She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, daughter-in-law Julie Kremer; grandchildren Nathaniel and Olivia, and step-granddaughter Hana. She leaves behind sisters-in-laws, Frieda Brody and Natalie Kremer, nieces Ilise Kremer, Jill Feinstein, Ellen Brody Olson, and nephews Steve and Keith Brody.

Anne was born on May 17, 1941, to George and Marie Connery in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her family relocated to the Washington, D.C. area when she was 2, where her father worked as a journalist and editor of The Washington Post. Her mother, also a journalist, was a homemaker after Anne was born.

Anne attended Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York, where she studied chemistry and literature, graduating in 1962. After college, she worked at the National Institutes of Health in Washington, D.C., as a lab technician. While there, she met Bill, a clinical associate researching cancer, who later became an oncologist and hospice medical director. They married on May 7, 1965, in Durham, North Carolina. Anne and Bill actively protested the Vietnam War and advocated for civil rights, causes that they continued to support throughout their lives. She completed her master’s degree in social work from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Joe and Sarah were born in 1968 and 1969.

The Kremer family moved to Lakeland, Florida, in 1975, where Anne designed and worked in programs that provided support for families at risk for child abuse. These prevention and early intervention programs supported hundreds of families in Central Florida through her work in foster care and adoption, parent support groups, crisis nurseries, parent home visits by volunteers, and child abuse prevention services. In 1984, she was one of 12 people honored by Florida Gov. Bob Graham for efforts to identify and address child abuse issues. She was a longtime member of the National Association of Social Workers. In 1994, Anne opened an independent bookstore, Mosswood Bookshop, in Lakeland, with a partner, where they successfully hosted author talks and built a literary community for six years.

In addition to many accomplishments with child abuse prevention, Anne also served in leadership roles with the Polk County Democratic Party and gun violence prevention efforts in Florida. She also continued to be an anti-war and peace activist. After retiring in 2006, Anne and Bill moved to Lakeville, Connecticut, to be closer to Joe and his family. There, she became involved in affordable housing issues, eventually serving as president of the Salisbury Housing Committee for 10 years where she raised significant amounts of money through donations to match state funding for new affordable housing units. In 2022, Anne was given a lifetime achievement award from the Litchfield Center for Housing Opportunity.

A former co-worker described Anne as having “an unquenchable spirit and belief in the inherent value of people. She helps people help themselves and doesn’t give up on them.” She was also called a “mover and doer at the grassroots level. Not many people can do what she does.” When asked how she benefited from her volunteer work, she said, “The people. I’ve made so many supportive friends that I am forever grateful for.”

Bill and Anne’s focus on helping others made a deep impression on both children. Joe supported young people as a college basketball coach and high school advisor; Sarah has worked as an art therapist with adolescents and currently works on a project to provide free and accessible mental health services to youth.

Anne is well known for her other passions: spending time with her family and grandchildren, cooking gourmet food from cultures around the world, traveling with Bill and friends, doting on her dogs and cats, and her love of reading. Reading allowed her to have empathy for others, as she once said, “Literature helps you see other people’s points of view.” Anne was a true people person and remained a social worker at heart, listening with an open heart to her many friends, colleagues and home health aides alike.

She was an intellectually curious, loving, opinionated, caring soul who brought so much to so many. She will be greatly missed as an elitist community activist, force of nature, tireless advocate for children and families, and great friend.

A celebration of life will be held for Anne in Half Moon Bay, California, on March 24, and in Lakeville, Connecticut, on May 4. Donations in her honor can be made to the Salisbury Housing Committee.

www.salisburycthousing.org/about-salisbury-­housing-committee

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