Ms. Joann (Ann) Marie Vanderford peacefully went to be with the Lord December 31, 2016. Born November 13, 1928 in Cisco, Texas, Ann was daughter to the late Earl Charles Vanderford and Nellie Edna Vanderford. Ann graduated from East Texas Baptist University earning a Bachelor's degree. Ann taught for a year in Texas and then completed a year of graduate school at Wheaton University. She completed her graduate studies at Columbia Bible College where she earned a Master's degree. She followed this by teaching for eleven years at Calvary Christian Day School and also teaching at the Ben Lippen School in Ashville during the summer months. Ann was a life-long teacher and was very passionate about helping young people from all walks of life reach their full potential. During the time of her teaching at Calvary Christian Day School, Ann noticed a need for tutoring services and established operated for many years the Greater Educational Motivation Service (GEMS), one of the first independent tutoring services in the Charlotte area. During the years of leading GEMS, Ann developed and used techniques reaching children with different learning styles, including very gifted children. She helped many other children overcome obstacles and saw them succeed in their lives. Ann was a woman of great faith and service, performing acts of kindness including annual Christmas Eve dinners for police officers and hosting missionary families. Ann lived her faith daily and was never afraid of a challenge. In her seventies, Ann Vanderford founded and managed a ministry to military personnel, sending the devotional book "The Daily Light" to those serving our country. This ministry, Operation Daily Light, got started when Ann sent a single copy of "Daily Light" to a soldier serving in Iraq. The service grew significantly thanks to Ann's vision and persistence, providing encouragement to many serving our country around the world. Her love for her Lord and Savior was always at the core of her service to others. A memorial service to celebrate her life was held Thursday, January 5. To remember her, Ann has requested that donations be made to the ministry of Anne Graham Lotz: AnGeL Ministries, 5115 Hollyridge Drive, Raleigh, NC 27612, or online: www.AnneGrahamLotz.org/donate/ .
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