Ann Catalano Bugay
“O death where is thy sting, O grave where is thy victory?”
1 Corinthians 55
A lifelong resident of the beautiful village of Rossiter and a member of The Great Generation is now an eternal resident of The Great Hereafter. Ann was 93.
It’s difficult to capture the essence of such a beautiful person in so few words. Her simple yet richly blessed life touched so many folks with a boundless enthusiasm and positivity that at times seemed beyond humanly possible. The extrovert’s extrovert, Ann was a stranger to no one and wouldn’t hesitate to compliment just about anybody on his or her hair or clothes or smile. She’d stop you in the aisles of Wal-Mart and pray for you. I watched it happen.
Born and raised a farm girl in Rossiter in the teeth of the Great Depression, she’d tell you to your face she never knew there was a thing called “The Great Depression.” (In case you were looking for a measure of her positivity?) Ann graduated from Rossiter High School and occasionally hung out at a soda fountain in Rossiter called The Cozy Corner. This is where she met her future husband, my Dad.
In my unbiased opinion as her son, Ann was a lifelong beauty inside and out and went on to marry that handsome farm boy turned Air Force cadet from nearby Gipsy, Mike Bugay on 11/11/47. A stone’s throw from her family homestead on Union Hill, they bought a house in Rossiterfor a song and went on to have three kids, her sons Mike, Tom and Ray Bugay who along with their brides, Caralee, Karen and Joanne, survive her. She loved family and was thrilled by her seven grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Of her siblings, her brothers Albert, Augustand James Catalano remain behind along with those of uslucky enough to have been touched by her. Ann was a big tent kind of gal. I was never quite sure if she even saw a difference between family and simply “those prayed for.” She seemed, to me at least, to pray for everybody. And ifAnn ever prayed for you, you were her family. She saw no distinction. What a gal. My opinion—the world could use a few more like that.
When Dad died suddenly in 1976, Ann found herself a widow at age 50. This, I believe, was the turning point in her life, when she consciously dedicated herself, the rest of her life really, to God and Faith. And she did it with a passion that seemed divinely inspired. Ann went on tobecome a member and then president of Women’s Aglow Fellowship. She spoke far and wide on the role of God and Faith in her life. I went to a few meetings with her; she was a great public speaker, and maybe you’ve heard heryourself? I really have no explanation how a woman raisesa child alone other than with a great Faith, like this. Such was my mother.
Ann traveled a bit with Aglow, but was delighted to be homebody in and around Rossiter, and from Rossiter, Ann prayed for the world.