Ann Elizabeth Rockwell, age 61, of Clear Brook, Virginia passed away December 28, 2021, after a courageous battle with cancer. She was a devoted mother, wife, sister, extended family member and friend. Ann was born on January 12, 1960, in Washington D.C. Throughout her childhood, Ann’s love for horses and ponies began when she learned to ride being taught by her grandmother and horsewoman Elizabeth Burckes. Ann went on to compete successfully in horse shows, became a horse trainer and rode as a competitive female jockey across the East Coast racing and winning on tracks including Hialeah, Charlestown and Delaware Park. She was known for her courage as a rider and compassion for the horses she trained and rode.
After her retirement as a jockey, Ann continued as an astute pony and horse trainer and also pursued a career in real estate. Ann spent the rest of her time as a dedicated and proud mom to her three children. Ann is survived by her husband Donald L.; her daughters Jessica A. and Lauren E. Aiosa; and her son Philip P.
Ann was also a very devoted member of her extended family of cousins, aunts and uncles in the Laimbeer family (Rosemary, Frank, William, Gaylene, Richard, Alice, Parker, Margot, Sara, Brian, Riley, Gerard, Daphrie, Mathew, Lexi, Eliza), the Burckes family (Virginia) and the Simpson family (Bob, Rob, Ariane, Conor, Maura, Michael, Mark, Betty, Natalie, Erica). She was a regular and fully engaged participant at these extended family gatherings bringing her sense of humor, compassion and caring to each person. As Ann spent several years living when younger with the Laimbeer and Simpson families, she became the bridge for each new generation of family members to the larger extended family through her storytelling of the past, dry wit and straight-talking common sense. Ann would remind all of the power of family ties to get through hard times noting that when things are tough and unpredictable, it's family that will be there for support. We benefited from her thoughtfulness and resilience as we learned lessons watching her negotiate her way through the world as an independent and resourceful young woman. Yet mostly she will be dearly missed for the person who cared about each of us in her own special way.
Ann was fond of saying “We don’t grow when things are easy. We grow when we face challenges.” This and her love of her family will be her legacy and comfort for those who will remember her in their hearts for the rest of their lives. She is preceded in death by her parents Thomas Burckes II and Joan Mealey and her brother Thomas Burckes III. Due to the current pandemic, a celebration of life for Ann will be held on a future date. Information regarding date and location will be announced.
A Memorial Tree was planted for Ann
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Direct Cremation Svcs of VA - Stephens City