Ann Wilke

Obituary of Ann S. Wilke

Ann (Nancy or Nan) Sears Robbins Wilke of Peru, NY, passed away peacefully on Thursday, August 26, 2022, at Meadowbrook Healthcare with her loving family by her side. She was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on May 9, 1933, the daughter of Harold Bright and Olga (Osterhout) Sears of Cambridge. Ann’s childhood was spent in the towns of Lincoln and Weston, Mass., and summers on Fells Rd., Oyster Pond in Quissett (Falmouth) on Cape Cod, except for a brief move when her family lived in Barrington, RI at the old Governor Bradford Estate (during the hurricane of 1938) and then moved, during the World War Il years, to 322 Benefit St., Providence, RI, while her father was with the OPA (Office of Price Administration) and later, the Outlet Company. Her first year of school was at the Gordon School in Providence and then the John Howland School, where she skipped first grade and taught herself to read and write the 2nd grade cursive from the alphabet posted around the room above the blackboard. She attended the Lincoln, Mass Elementary School from 3rd to 5th grades, 6th grade at Concord Academy and 7th and 8th at Falmouth Public School. During her Freshman and Sophomore years at Weston High School, a fire, set by a disgruntled student who spread magnesium tapes along the book shelves in the school library, caused sufficient damage to require the students to attend classes at neighboring Waltham High in the late afternoon and evening until repairs were made. Her Junior and Senior years were at the Cambridge School of Weston, from which she graduated in June, 1951. She attended the University of Vermont, class of 1955, but dropped out after her Sophomore year to marry, on October 24, 1953, Travers Robbins, M.D., an Intern she had met while an appendectomy patient at the Mary Fletcher Hospital. Together Ann and Travers raised four children in Peru, NY. Ann’s love of horses continued through her children and their horses, and other menagerie, on Silver Stream Farm. Ann was involved with Whispering Pines 4H, East Kiln’s Pony Club, Peru Band Booster, Peru Community Church and Peru Zoning Board. She was a co-creator of Peru Dog Park. In her forties, Ann graduated from Binghamton University with a Master’s Hydrogeology degree. She worked as a Hydrogeologist in Clinton County and discovered a water source for the Town of Schuyler Falls, NY. Her car license plate identified her as “H2O Witch.”She taught at St. Peter’s school then became the BOCES traveling StarLab educator. Ann intrigued students and peaked their curiosity her enthusiastic teachings on the constellations, planets and galaxies beyond all within a portable, inflatable planetarium. She caught students’ attention when she became tongue-tied explaining how to identify Cassiopeia “s-itting” on her chair. She loved canoeing the quiet waters of the Adirondacks and spending summer days paddling, racing and camping with her canoe and friends. Ann married Lynn Wilke in 1998. Together they created many happy musical and traveling memories. Her love of nature and his camping experience led Ann to begin yearly camping reunions at Fish Creek Rollins Pond with her and Lynn’s children, grandchildren, aunts, uncles and cousins. The reunions involved many camping hilarities, some that became legendary; midnight star-gazing paddling on the pond; as well as guitar music and singing around the campfire. Ann and Lynn amused the gang with their walkie-talkie communications even while sitting in side-by-side cars! Hilarious happenings often occurred during Ann’s many adventures. Ann loved participating in local and western re-enactments, and hand sewed beautiful costumes and gowns for herself and Lynn. Through all of Ann’s adventures she was accompanied by many faithful pets. Ann’s children remember growing up with the many fun farm animals, Tiggy the minature French poodle, Duchess, the German shepard, and Chivers, the marmalade cat. She was very grateful to Elmore SPCA from whom she adopted her four-legged family members. She created a forever home for so many dogs and cats including Toby, Radar, Benji, Rusty and Richie. Left to cherish her memory is her sister Olga (Sandy) Sears Karplus, daughters Lynn Robbins (Howard) Manning, Diane Robbins (James) Neyenhouse, Suzanne Robbins (Myles) Frechette and son David Robbins. She delighted in her eleven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren: Dustin Manning, Alyssa Manning, Skylar Manning, Jennifer Neyenhouse, Christopher Neyenhouse, Galen Frechette, Hayden (Sarah) Frechette, Madeline Frechette, Tyler Robbins, Halley Robbins, Timothy Robbins, Escher (Manning) Hoffman, and Ayla (Neyenhouse) Wessner. In addition to her parents, Ann is predeceased by her husbands, Travers Robbins, MD and Lynn H. Wilke, her brother Harold H. (Kim) Sears and niece Wendy Sears Child. A Celebration of Life service will be held on Thursday, September 1, 2022 at 10:30 AM at the Peru Community Church with the Rev. Peggi J. Eller, presiding. Burial in St. Augustine’s Cemetery will be private. Donations in memory of Ann S. Wilke may be made to Peru Community Church or Elmore SPCA, Inc. Arrangements are in the care of the Hamilton Funeral Home, 294 Mannix Road, Peru, 643-9055.
Thursday
1
September

Celebration of Life

10:30 am
Thursday, September 1, 2022
Peru Community Church
12 Elm Street
Peru, New York, United States

Final Resting Place

St. Augustine's Cemetery
3035 Main St.
Peru, New York, United States