Anna Beth King of Amarillo, TX, beloved wife and best friend of Donald King for sixty years until his death in 2006, died peacefully of natural causes on July 15, 2020 at the age of 95. Born in Amarillo to Opal and Jim Claybrook on December 29, 1924, Ann grew up in the Panhandle, first on her parents’ and grandparents’ ranch in Moore County, and then in Stinnett, moving to Amarillo after she and Don, her high-school sweetheart, married in 1946. After several work-related moves, Ann and Don settled in Amarillo in 1954, where they were members of St. Stephen United Methodist Church.
Ann’s life encapsulated the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first. When she was born, they did not yet have electricity on the ranch. By the time she was in her 90’s, she was Face Timing with her great-grandchildren in London. She lived through the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, trained to be a nurse, and married Don when he returned from the Navy after World War II, at which point she devoted herself to creating a beautiful and loving home for him and, a few years later, their son Jim as well. Known as friendly, warm, and feisty, Ann learned to drive out on the ranch at the age of nine and didn’t give up driving until well into her eighties, long after she should have.
Ann will be forever and deeply missed by her adoring son and daughter-in-law Jim and Karen King, who live in Bronxville, New York; their daughter Lily, for whom Nanny Ann was not only a cherished grandmother but also a dear friend, and her husband Simon Liebel, who live in London; and their children, Sebastian and Claudia, both of whom were lucky enough to have had the chance to know and visit their great-grandmother in Texas. Ann is also survived by her sister-in-law Shirlee Heard of Lubbock, TX, and by her nieces and nephews and their families; we are grateful to all of them for the love they shared with her throughout her life.
Ann and Don sold their last house twenty years ago and moved to Park Place retirement community in Amarillo; Ann moved to the Ware nursing home three years ago. Ann and Don thoroughly enjoyed their time at Park Place, and we will never forget the way the staff and residents circled the wagons around Ann when Don passed away. The family would also like to express our enormous gratitude to the nurses and aides of Ware, and to the nurses and other professionals of Hospice of the Southwest, who were unstinting in the care and love they brought to their work with Ann as she neared the end of her life.
Because of the Covid-19 virus, Ann’s burial at the mausoleum at Memory Gardens Cemetery in Amarillo was private, with the arrangements handled by Boxwell Brothers; in typical Nanny Ann fashion, Ann had picked out her casket and her burial clothing years ago and had everything arranged. A memorial service celebrating her life will be held at a later date.