Obituary: Ann Lucia Hewitt Mottl

July 19, 1939-May 15, 2024

In Celebration of the Life of Ann Lucia Hewitt Mottl

Ann was so many things to so many people – a teacher, writer, mother, grandmother, wife, friend, role model, gardener, quilter, environmentalist, and humanitarian. But first and foremost, Ann was a kind, loving, strong, and curious woman. Ann loved all living creatures, whether human or not; whether with fur, or fins or feathers. Ann loved the world and all its attributes. She wondered often; how the world evolved… how the various cultures and languages of the earth came to be… why people behave as they do. Ann represented the best humanity has to offer, and she modeled this behavior for her children, grandchildren and many others who she encountered over her lifetime; passing along her kindness, love, strength and curiosity to future generations. Here are some of the stories that exemplify Ann’s beautiful spirit and the legacy she leaves.

Ann was born and raised in Michigan near Ann Arbor, majored in history at the University of Michigan, and then turned to teaching elementary school children, helping support Tom, her spouse, during his graduate school work following their marriage in August, 1961. Ann grew up a country girl, living in a historic tavern at Cambridge Junction Michigan on the highway that was the stagecoach route between Detroit and Chicago. Her siblings, Beth, Nancy and Ted, were her playmates as the next house in the neighborhood was a mile up the road. She raised sheep, chickens and rabbits while breaking her yearling palomino quarter horse Honey as a teenager and helping her beloved parents, Jim and Lucia, with the family antiques business. Ann’s artistic talents took her to Interlochen Music Camp on a scholarship and landed her the lead role in her high school senior play. The summer before starting college her spirit of adventure took her to the 320 Guest Ranch near Bozeman Montana. Here Ann waitressed and rode sweep rider position on guest trail rides, making sure no guest got lost or went over the edge of the Gallatin River Canyon mountain trails.

Ann was a committed and loving mother to her three children, Julie, Joe, and Amy while also helping to found and then spearheading the ESL program in Reading Massachusetts. She taught children from more than 40 countries over the course of what became a new 25-year career. Ann’s creativity led her to write numerous short stories and poems, culminating in her novel, ‘By Hook or By Stars’, which wove together stories of a multigenerational, multicultural family seeking to discover who they were as individuals and how they fit into a constellation of family relationships. The book, short stories and poems that Ann wrote drew on her experience with people as teacher, organizer, and leader of causes focused on the environment, immigration access and rights, and animal welfare. As her grandchildren began their college years, Ann focused on using her creativity and artistic talents to create large, beautiful hand sewn quilts and pillows to lovingly launch them into the next phase of their lives.

Ann loved traveling with Tom, her husband of 62 years, visiting with family in the U.S. and abroad, learning about people and exploring cultures internationally, and experiencing wildlife in Kenya and Tanzania – the favorite trip of her life!

Ann coined the concept 1+1=16 that embraces a family that will treasure Ann’s spirit, values, and love in our ongoing lives – Tom, soulmate and spouse, children Julie, Joe, and Amy, their spouses Mario, Laura, and Michael, and grandchildren Cole, Nico, Tommy, Ava, Miranda, Vivian, Kennen, and Lucas.

To commemorate Ann’s life, these are the charitable causes she would ask you to consider: The Nature Conservancy ( and/or UURise (, a refugee and emigrant services and education nonprofit organization.

Ann’s Celebration of Life memorial service will be held at the Reading Unitarian Universalist Church, 239 Woburn Street, Reading, and will start at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 8th.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email