Ann Hohlt Ramey, born April 3, 1925 in Brenham, Texas, left this world on June 17, 2021, in Greenbrae, California. She was cherished and admired for her lively spirit, open heartedness, resilience and endless humor.
Named Dorothy Ann by her beloved parents, Sarah and Ernest Hohlt, Ann grew up in Brenham under the adoring eyes of her father and grandfather. Ernest and his three brothers, Edwin, Arthur and Herbert ran local businesses and the department store, Hohlt’s, founded by their father, H. Fredrick Hohlt. From early on, Ann was high-spirited and playfully good-natured. She first publicly displayed her joyful charm and unquenchable zest in the 1937 Brenham Maifest, in the role of “Young Queen of All the Flowers of the Year.”
Ann attended the University of Texas, graduating in 1946 in Latin American Studies, and as a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. Her intrepid sense of adventure led her to Washington, D.C., where she was employed by the U.S. Foreign Service. She was enthralled by the cosmopolitan, international city life, and developed a keen appreciation for global cultures.
In 1947, as a member of a Foreign Service team, she traveled around the globe, conducting government affairs for the State Department. At an embassy party in Shanghai, China, Ann met William Paul Ramey, an embassy doctor. They became engaged only nine days after the spark ignited, and were married in Brenham on September 27, 1947.
Paul’s medical career with the U.S. Public Health Service took them to El Reno, Oklahoma, where Stephen was born, and on to Baltimore, Maryland, where Paul practiced medicine at John Hopkins University and where Ann birthed two daughters — Gaile and Paige. Eventually the young family came to the San Francisco Bay Area, and put down roots in Belvedere, Marin County in 1956.
Her darling Paul, sweetheart and beloved husband, died suddenly from a heart attack. Ann was only 39 years old. Ann carried on raising her three young children as a single parent, relying on her naturally buoyant, strong spirit and surrounded by the enormous support of loyal friends. She schooled her children in resilience and cultural open-mindedness, qualities she emanated throughout her own life. She hosted international embassy guests and then as the Sixties hit, she switched into her jeans and joined a women’s consciousness-raising group. She attended local hippie rock concerts at Mt. Tamalpais and surrounds, and then went off to view England’s Royal Ascot horse race as a guest in the Royal Enclosure. She was equally wowed by Fifth Avenue fashion houses as by the tranquility of the family’s remote cabin at Echo Lake. After many travels, making friends everywhere, she always returned to her Belvedere home.
As much as she loved California, she was forever proud of her Texas roots — the unquestionable source of her independent, feisty spirit and big heart. She actively engaged in local Brenham social affairs such as Maifest anniversaries, meeting routinely with friends and cousins in Texas. Ann’s life embraced a joy and kind acceptance, shared with friends and family everywhere.
She will be laid to rest in the Prairie Lea Cemetery family plot in Brenham this October. Following the burial, friends and family will take one last carousel ride in honor of Ann at Fireman’s Park, where Maifest is celebrated.
Ann leaves behind her admiring children, Stephen (Kelly) of Eugene, Oregon, Gaile of Connecticut, and Paige (Barb) of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico; her grandchildren Melody Owen and Tamara Gillan Hughes, great-grandchildren Alayna and Gavin; her sister-in-law, Winnie Hohlt and niece and nephew Wynn and Hunter Hohlt; and her cousin Betty Hohlt Pecore. Ann’s younger “rascal” brother Alan, predeceased her in 2018.
The family is requesting contributions in Ann’s name be made to “The
Tamalpais Employee Holiday Fund,” c/o The Tamalpais, 501 Via Casitas, Greenbrae, CA 94904.