July 26, 1954 – October 3, 2017
Ann Dolesh Jarosz, 63, joined the Lord on October 3, 2017. Most recently a resident of Port St. Joe, FL, Ann passed away in Houston, TX from complications of Marfan Syndrome, joining her parents, Kitty and Frank, sister Katie, and brothers Jimmy, Mark and John.
Devoted wife, mother, sister, niece, aunt, cousin, friend, and Pippa, Ann is survived by her husband Marty, daughter Amanda Ross and husband Daniel of Cleveland OH, son CDR Michael Jarosz, USN and wife Meghan of Sigonella Sicily, daughter Rebecca McGeehan and husband Patrick of Washington, DC, sister Meg Furlich and husband Ken of Cleveland Heights, OH, sister Maureen Dolesh of Carrollton, OH and grandchildren Lillian, Benjamin, and Penelope Ross, Joshua, Katy, Emma, and James Jarosz, and Molly, Brigit and Ryan McGeehan. They were the joys of her life and they will truly miss their Pippa.
The eldest of seven children born to Kitty and Frank Dolesh of Cleveland Heights, OH, Ann grew up in love, laughter, and 2½ bedrooms, with her siblings, Jimmy, Mark, Katie, Maureen, John, and Meg. There were also some dogs, though usually just one at a time. She attended St. Ann School and Regina High School where she made many lifelong friends whom, after almost a half century of time and life, and many miles between them all, she still managed to enjoy time (and wine!) with at least once a year.
But it was during her sophomore year at Cleveland State University that she began the most consequential relationship of her life. It started in the fall of 1973 in Annapolis, Maryland where she connected with Marty Jarosz, a fellow Clevelander and Naval Academy Midshipman, in what can only be described as the ultimate meet cute. You could also call it serendipity. Ann would call it the best thing that ever happened to him (and her!).
In December of 1974, unable to be apart for another minute, Ann and Marty married during his holiday liberty from flight school and, in freezing temperatures and a car without heat, began the 43-year process of building their life together. And, boy, was that life something.
Ann loved being Marty’s co-pilot. Together they traversed the globe, by land and sea and air, collecting memories and tchotchkes and kids (some theirs, some not), cheering on Navy and the Indians, and touching so many lives along the way. While there are things she left this world still wanting to do, there’s nothing she would have done differently, starting with marrying her best friend.
Everywhere she went with her family, Ann made a home, even in hotel rooms and vacation condos. If there was ever a random lavender-scented sachet in your guestroom drawer, it was probably from Ann’s last visit. And your linens were better for it, weren’t they?
From Cleveland to Florida to Virginia to San Diego to Guam to Cleveland to New York to Florida to the open road, she left an indelible mark on the surface and on the spirits of those who knew her and those who didn’t. (Oh, and yes, you read that correctly, Cleveland and Florida twice; you’ll have to talk to her about that, though hopefully not too soon.)
Ann’s life was guided by love, and goodness, and faith. As a Navy wife she was second to none and was a model for those spouses she touched over the years. Whether you needed a cup of coffee or glass of wine, an hour away from your kids, or someone to capture a snake in your bedroom, you could call Ann. When you feared for the life of your spouse, the strength of your marriage, or the toll that the life, the sacrifice, was taking on your children, Ann could offer the wisdom, empathy, and appropriate (though usually mild) cuss words the situation merited … often followed by a prayer, sometimes with you and sometimes simply for you.
She found beauty in everything, because she believed in the goodness of God with her whole heart. A sunset in the BVI or the rain on the Shannon River. Beautiful. Her smart-alecky kids (who, because of her, turned out OK). Beautiful. Working and volunteering, even when she was so tired and dealing with her own grief. Beautiful. Picking up and playing with her grandkids, even when the doctors advised against it. Beautiful. Her scars, both physical and spiritual. Beautiful. The RV life. Beautiful. Tchotchkes … OK, the tchotchkes are debatable. We’re sure she saw beauty in most of them (Ann was able to turn anything into a piece of art), but others were probably just interesting, or she figured she could “do” something with them, and the rest of them we think she just got to mess with us. Which was hilarious, and ultimately beautiful.
Ann fought for her life for the past 19 years with grace, dignity, amazing style, and a sharp wit. During this time, she Lived with a capital ‘L.’ Taking in the theater,hiking, sailing, antiquing, quilting, beading, tailgating, eating scallops, and oysters, and avocados, and crying and laughing with all she had. She felt blessed to be able to be fully present for life-after-retirement with Marty and for the next chapter in their amazing love story. Because she was a fighter, she was there for the college graduations and weddings of all three of her children, and because she’s also the ultimate mom, she was able to be an essential part of their processes of building their own beautiful lives with their best friends and smart-alecky kids. She knew how good it was, and it brought her so much joy to bear witness.
Ann’s viewing will be held on Thursday, October 12 from 3-7 p.m. at Schulte & Mahon-Murphy Funeral Home, 5252 Mayfield Road, Lyndhurst, OH 44124.
Her funeral Mass will be held on Friday, October 13 at 11 a.m. at Communion of Saints Parish in St. Ann Church, 2175 Coventry Road, Cleveland Heights, OH 44118.
Please come and celebrate Ann’s life with us.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Ann’s name to the National Marfan Foundation (give.marfan.org) or the charity of your choice. Please sign Guest Book at: