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Anne Darden Cherry Haisten

Anne Darden Cherry Haisten May 18, 1931, Atlanta, Georgia ‘“ October 5, 2020, Seattle, Washington A Southern belle and gracious lady with deep roots in Georgia, Anne Darden Cherry Haisten had a big urban adventure late in life. Following two strokes in the fall of 2007 at her home in Barnesville, Georgia, she moved to Seattle, Washington, to live near family. She died peacefully in her own bed in Seattle on October 5, 2020, having been accompanied in her gentle decline by her three daughters, her son-in-law and granddaughter nearby, and her other sons-in-law and grandchildren from afar through the miracle of technology. Born May 18,1931, at Georgia Baptist Hospital, Atlanta, Georgia, Anne Darden was the first daughter of Inez Rumble Cherry and Max Redmond Cherry. Her parents took her home to Poplar Circle in Inman Park, Atlanta’s first suburb, where her paternal grandparents, Wilson Lee Jones Cherry and Pinckney Hazelton Cherry, lived. Her only sister, Virginia Louise, who died in 2011, was born five years later. Both girls were always called by their double names. Anne Darden started school in Inman Park but soon afterwards the little family moved to Barnesville to live with her maternal grandmother, Anna Eliza Darden Rumble, widow of Dr. Smith Rumble, in her big Victorian house on Forsyth Street. A little later they moved to Lakeland, Florida, for a year before moving back to Barnesville. Her schooling continued at Gordon Grammar School and the high school division of Gordon Military College following in the footsteps of her mother, father, aunt, and uncles. Both her mother and her aunt Louise Rumble graduated from Shorter College, Rome, Georgia. Anne Darden followed them to Shorter, then an old-fashioned women’s college in the grand tradition of classical liberal education. When she went home to Barnesville for the summer after her junior year, she met a handsome young man who was acting in a musical production her mother was directing. Matt Pettis Haisten, a Navy veteran from Senoia, had moved to Barnesville to establish, at 522 Greenwood Street, a branch of his family’s funeral business, Haisten Brothers, Inc. In love at first sight, Matt proposed to her not long after at Indian Springs. They married in the Methodist parsonage on Thomaston Street July 30, 1951. Anne Darden spent a year teaching fourth grade at Gordon Grammar School and then taught kindergarten in the basement of the grammar school for several years before joining her friend Sylvia Prout to start a private kindergarten in the carriage house of the Prout residence on Thomaston Street. Later in the 60s she returned to school at Tift College in Forsyth to complete her A.B. degree. She taught high school English for 25 years at Gordon; Monroe Academy, Forsyth; R.E. Lee Institute, Thomaston; and then Lamar County Comprehensive High School in Barnesville. Twice she was honored by being chosen Star Teacher. ‘To be a star teacher (twice),’ one person wrote in congratulations, ‘one has to be a star person! You qualify!’ She loved English grammar and literature as well as U.S. and European history, loved teaching, and loved her students. Her students loved her in return, though they rarely got away with a thing in her class. As her daughters can attest, she had eyes in the back of her head and ears like a bat! She thought it was her duty to teach not only the official curriculum but also good manners and the civility of polite behavior. Anne Darden’s love of history and Matt’s love of geography came together in a love of travelling. They took many family vacations to historical sights, presidential libraries, and national parks and several trips to Europe including two to visit Nez and Jim in Germany. After their children grew up, the focus of the travel turned to visiting their daughters, sons-in-law, and grandchildren around the country. When Matt’s health began to fail, Anne Darden retired to spend more time with him. After he died in 1999, she lived alone in their house on Stafford Avenue until her strokes incapacitated her. A little over a year later she had sufficiently recovered to move from Cherry and Doug’s house in Seattle into an assisted living apartment nearby. She was happy once again to be surrounded by her treasured possessions and photographs, and she liked living at the base of Queen Anne Hill in the shadow of the Space Needle. Surprisingly she became a student again. For several years she attended the University of Washington Speech and Hearing Clinic to receive one-on-one speech therapy and to participate in a practice group consisting mainly of other women who had also suffered strokes resulting in various degrees of aphasia. Their motto was ‘aphasia: loss of language, not intellect.’ Anne Darden worked hard to learn new ways to communicate and courageously tried to convey the knowledge, stories, and love she wanted to share. She was as conscientious and concerned about success as she had been as a young student. She loved visiting Gincy’s family in Southern California so much that she summoned the courage to fly alone with the help of her communication notebook, travel cards, and kind Alaska Airline staff and flight attendants. She also visited Nez and her family in Indianapolis many times. She proudly attended the graduations and special celebrations of all her grandchildren. All those times together continued in spirit the treasured times when her grandchildren spent summer vacations with her in Barnesville and she could lavish them with grandmotherly indulgences’”even though they never called her ‘grandmother’ but rather always ‘Annie.’ With roots in the Baptist and Methodist churches in Barnesville, Anne Darden was a longtime deacon in the Presbyterian Church. In Seattle she often attended St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church with Cherry and Doug and had good friends in the St. Andrew’s Friendship Circle. In Indianapolis she delighted in attending St. Paul’s Episcopal Church where Nez and Jim sang in the choir and Zach was a chorister. During many Christmas and summer vacations, she attended St. George’s Episcopal Church in Riverside where Gincy has long been organist and music director and her family has been involved in music and liturgy. During the many months of Covid-19 isolation, Anne Darden attended St. George’s virtual church services, with a little technological help, via Zoom. Throughout her life, Anne Darden was a part of many circles of community’”in Georgia and likewise in Seattle. One important circle in her last decade was Queen Anne Retirement Community, originally Merrill Gardens. For many years she ate dinner almost every night with her good friend Helen Smith, whom she missed terribly after her death. She loved the staff and caregivers, many of whom seemed to remind her of her students. Adopted as her ‘sweet babies,’ they showed her tremendous compassion and kindness, along with the practical assistance that enabled her to live largely independently. Her family is immeasurably grateful for the service beyond the call of duty given to ‘Anne,’ as most there called her. Her family is also grateful to her beloved medical team’”Dr. Henry Kaplan, Dr. Jad Swingle, and in her last weeks, Physicians Assistant Mahmood Kakar, along with several therapists and caregivers from Kline Galland Health Services and Hospice. Anne Darden leaves behind many who loved her including her daughters, Cherry Haisten of Seattle, Inez Haisten Harper of Indianapolis, and Virginia Haisten (Gincy) of Riverside, CA; her sons-in-law, Doug du Mas, Jim Harper, and Tripp Doepner; her grandchildren, Anna Lee Jones du Mas, Zachary Austin Harper, Mary Travis Haisten Doepner, and Dabney Margaret Spence Doepner; her brother-in-law Ed Legge, Sr.; several nephews, nieces, cousins, and lifelong friends, especially Leila Banks Morgan of Douglas, Georgia, and Sylvia Prout of Barnesville. Anne Darden will be buried next to her beloved Matt and her parents in Greenwood Cemetery, Barnesville, Georgia, in a private graveside service at the end of November. Memorial contributions may be made to St. George’s Episcopal Church, Riverside, CA; St. Jude Children’s Hospital; or the ASPCA. For online condolences please visit Haisten-McCullough Funeral Home, 1155 Everee Inn Road, Griffin is in charge of arrangements.

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