Ann attended the Pleasant Mound Elementary School, about a 1.5 miles walk from home. Her high school years were completed in Russell, where she would ride three miles to town on her horse, Nell, a cantankerous mare that was always in the mood for kicking — making Ann the most experienced with horses in the family!
She would leave Nell in Great Grandma Margaret Ann Kells’ barn and walk on to school, not sure of what mischief Nell would get into while she was gone. In the wintertime, Ann drove to school in a one-horse sleigh, which is still in the family. After high school graduation in 1939, she attended Iowa State College in Cedar Falls, Iowa and received her teaching certificate. She then taught first through fourth grades in Randall, Iowa, and the fourth grade in Glenwood, Iowa. She began teaching at only 17 years of age.
In 1945, Ann decided she needed to move West to find someone to marry that she wasn’t related to, and settled in Powell with an aunt and uncle. This is where she met John Francis Kylander, just home from the Navy and World War II. John worked in a gas station and often took coffee breaks at a small cafe across the street where he met the new “first-grade teacher in town.” The sparks flew and so goes the story and they were married on April 20, 1946 in Billings.
In 1948, son Jed A. was born and in 1950, the Kylander family moved to Cheyenne, where “Francie” went to work with the Union Pacific Railroad as a switchman and later a brakeman. In 1952, daughter Sue A. was born. Ann continued teaching as a substitute teacher for many years and she also enjoyed visiting her children’s classes now and then in elementary school.
Ann and Francie were members of the First Baptist Church in Cheyenne for more than 50 years. She was a Sunday school teacher for many years and in their later years, Ann and Francie volunteered in the nursery department during church services. Ann also volunteered her time at the Eventide Nursing Home, reading to the residents, fulfilling her joy of reading.
When Francie retired from the UP Railroad in 1983 after 33 years of service, they began to travel south for the winter months enjoying the warmer climates of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. They would return to Cheyenne for the summer to enjoy hobbies of gardening, reading, family genealogy and spoiling the grandchildren. In 2010, Ann and Francie moved to Kremmling, Colo., to live with their daughter Sue.
John Francie died in March 2010 at 87 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
Ann also was preceded in death by her brother Robert Kells.
She is survived by her son, Jed (Rosemary) of Cheyenne; daughter Sue (Dennis) Pratt of Kremmling, Colo.; three grandchildren and their spouses; six great-grandchildren; her two sisters Wanda Kells (Haim) Calderon of Colorado Springs, Colo. and Jo Kells (Charles) DeBok of Boone, Iowa; and many nieces and nephews.
Margaret Ann and John Francis Kylander will be interred at the Crown Hill Cemetery in Powell at a later time.
Memorial donations in Ann’s name can be made to the Heart of the Mountains Hospice, P.O. Box 140, Hot Sulphur Springs, CO 80451.