Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

Anna Ray (Ann) Staats

Anna Ray Thomason was born in Roff, Ok on April 7, 1923, to parents George and Ollie Ann. She was the 14th of 15 children; there were three girls and 12 boys. They were a hard-working family, managing a 100-acre sharecropper's farm. Although it was six days of work, on many Sunday afternoons, George would pull out his fiddle, and the family would play baseball, sing and make ice cream.

At 16, she met handsome W.J. "Bill" Staats and the two eventually married on September 16, 1940, in Glendale, AZ. They moved to California and in the years that followed, Ann gave birth to five children; Jo Ann, Stan, Jim, Steve and Bill Jr. In the early 50's, Bill moved his family from Tujunga to a 13-acre ranch in Sand Canyon (Santa Clarita). Ann managed an egg-selling business and the family enjoyed living in the country for the next 17 1/2 years.

As a young woman, Ann accepted the Lord as her Savior and became a devout Christian. She taught Bible study for many years and always kept a focus on studying the Word and doing the Lord's work.

As her children became married, it wasn't long until she became a grandmother, or "Nana" as the children called her. Some of her grandchildren enjoyed visiting the ranch, before Ann and Bill sold it in 1972, moved to Canyon County, then to Agua Dulce. The loving grandmother continued caring for more grandchildren, a total that reached 16.

They finally moved to Bullhead City, Arizona, a place they had vacationed since the mid-50's. Ann sometimes joined Bill on the golf course and enjoyed crocheting, putting together jigsaw puzzles, and welcoming visitors. The pair summered in Show Low, Arizona, but always took pleasure in coming back to their Bullhead City home.

Ann passed away on January 10, 2014, following surgery to repair a broken hip. She was loved by her family and will be missed by all. She leaves behind her husband Bill, children Jo Ann (Ed), Jim (Wendy), Steve (Genene), Bill Jr (Jackie), daughter-in-law Janice, 14 grandchildren, numerous great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. Her son Stan and grandchildren Angela and Geoff preceded her in death.

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