COLUMBIA — As the oldest of five children, Anna Laura Cannaday cared for her younger siblings growing up. Later, she cared for their children as well, her son, Christopher Cannaday, said.
"She was such an advocate for family," her daughter Carrie Cannaday said. "Such a fiercely mothering person and really, a friend."
Anna Laura Cannaday of Columbia died Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013, of pancreatic cancer. She was 67.
She was born June 22, 1946, in Granite City, Ill., to Anson Eugene and Anna Maurine Milster.
She married Gary Cannaday on June 8, 1969, in Columbia. The two met on a blind date.
"I was so shy. It took me a month to ask her what her last name was," Gary Cannaday said.
The couple recently celebrated their 44th anniversary.
"She had good family values," Gary Cannaday said. "She loved her kids and grand-kids."
He said Mrs. Cannaday loved spending time with her family.
"She was very proud of us and her grand-kids," Christopher Cannaday said. "She loved crafting with them, babysitting and caring for them. We had family game nights; she loved to play Monopoly and Rook."
After her children had grown up, Mrs. Cannaday spent time with them by going antique and estate shopping on the weekends to find hidden treasures.
Christopher Cannaday said his mother and father would go out to the mountains in Colorado each year, and sometimes the whole family would join.
"She would drive out there or out to Oklahoma to see me; she just loved spending time with family," Christopher Cannaday said.
Mrs. Cannaday fought pancreatic cancer for seven months before she died.
"She was strong to fight the cancer as long as she did," Gary Cannaday said.
Mrs. Cannaday is survived by her husband, Gary Cannaday, of Columbia; son Christopher Cannaday and his partner, David, of Oklahoma City, Okla.; two daughters, Shannon Dietzel and her husband, Mark, and Carrie Cannaday, both of Columbia; two brothers, Johnny Milster and his wife, Charlotte, of Montgomery City, and Frank Milster and his wife, Nancy, of Mexico, Mo.; two sisters, Chanda Wainscott and her husband, Tim, of Kansas City, and Sandra Freiling and her husband, Carl, of Ashland; and five grandchildren Andrea Dietzel, Gary Dietzel, Hannah Dietzel, Emma Adams and Lilly Cannaday.
A visitation will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. Thursday at Memorial Funeral Home, 1217 Business Loop 70 W., with services to follow.
Tributes can be posted at memorialfuneralhomeandcemetery.com.
Supervising editor is Allie Hinga.