By Greg Ellison
(Oct. 31, 2019) Gone, but not forgotten, community volunteer Anna Foultz was lauded by family and friends for her decades of community service and charitable pursuits during a room rededication ceremony at the Ocean Pines community center on Thursday.
Known as the world’s oldest serving Girl Scout, Foultz was an integral part of numerous community organizations, including Star Charities, which she co-founded with her husband, Carl, in 2007.
The emotional ceremony featured numerous cohorts who shared testimonies about the indelible impression Foultz left on them.
Star Charities volunteer Barb Peletier introduced more than a half dozen members of Foultz’s charity.
“We’re here to say goodbye to a little lady with a very big heart,” she said. “Anna instilled in the Star Charities volunteers that one can never do or give enough to the community or those in need.”
Sen. Mary Beth Carozza (R-38) and Del. Wayne Hartman (R-38C) presented Foultz’s son, Carl Jr., and his wife, Janet, with citations from the Maryland Senate and Gov. Larry Hogan.
“Yes indeed, Anna Foultz is smiling down,” she said. “Anna Foultz was a true servant leader.”
Worcester County Commissioner Chip Bertino, who featured a column by Foultz in the Courier newspaper for years, referenced an old show business adage that epitomized her civic-minded spirit.
“Leave them wanting just a little bit more,” he said.
Bertino said Foultz was perpetually lending aid and moving forward.
“Her daughter told me the best way to honor Anna was to keep the momentum going,” he said. “I don’t think I would be able to keep up with the pace that Anna set.”
Foultz was involved and a common fixture at Ocean Pines Association meetings, Bertino said.
“It wasn’t uncommon to spot her in the front row, hair and attire perfect,” he said. “If she had something to say … she was going to say it regardless of the topic being discussed at the time.”
Even in her advanced years, Foultz remained engaged when many others would be slowing up, Bertino said.
“She was always looking ahead, and I don’t think she ever looked in the rearview mirror,” he said.
Foultz was known for her constant smile and kindness.
“She wasn’t’ overwhelmed by status or stature. With her people were just people,” he said.
Welling up with emotion, Bertino theorized heaven surely exists and undoubtedly includes musical accompaniment.
“I believe Anna is enjoying both in Carl’s arms,” he said. “We are fortunate to live in our community, and we are blessed that, for a time, we lived in the community that Anna called home.”
Sue Walter, who served as Star Charities secretary in recent years, praised her departed friend’s altruistic nature.
“Anna is watching over us today [and] taking pictures,” she said.
Recalling the pair always closed conversations by stating, “I love you,” Walter said she was fortunate to have shared those sentiments during her friend’s final days.
“I’m blessed that I got to say those words to her just three days before she passed,” she said.
“You spread happiness for all the years you were here on Earth,” she said. “Rest in peace sweet Anna.”
Larry Walton, who rubbed elbows with Foultz in Star Charities and numerous community groups, said the bottom line was service.
“She was such a giver to the community,” he said. “If we could all follow in her footsteps, what a community we’ll have.”
Highlighting a donation drive to support Star Charities’ current “Holiday Gifts for Soldiers” campaign slated for that Saturday at the Ocean Pines Food Lion, Walton said that would be the groups’ final venture as the nonprofit’s name will be retired.
Paul Mazzei who bonded with the Foultz in multiple community organizations, including Star Charities and the Sons of Italy Ocean City Lodge #2747, said Anna set an example more should follow.
“Anna belonged to a lot of organizations but she’s not like most of us … she took an active part,” he said.
Her dedication to those less fortunate bordered on the obsessive, Mazzei said.
“She could not do enough for Star Charities,” he said. “There’s no doubt in my mind the second day she was in heaven, God had to call her aside … and say, ‘Anna, I’m in charge up here.’”
Mazzei then recalled the long-running Readers Digest column, “My Most Unforgettable Character.”
“Anna Foultz is my most unforgettable character of Ocean Pines and, thanks to the dedication today, she will not be forgotten,” he said.
Former Worcester County Commissioner Judy Boggs counted Foultz among her circle of close friends.
“I want you to know there was a side of Anna that no one knew about,” she said.
Boggs recounted a heart-to-heart conversation years earlier where Foultz expressed self-doubts.
“We would not think of Anna as modest [or] unsure of herself because we know how she barrels into a room and takes it over,” she said.
Boggs said Foultz once confided in her that she had received an accolade she did not deserve.
“One day, she called me asking for help. ‘I’ve been elected the businesswoman of the year for the whole country,’ and I said, ‘Anna, that’s wonderful,’” she said. “She said, ‘no it isn’t, I’m a fraud [and] not a businesswoman.”
Boggs set about to convince Foultz the honor was well-earned.
“I said, “OK, let’s write down what a businesswoman does, and she said, ‘they make money,’” she recounted. “I said, ‘you make more money than all of them, but you give it away.
“It took two sessions to get her to believe she was indeed a businesswoman and deserved that [because] she wanted to give it back,” she said. “She went across the country, made a speech, and knocked them dead.”
Ocean Radio 98.1 general manager and morning personality Bulldog shared impressions of Foultz formed during multiple on-air discussions.
“Anna spent more time in the studio then some of my employees,” he quipped. “Every time she came into my studio, she came in to help someone else.”
Bulldog then boiled her personality down to three points.
“She is the epitome of goodness [and] selflessness and she left the longest answering machine messages I’ve ever heard in my life,” he said.
While radio interviews do affect listeners, Bulldog said Foultz’s guest spots never failed to elicit a large reaction.
“I would get emails and texts, ‘We love her, she’s great, can she come back,’ and I said, ‘She will, trust me,’” he said. “You know what, I’m not so sure she not coming back again.”
In addition to the room dedication on Thursday, Peletier said the Kiwanis Club of Greater Ocean Pines and Ocean City will award an, “Anna Foultz,” scholarship to a high school senior next May.
In closing, Anna’s son, Carl Jr., said his parents would be reunited with funeral service plans that include a resting spot next to her husband.
“She told me a thousand times that she wanted to go to Arlington [National Cemetery] and be buried with my dad,” he said.
Anticipating up to a 10-month delay for the funeral service because of Arlington’s procedures, Foultz said details would be forthcoming.
“She loved this community and everybody here more than you could know,” he said.