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Businesswoman found joy in art, family, faith

| Friday, April 5, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Annora Wehn Williamson, 86, of Peters Township, passed away Monday, April 1, 2013.

Annora Williamson, who was naturally artistic, was determined to capture the charisma of her 3-year-old daughter in an oil painting.

She dressed Judith in a lovely polka-dot dress and plopped her down to pose for a sketch.

But children that age don't like to sit still for very long, especially in itchy dresses, Mrs. Williamson's daughter fondly remembered.

“I have a pout on my face in the painting,” Judith Williams said.

Annora “Ann” Wehn Williamson of Peters died on Sunday, March 31, 2013. She was 86.

Art was an integral part of life for Mrs. Williamson, a love she would pass down to her 13 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren. She had demonstrated talent in high school and went on to study art at the Carnegie Institute of Technology — now Carnegie Mellon University — where she met her college sweetheart and future husband, John Williamson.

He was among a group of athletes recruited to volunteer for a social event on campus.

“They fell in love and got married,” Williams said. They were married for 65 years.

Art was put on hold briefly as the couple started their family — daughter Judith and sons John Jr., Steven, Scott and Douglas.

Mrs. Williamson plunged back into art, beginning with the portrait of Judith and continuing with painting, creating pottery and sculpting throughout her life.

Just last week, one of her great-grandchildren visited Mrs. Williamson in a studio to watch as she spun clay at a large wheel. They pinched the clay together, forming a little heart.

“All the great-grandchildren wanted to learn what Nana did,” Williams said.

Mrs. Williamson and her husband, devout Christians, would hold hands and say a prayer together every night before they went to sleep, their daughter said. It was also important for Mrs. Williamson to volunteer at her church, her daughter recalled.

Mrs. Williamson was a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church, where she served as an elder and chairwoman for the Spiritual Life Committee. She was president of the women's associations at Bower Hill Community Presbyterian Church and Peters Creek United Presbyterian Church.

Her title was vice president-financial at J.C. Williamson Co., an engineering design and fabrication company, where she enjoyed working with her husband and children and growing the business, Williams said.

A service will be held at 10 a.m. Friday in Jefferson Memorial Park, 401 Curry Hollow Road, Pleasant Hills. A memorial service will follow at 1 p.m. in Westminster Presbyterian Church.

Memorial donations can be made to the Haiti Project through Westminster Presbyterian Church, 2040 Washington Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15241.

Amanda Dolasinski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6220 or adolasinski@tribweb.com.

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