Anna Ashley Switzer – Navy Wife & Mother

From a contemporary press report:

On Friday, March 27, 1998, at age 97, after a brief illness at her home in Pensacola, Florida. She was a daughter of Caroline Law Varnedoe and Charles Wilbur Lamar and the widow of Vice Admiral Wendell Gray Switzer, USN.

Mrs. Switzer was born in Valdosta, Georgia, September 11, 1900, and moved with her family to Pensacola in 1903 where her father, a banker, soon founded what would become Lamar Outdoor Advertising. She married in 1924 and traveled extensively during her husband's 45 year Naval career. When they retired in Pensacola, Mrs. Switzer continued her close association with the Navy, and became a community and political activist.

Mrs. Switzer was the first woman named to the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation Board and in 1992 was awarded the Dorothy M. Flatley Award presented by the USS Yorktown CV-10 Association to ”the woman who has come closest to exemplifying Dorothy Flatley's incredible 55 years of inspirational support as a carrier aviator's wife, mother, and grandmother.”

Mrs. Switzer was predeceased by her sons, Lieutenant (jg) Wendell Gray Switzer, Jr. in 1955 and Lieutenant Commander John Lamar Switzer in 1959, who were both killed in Naval aviation accidents. Her husband died in 1970. She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Ann Lamar (DeeDee) and Kevin Patrick Reilly of Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Pensacola, Florida; her sister, Mrs. George W. (Mary Lee) Anderson of Washington, DC; seven grandchildren; and 13 great grandchildren.

Funeral services will be Monday, March 30 at 11 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Pensacola. Burial will be in Arlington National Cemetery with her great nephew, the Rev. Lupton P. Abshire of Georgetown Christ Church, officiating.

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