- Published on Wednesday, 19 June 2013 01:00
- Written by Los Altos Town Crier
Ann Havey Cavender passed away peacefully at her Los Altos home on May 8, 2012 at age 85. She had been in Hospice Care for a short time.
Ann was born June 30, 1927 in Indianapolis, Indiana the daughter, and only child, of Curtis Havey and Clara Marsh Havey. She graduated from Southport High School class of 1945, and moved to Kansas City, Missouri shortly after graduation. Life had been demanding for Ann while she was in High School. Her father had suffered a major heart attack and had been forced into immediate retirement. He had been preparing to move the family to Minnesota.
Ann was interested in becoming an airline stewardess and went to Kansas City for a program that trained women seeking such a position. Unfortunately, she did not pass the flight physical exam. She became a secretary in the Mortgage Loan division of Prudential Insurance Company.
In 1952 Ann met Morse Cavender, her future husband, on a blind date that had been arranged by a mutual friend. (The friend who introduced them quickly replaced Morse and married the girl Morse had been courting. The four persons continued to be good friends.) They married in Kansas City on March 7, 1953. At that time, Morse was a member of the management team at the Procter and Gamble factory in Kansas City, Kansas.
In 1954 Morse accepted an invitation to join the staff of Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, CA. Ann and Morse became residents of Los Altos in 1957. Like other new residents in the area at that time they were quickly caught up in the pleasures of cutting and drying the apricots from the trees that surrounded their new home.
Ann continued to work for Prudential after moving to the West Coast, in Menlo Park and in Portland, Oregon. (SRI posted Morse to its Pacific Northwest office for a time). After retiring from Prudential, Ann worked for 16 years as Vice President of The Mactan Company, a company established by Morse in 1973 to support his work as an advisor to the senior management of a number of foreign companies. Ann was finally able to fulfill her passion for airline travel accompanying Morse on his frequent business trips to clients in various parts of the world: Europe, Asia, South America, Africa, Australia. As time permitted, and thanks to Pan Am’s frequent flier program, Morse and Ann had the good fortune to visit many foreign places.
Ann had many talents and applied them to many interests. She was an expert baker, specializing in large scale wedding cakes with liqueur frostings – baked, decorated and assembled at home. She was a skilled woodworker, a talent she inherited from her father. She was especially proud of the two grandfather clocks she built. Unfortunately, the first one did not survive the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.
As an avid collector and curator of orchids, Ann created an activity that became a major part of her life. She built a large orchid greenhouse in the backyard of her Los Altos home and became an active member of the Peninsula Orchid Society, where she served as President in 1980. She enjoyed collecting unusual orchids during her travels and Morse brought her orchids from some of the countries he visited.
In its monthly bulletin, the Peninsula Orchid Society (POS) said of Ann: “She was of the old school of service to POS, having moved up from volunteering refreshments to Secretary, Vice President and President and was on the POS Board of Directors for many years. She participated in the many greenhouse tours, plant sales and potting demonstrations that filled the POS calendar during the 1970’s and 80’s”.
Ann had a place in her heart for animals, especially housecats, which were always in her home, and large cats, which she observed in Africa. She was very interested in Cheetahs and was surprised when friends in Namibia took her to visit a neighboring ranch to see and pet the two Cheetahs the rancher had in his yard (house and yard enclosed by an eight foot high wire fence).
Ann especially enjoyed Australia where she had many opportunities to become acquainted with the birds and animals of that country. There was a memorable time when she was invited to a meeting in Sydney when Queen Elizabeth presented her colors to a squadron of the Australian Air Force.
All of this way surpassed her original girlhood dreams of being an airline stewardess. Ann is survived by her husband of 59 years, Morse Cavender, cousins Nyna Bailey and Minon Stepp, and Uncle Marion Marsh all of Greensburg, Indiana, and cousin Michael Havey of Charleston, Illinois. Her ashes reside in the Tanglewood Cemetary in Versailles, Indiana alongside her grandmother Marsh.