Evans, Anne “Annie” McNamara 29, of South Boston and Wellesley, Massachusetts, passed away November 7, 2019 from complications of Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). She died at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, surrounded by family and looked after by her amazing clinical care team.
Annie grew up in Wellesley, where she attended the public schools. She spent every summer with her extended family on the cove at Kennebunk Beach, working at the Kennebunk Beach Improvement Association, frequenting Mother’s Beach, and riding mopeds through the port. She also loved attending Portland Sea Dogs games with her grandfather, Dan Burke, the team’s founder.
A talented student and athlete, Annie played for a state championship high school hockey team her sophomore year and was a captain of the team as a senior. She went on to attend Bowdoin College where she majored in government and environmental studies and spent a semester abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland.
After Bowdoin, Annie worked for Island Creek Oysters in sales, marketing, event planning and anything else asked of her. During her time at Island Creek, she helped the company grow and develop new businesses and programs, including managing their pop-up store on Newbury Street in Boston, and helping run the Aquaculture Club for students in the Duxbury schools. Island Creek treated Annie like family, and everyone at the company did everything in their power to do right by Annie when illness eventually sidelined her from work.
In early 2016, Annie was diagnosed with AML. She was treated at Dana Farber and met every challenge with grace, courage, and good humor. After her first bone marrow transplant, Annie was briefly in remission, and became engaged to Dan Evans, her Bowdoin College sweetheart and love of her life. Shortly before their wedding date, Annie learned that she had relapsed, but kept the news close so all could enjoy their ceremony and spectacular reception on the cove in Kennebunk, her favorite place in the world. Making the most of her unfortunate circumstances, Annie found ways to help in the fight against cancer. She shared her story on a Red Sox telecast with Dennis Eckersley and Dave O’Brien during the Jimmy Fund Telethon, and to a full ballroom audience at the Friends of Dana Farber annual fundraiser dinner. She also worked on widening access to the bone marrow donation registry Be the Match.
One week after her magical wedding, Annie was back in the hospital for treatment and a second transplant. After a long and courageous battle, her cancer proved too stubborn. Annie kept her spirit, sense of humor, and concern for others right to the very end. She became a favorite of the amazing caregivers at Dana Farber and Brigham and Women’s, all of whom did so much to try to cure her cancer and later, to keep her comfortable in her final days and hours.
Annie will be remembered as a kind, selfless, courageous wife, daughter, sister and friend, who warmed rooms with her smile and humor. Throughout her life, she developed a large circle of close friends. She loved boating, dining out, and going to sporting events; essentially, all things fun and social. Always up for an adventure, she and Dan spent a remarkable vacation traveling the coast of California, a memorable trip between her many treatments.
Annie was pre-deceased by her grandparents, Thomas and Mary Alice McNamara and Daniel Burke and survived by her grandmother, Bunny Burke. She is also survived by husband Dan Evans, her parents, Sally and Mike McNamara, siblings Patrick McNamara, Megan McNamara and Lieutenant Junior Grade Molly McNamara Krysil and her husband, Lieutenant Tom Krysil, as well as numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. John the Evangelist Church on Monday, November 11 at 10:00am. A visitation will take place at George F. Doherty & Sons Funeral Home, 477 Washington St. (Rt.16), Wellesley from 2pm to 7pm on Sunday, November 10.
In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made in memory of Annie to support: Dr. Robert Soiffer’s AML Research Fund at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284.