Anna Brouwer, age 89, passed peacefully at Bethany Home and went to be with her husband and the Lord on February 26, 2014. Anna was born September 4, 1924 in Hull, Iowa. Her parents were Coenradina and Herman Zwakenberg, who had emigrated from Holland in 1910.
Her family moved to Ripon when she was two years old. Herman was the Singer Sewing Machine repairman and they lived across from the Ripon Cemetery. Herman was also known for raising frogs and selling them in San Francisco (See page 33 of the Ripon Historical Society Book).
Anna graduated from Ripon High School in 1942. She worked in Modesto during WWII as a secretary for the war effort and met William (Bill) Brouwer after he came home from his army service in Japan. They were married April 5, 1950 at the newly completed Calvary Reformed Church in Ripon.
Bill became a journeyman carpenter by trade. They built two homes together, one on Wilma Ave, and the second on Jack Tone Road in Ripon. They raised their two children Beverly (1951) and Bruce (1952) in Ripon. Anna was involved with church and family. She taught Sunday school for many years, was a 4-H, and Club Scout leader.
Anna was the secretary of the Manteca’s Carpenters Union. For years she would keep an office full of carpenters in tow by taking roll call and sending the men off to jobs throughout the San Joaquin Valley.
In 1970 they moved to Manteca and started an almond orchard. She would often be working out in the field while her husband continued to work as a carpenter. When Anna retired from the Carpenter’s Union, she started doing ceramics as a hobby. This hobby outgrew the garage and she opened Ann’s Ceramics in Manteca. She grew this business for many years and then decided it was time to retire again. She then started making Porcelain Dolls as a hobby, this outgrew the home shop Bill built for her and she opened Ann’s Dolls in Manteca. Ladies all over Manteca came to learn how to make dolls from Anna. After she retired again, she did a lot of volunteering at the Manteca Senior Center, which earned her Volunteer of the Year.
Anna was preceded in death by Bill who passed away March 31, 2010 and shortly thereafter she moved to Beth Haven in Ripon. Anna is survived by her daughter, Beverly Ensley, of Manteca, and her son, Bruce Brouwer, of Lancaster. She had three grand-children, Dani Ariaz, Amy Brouwer and Brad Clark, and one great-grand daughter, Anna Page.
A Memorial Service will be held for Anna at Deegan – Ripon Memorial Chapel on Saturday, March 8 at 10am, followed by a grave side service at the Ripon Cemetery. Remembrances can be made in Anna’s honor to the Haven of Peace, P.O.Box 724, Stockton, CA 95201
Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Friday, March 7, 2014