Obituary Anne Mahler Williamson Southern Pines

Anne Mahler Williamson, 82, of Southern Pines, N.C., formerly of Peoria, Ill., passed away peacefully surrounded by family Wednesday, March 10, 2021, at her home, following a brave seven-year battle with cancer.

Anne was born Aug. 12, 1938, in Oak Park, Ill., the daughter of William Alfred Mahler and Alice Esch Mahler.

Raised in Elmhurst, Ill., she was a 1956 graduate of York Community High School. Anne was a gifted piano, guitar, and flute player, and was actively involved for eleven years as a Girl Scout.

Anne was a 1960 graduate of the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, Ill., where she received a B.A. in Liberal Arts and Sciences. A beloved member of the Sigma chapter of Alpha Delta Pi sorority, Anne later found joy in sharing the sisterhood of ADPi with both of her granddaughters – who were amazed by her recollection of the sorority songs they would sing together.

In college, Anne sat next to a handsome graduate student in a business class that would later become her husband of 51 years. On Oct., 1, 1960, Anne married Thomas Kenney Williamson at the First Congregational Church in Elmhurst, Ill.

Anne and Tom owned and operated a popular family restaurant, Mr. Steak, in Peoria for many years, and were members of First Federated Church, also of Peoria. Additionally, Anne was an enthusiastic member of the Junior League of Peoria and frequently modeled in local publications and fashion shows.

While in North Carolina, Anne was a member of The Village Chapel, where she served on the Board of Directors and Women of the Chapel. She was also on the Board of Directors of Middleton Place in Southern Pines. Anne was known for her eloquently handwritten letters to friends and family, and her great needlepoint skills allowed her to create incredibly detailed pieces, which will be held dear by her family.

All residing in Southern Pines for many years, Anne and Tom forged a close and loving relationship with their daughter and granddaughters,that afforded a bond cherished by all. Anne, known as, “Nanny,” to her granddaughters, enjoyed supporting them in their love of dance, theatre, and pageantry; by sewing pointe shoe ribbons, playing the piano for at-home shows, and helping prep for, and attend all performances (and there were many).

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Thomas Williamson; and sister, Alice Ashley.

She is survived by her daughter, Sally Williamson Adams and her husband, Buck Adams Jr. of Pinehurst; brother, William Alfred Mahler; sister, Barbara Vogel; precious granddaughters, Olivia Hale of Charlotte, and Annabelle Hale of Raleigh; and five nieces and nephews.

For the health and safety of all due to COVID-19, Anne’s life will be celebrated in an intimate, family ceremony at her church, The Village Chapel.

Condolences may be sent to

The family has entrusted services to Cox Memorial Funeral Home & Crematory in Vass.

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