Longtime educator Ann Richardson Andrews Pizzini died suddenly Wednesday evening, September 15, at her home in Southern Pines, NC, after several months of declining health. She was seventy-seven years old.
Visitation will be Sunday, September 19, 2021, from 6-8 p.m. at Boles Funeral Home in Southern Pines. A graveside service will be held on Monday, September 20, 2021, at 11 a.m. at Johnson Grove Cemetery in Vass.
Ann was born December 30, 1943, to Eveleth and Etta McHaffey Cameron Richardson of Southern Pines, and from infancy she faced—and triumphed—over a visual impairment that would later be diagnosed as congenital glaucoma. Enjoying a deep commitment of care from her parents, she was encouraged at a young age to be fearless and independent. At the age of six, she began attending the Governor Morehead School for the Blind in Raleigh, NC, where she was a full participant in the life of the school, playing the violin in the school orchestra, and studying academic courses while learning to read and write Braille.
At age thirteen, in a period of just a few weeks—and never understood by her doctors except to say “it was a miracle”—Ann’s vision began improving. A whole generation before it was educational practice to “mainstream” visually impaired students in “regular” classrooms, her parents lobbied school administrators to bring her home to enroll in the Southern Pines schools; school officials agreed—with the caveat that she be able to read words in print before school began, a unique educational challenge for Ann and for her parents. She learned quickly, and Ann’s own early educational experiences informed her eventual work with visually impaired young people.
After marriage, and while raising her three daughters, Ann began attending St. Andrews Presbyterian College in Laurinburg, NC, from which she graduated with a degree in education. Hired by the Moore County Schools, Ann spent her career teaching children who were blind as well as students with limited vision, always advocating for them, always encouraging them and their families to insist on educational opportunities. A keen problem solver, Ann was effective in obtaining assistive technology devices for her students and teaching students to use them. Unique among sighted teachers of the blind, she continued to be able to read and write Braille, a skill she employed with many Moore County pupils.
After retiring from teaching, Ann was, as ever, a constant and loving presence for her daughters and grandchildren. Furthermore, she remained active, designing and creating many handicrafts, and she taught first and second grade Sunday School classes as well as arts and crafts classes in Bible School at First Baptist Church in Aberdeen.
Ann was predeceased by her parents and by her husband, John Delcampo Pizzini. She is survived by her daughters, Karla Andrews Roberts, Natalie Katherine Andrews, and Penelope Gupton Shaw; by her grandchildren, Whitney Gupton Swartz, Brooke Taylor Shaw, Hunter Kinlaw Shaw, William Anthony Roberts, and Katherine Ann Roberts; by her sisters, Patricia Richardson Klingenschmidt and Susan Richardson McBrayer; by her brothers, Thomas Charles Richardson and Lawrence Earle Richardson; and by a host of nieces, nephews. and great-nieces and nephews.
Ann was cheerful and resourceful in the face of adversity, a selfless mother and grandmother, a supportive sister, an affectionate friend, and a faithful follower of Him who gave sight to the blind, who went around doing good.
Memorial Contributions may be made to the Children’s Center, 1280 Central Dr., Southern Pines, NC 28387.
Online condolences may be made at www.bolesfuneralhome.com
Service arrangements have been entrusted to Boles Funeral Home.