"She was the most pleasant and bubbly woman," her family said. "She always told people they were beautiful and that their parents would be so proud of them."
How could you resist that kind of appreciation? Few did.
"She never had a bad word for anyone," her family said.
Anna Mae Brennan, a lifelong "2-Streeter" from South Philadelphia, where one of her pleasures was watching her grandson cavorting as a wench in the New Year's Parade; a one-time Woolworth's waitress; and a dedicated mom and grandmother, died of natural causes Monday. She was 71.
Anna was born in South Philadelphia to James and Mamie Jeffers. She grew up around 2nd and Reed streets. She worked for the former PNB Bank and for Unique Industries, makers of party paperware and accessories, and spent 10 years as a waitress at a Center City Woolworth's.
Anna was proud of having graduated from the former St. Maria Goretti High School, and would lustily sing the school alma mater. The school merged with Saint John Neumann High School in 2004.
Like all 2nd Street natives, Anna loved the Mummers. Her grandson, Ryan Brennan, marched dressed as a woman with a wench brigade, and she got a kick out of their routines.
The group, Cara Liom, would go to her house to serenade her. She also would be serenaded on St. Patrick's Day by the Joseph Fleming St. Patrick's Day Brigade, founded by her son, John J. Brennan.
Anna and her sisters, Eleanor "Sissy" Stahl and Lorraine Klevence, were close, and their family and friends called them the "Golden Girls."
Besides her son and sisters, she is survived by another son, James R. Kaiser Sr.; a daughter, Kathleen Hewitt, and 10 grandchildren.
Services: Funeral Mass 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, 3rd and Reed streets. Friends may call at 7 p.m. Friday at the Rogers Funeral Home, 1426 S. 3rd St.