ANNA MAE

We'll All Miss Her!


| November/December 1994



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Anna Mae Branyan, who was writing for Stemgas up to the day she died August 11, 1994was a compassionate, caring and deeply religious person who was a friend to several generations of our readers.

When I say 'we'll all miss her,' I refer not only to her family and the Stemgas staff in Lancaster, but also the thousands of readers whose lives she touched through her columns and other writings, over many years.

Anna Mae joined Stemgas when it was owned by the Rev. Elmer Ritzman, who founded IMA and the company in 1946. IMA was the only publication he had, but she proved an excellent assistant and served in may capacities.

The fledgling company grew and Elmer started GEM in 1966. The magazines that Anna Mae helped prepare were winning new friends for Stemgas, because of the coverage they received, and the warmth of feeling between the company and its readers.

When Mrs. Earlene Ritzman, Elmer's widow, decided to sell Stemgas to us in 1973, there was some question as to whether Anna Mae would continue in her editorial capacity. She had recovered from serious illness, and was active with the company at the time. When she agreed to continue as editor, we all heaved a big sigh of relief.

She provided continuity all these years. She was the one person who had been with the firm for so long. Many readers looked on her as a personal friend. Her columns were really letters to her pals out there in Engine land. And she frequently included religious thoughts, as well as messages of good cheer and encouragement.