The following obituary originally appeared on Memorial Funeral Home.
Anna I. Friend, 87, of Newport, RI, passed away peacefully on April 19, 2020. Anna was born in Newport, RI to the late William Friend and Anna Friend.
The following reflections were written by Jacob Hatch, her great-nephew.
My family lost someone very special to us last night. My Aunt Anna. She was my great aunt but she was always Aunt Anna to me. She was one of my best friends, growing up and I used to beg my mom to go to her house every weekend. We would always wake up early and walk down to the Dunkin on Broadway, where she would get one of the original “Dunkin” Donuts. (They came with a handle baked in so you could dunk in your coffee. I’m not sure if they have them anymore.) Then we would check the newspaper for yard sales and church fairs. We would drive or walk around and she would get me whatever I wanted. Wrestling action figures, a box of 1200 basketball cards, the lock box where I still keep my baseball card collection. She must have spent hundreds of dollars over the years buying me junk that I thought I needed. We would go to the Annex (where my baseball card collection started) We would go on tours of Fort Adams, where I now work every summer. She convinced the tour guide to let us walk through some of the tunnels that were closed to the public. (Tunnels that neither of us had any business walking through, especially her, at her age.) My favorite memory with her is the time we went to a church fair and I found a game that I was good at. (Throwing a dart at a balloon to pop it.) The reward for hitting the balloon was a live goldfish. I remember getting into her car after words with my box of 28 goldfish and not thinking, “My mom is going to kill me.”, And just thinking, “Aunt Anna is the best.” Aunt Anna used to give tours of Trinity Church in Newport and knew EVERYTHING about Newport’s history. I was counting money at the church with her when the September 11th attacks happened. Lots and lots of foundational memories. Aunt Anna’s initials were A. Friend, and she really was a friend. I used to think it was the coolest thing ever that we shared the same birthday, so many years apart. I lost her and I am really sad about that. I am thankful for everything we got to do together. She introduced me to a lot of things that are still a part of my life. We were fortunate to spend so much time with her and fortunate that she was able to meet her great-great niece, Catie. We would always stop by her house on Halloween and show her Catie’s costumes. Catie was a cow last year and Aunt Anna thought she was a dog. I am glad she is no longer suffering and she is probably glad that she never made it to a nursing home. As much as this stings I am going to be happy and remember her. Thanks for reading this. I wanted to document some of these memories that can fade out over the years, and to share a little bit about her for anyone not fortunate enough to know her.
Anna is survived by her sister Margaret “Peggy” Hatch, nine nieces and nephews, one great-nephew, and one great-great-niece.
In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her sister Helen Duggan.
The family would like to thank Dr. Bettena Killion, Dr. Alessandro Papa and staff for the passionate care that she received.
Memorial donations can be made to Trinity Church, One Queen Anne Square, Newport, RI 02840 or Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Friends of Dana-Farber, 450 Brookline Avenue, SW120, Boston, MA 02215
Burial will be private. A memorial service will be held at a later date. Arrangements made by Memorial Funeral Home Newport, RI.