Annette Slovenz Leary of Nathrop gained her angel wings on Feb. 25, 2023. She died peacefully at home after a long battle with cancer.
Annette was born on Nov. 30, 1958 in Long Branch, N.J., to the late Joseph N. and Martha Jane Slovenz. She was the oldest of three children. Annette enjoyed and excelled in MYGAL Softball League and was crowned Miss Little League in 1970. She graduated Middletown High School North in 1977.
Wanting to be like her father who was an avid pilot, Annette obtained her private pilot’s license in 1978. She moved to Daytona Beach to attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to become a professional pilot. Growing restless with becoming a pilot, Annette decided to move from sunny Florida to sunny Albuquerque, N.M. where she attended the University of New Mexico. Annette obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and Communication, graduating magna cum laude. She was later inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa Society.
It was in Albuquerque that Annette would meet the love of her life, her husband, Tadd William Leary. Annette and Tadd loved the desert but soon discovered the beauty of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. It was near the small town of Buena Vista by the continental divide where they built their dream home. Finding the right piece of land and the building their dream home would take several years. So, they purchased a 5th wheel RV and would travel to Buena Vista several times a year to start laying down their roots. Annette and Tadd made friends easily and people would naturally gravitate to both of them. They quickly had a close network of friends in their new home town.
Annette loved traveling, camping, NASCAR, football, gardening, hiking, skiing, taking friends and family out on ATV adventures and so much more. Annette was very close to her father. She was so much like her father she was affectionately called “Little Joe”.
Annette is survived by her sisters Margaret Slovenz (Scott Kniffin), Jane Matthews; stepmother Nancy Epps; cousins Little Guy Hoefert (David Ingram), Kelly Caldwell (David) and Randy Barron; and nieces Lindsey Matthews and Amber Daz. She was loved by many more aunts, uncles and cousins. Annette will be missed by all those who knew her.
Memorial contributions can be made to: Ark-Valley Humane Society, 701 Gregg Drive, Buena Vista, CO 81211, 719-395-2737. Website: www.ark-valley.org