Ann Frederica Gratz

ann  gratz

April 26, 1934 ~ April 1, 2024

Born in: Bideford, England
Resided in: Ashburn, Virginia

Ann Frederica (Backway) Gratz passed quietly in the night between Easter Sunday and April 1, 2024.

Ann was born in Bideford, Devon, England in 1934. Growing up on the River Torridge near Westward Ho!, Ann held a lifelong love of being near and on the water. While working as a British policewoman in Cyprus in 1959, she met and married Charles (Bud) Wright III who was stationed at the American Embassy. She emigrated to the USA where she became a citizen in 1963. Two boys, a divorce, and some time later, she married again. Ann and William (Bill) Gratz welcomed a daughter and the family settled on Jade Court in Vienna, VA.

Ann’s many passions included tennis, sailing, blues music, annual trips to Ocean City and Bethany Beach, collecting British Royals memorabilia, Sweet Adelines, church choir, Neal Diamond, participating in dramatic and musical performances at Lansdowne Woods and Ashby Ponds, which was to be her last residence. She was also a member of Transatlantic Brides and Parents Association. She studied Russian, spoke French, and had beautiful handwriting. With a fountain pen, she corresponded through Air Mail with her family in England to share the latest news and family milestones.

Ann worked in administration for GWU, Chess, Durrette & Roeder, Reaction Instruments, and the MITRE Corporation among others.

Her Husband Bill passed peacefully at home in August 2023.

Ann is survived by sons John Gratz (Terry Strayer) and Ric Gratz (Ellen Bennett), daughter Beth Liechty (Kent Liechty), grandchildren Benjamin and Devon (Ric), Zach, Caity, Max, and Sam (Beth), five great-grandchildren, and many friends and family who remember her generosity, lovely voice, sharp wit, beautiful scarves, and rich history. Knowing she is reunited with her parents, her sisters, and her husband William gives her family and friends much comfort.

A Memorial Service at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 7426 Idylwood Road, Falls Church, VA 22043 on Friday, April 26, 2024, 10:30 a.m.


Memorial Service: April 26, 2024 10:30 am

St. Paul's Lutheran Church
7426 Idylwood Rd.
Falls Church, VA 22043


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  1. John,
    So sorry about your mom. She sounds like a delightful person.
    Best to you and your family,
    Pamela Uncles

  2. Ann my dear friend, I will miss you always and cherish the wonderful times we’ve spent together.
    The shows, tea time, and our unforgettable cruise to France-beautiful memories to keep in my heart
    Forever. The good Lord keep you by His side, my thoughts and prayers are with you each day.

    With Love,

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