A remarkable woman, Anne Teresa Flynn Blau, age 61, passed away peacefully with her husband at her side on February 21, 2023, at Froedtert Hospital, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, after complications from surgery. Anne was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Lloyd and Betty Flynn on August 31, 1961. Anne grew up in the Morningside neighborhood of Edina, and up until her passing was living in Elm Grove, Wisconsin, and Naples, Florida.
Anne was a precious little Irish girl, with fire engine red hair, Shirly Temple-like curls, dimples, a button nose, and sparkling eyes. Anne attended Morningside and Highlands elementary schools and was known to be one of the most popular girls in the 7th grade! As a precocious young girl, Anne made lists of things to do and was very busy with friends. She enjoyed ballet classes at Miss Kay’s Studio, playing tennis, and biking with friends to the Edina Pool. Her summers also included family stays at Big Island on Lake Minnetonka, and youth camp at Cathedral of the Pines in Lutsen. Family visits to the Wikman, Morlan, and McNamee homes were also highlights. Anne attended Edina East High School, where she was a Varsity cheerleader and played tennis. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English at the University of Minnesota, with a Creative Writing Emphasis.
In 1996, Anne met her future husband, John, through friends and married in 1997. Her summer wedding was at the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis, and the officiant was none other than Archbishop Harry J. Flynn. After their honeymoon in Ireland, Anne and John began their adventure together in Minnetonka, Minnesota. In 1999, they moved to Elm Grove, Wisconsin with job transfers. At their quaint home on San Jose Dr., Anne loved tending her beautiful perennial garden and enjoyed holiday gatherings with John’s side of the family.
In 2004, citing fatigue from the cloudy, cold winters in the Midwest, Anne and John looked south and moved to Naples, Florida in 2004. Anne was in heaven with the sunshine, beach, walking, tennis, and the pool at their home on a golf course. After some changes in intervening years, Anne and John returned to Naples in 2017, when they purchased their retirement condo as a 20-year anniversary gift to each other. Over the next four years, while working in Wisconsin and thoroughly enjoying gardening, biking, and other outdoor activities in the summer, Anne spent her winters in Naples. In late 2021, with her change to a fully remote position, Anne was able to make La Maison Club in Naples her permanent residence. Anne loved Naples. Just like her mother and father, she loved being outdoors and watching all variety of birds, especially the cardinals and mockingbirds. Anne loved watching pelicans fly in formation, as if on a mission, reminding her of her Dad who was a WWII Marine pilot. Anne loved to both read and work on her laptop on the lanai or balcony, providing scenic, relaxing views of Doctors Bay. She loved taking long walks with John on the Gulf Shore beach path, on 5th Avenue and 3rd St. in downtown Naples, or on Gulf Shore Blvd N in the quiet, tranquil evening hours.
Anne was a spirited and kind woman with a quick wit and a gift for injecting humor into any conversation. She was a people-person, had a genuine interest in the lives of those around her, and had the gift of making people feel good. She loved her family and friends. When visiting her parents and family in Edina, Anne loved get-togethers with the entire family at her brother’s lake home, and visits to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, where she enjoyed walks with her Mom and Dad through the beautiful flower gardens. In Wisconsin, she loved the festive Blau Christmas gatherings, and her visits with Mom and Dad Blau and other family at their home in Germantown. Anne also cherished her friends -- her longtime “Edina-gang” childhood and high school friends, who were concerned about Anne’s health and kept her spirits up with text messages right up to the day before her passing; her longtime friends from her young adulthood years in Minneapolis; and the close friends she made at work and in her home communities.
Anne was an exceptional writer, and she was a great steward of that talent throughout her life. With her education, innate talent, creativity, and wonderful personality, Anne embarked on a successful 28-year sales and marketing communications career. The first phase was sales in the telecommunications industry with AT&T. Starting as Communications Specialist in 1996 in Minneapolis, Anne quickly advanced and was promoted to Sales Center Results Manager in 1999, where she managed sales processes for AT&T’s Business Services Division.
In 2004, when Anne and John made their first move to Naples, Florida, Anne’s career transitioned to marketing communications, and she entered the world of proposal development and coordination, public/media relations, internal communications, etc. For almost 20 years, Anne utilized her writing, organizational, time-management, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills to successfully shepherd highly complex proposals through to completion, regularly leading teams spread across the country through the detailed process. For seven of those years, Anne held Senior Marketing Writer/Editor and Marketing Services Manager positions with engineering firms, including WilsonMiller (Naples), Arnold & O’Sheridan (Brookfield), and Bonestroo (Mequon). In 2011, Anne transitioned to law, and for eleven years worked in proposal management for two prestigious law firms headquartered in Milwaukee -- Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren SC, and Foley & Lardner LLP. In Senior Proposal Manager positions, Anne collaborated with attorneys across the country and was instrumental in her firm’s ability to win new business.
From the outset of Covid-19, Anne worked remotely at Foley & Lardner, allowing her to split time between Milwaukee, Naples, and Miami. In 2021, however, with employees being called back to the office, and Anne enjoying the flexibility and independence of remote, she explored options and was eagerly recruited by ICF Consulting Group, Inc., a global advisor and technology services consulting firm, headquartered in Reston, Virginia. Anne was performing brilliantly and building strong relationships within ICF right up until her passing.
Anne is preceded in death by her parents Lloyd and Betty, and brothers Mike and Pat. Anne is survived by her husband John, brothers Joe (Charlotte), Bob (Val), Tim (Melinda), and John; nephews Tom, Paul, Aaron (Margaret), Ryan, Andrew and Dan; great-nephews Collin and Pierce; sisters-in-law Joan, Lori, Gail, Cheryl, Susie, Janet, Mary, and Lisa; brothers-in-law Jim, James, Frank, Tom, Bob, Jeff, Tom, and Bill. Anne is also survived by many loving Flynn, Blau, Brandt, Larsen, McNamee, Morlan, Morrissey, Whelan and Wikman nieces, nephews, and their families, in Wisconsin, Minnesota, around the country, and overseas. She is further survived by her special childhood friends from Edina, Minnesota, and other close friends from the Twin Cities, Milwaukee, and Naples.
The family extends warm thanks and gratitude to the doctors and staff at Froedtert Hospital, who provided excellent and compassionate care to Anne over the last 17 months. Visitation at Becker Ritter Funeral Home on Thursday, March 9, 2023, 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Vigil service at 6:00 p.m. Additional Visitation at St. Mary’s Visitation Catholic Parish, 1260 Church Street, Elm Grove, Wisconsin, 53122 on Friday, March 10, 2023, 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Eulogies at 10:30 a.m., Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 a.m. Memorial donations may be directed to the National Audubon Society, Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, or the University of Minnesota Department of English.