Anna “Anne” P. Cannata, of Simi Valley, passed away on Thursday, April 13, 2023, at 92 years of age.
Anne was born in New Britain, Connecticut to Casimir and Felicia Okulicz; one of 6 children. In 1952 she
married her husband Frank, and together they had 63 wonderful years raising their 4 kids, enjoying
friends, playing golf, and traveling the world - visiting most of the continents.
Anne became an artist as a result of the encouragement of one of her college teachers. Through the
years, Anne’s creativity, talent and skills flourished, and she expanded to work and excel in multiple
media including oils, acrylic, watercolor, pen and ink, pastels, clay, etc. Anne also learned the “fine art”
of teaching others to create. She volunteered her time to train the students at Bellwood Elementary
School in Simi Valley, taught privately in her home, and then began a long career in art instruction at the
Simi Valley Adult Education campus. Anne taught Adult Education Art classes for about 40 years,
officially retiring in 2014. Throughout those years, Anne made many friends who she continued to meet
with on a regular basis to continue her painting. During her years as an artist and teacher, she remained
active in the Simi Valley Art Association. In 2005, Anne worked with Ruth Marple to reorganize and
reenergize the Art Association back into existence and Anne served as President in 2006 and 2007. Her
children, grandchildren, and friends are lucky to have much of her artwork decorating the walls of their
homes. Anne also became interested in expanding her talents and developed a skill for creating
beautiful painted china items. She bought her own kiln and began to design and paint unique pieces,
ultimately making a hand painted set of china dinnerware for each of her children, something that they
all still have and cherish. In her lifetime, she must have taught thousands of children and adults
throughout Simi Valley, leaving a lasting legacy.
Anne, along with her husband, Frank, were long time members of Sunset Hills Golf Course and Simi
Valley New in Town, where they formed many lifetime friendships. Anne displayed her “Hole-in-One”
certificate with great pride. Anne also served as a volunteer docent at the Ronald Reagan Presidential
Library and was proud of the day she met the President at a library event.
Mom was an independent soul – strong and proud. She was also direct and honest, sometimes to a
fault. Anne had a passion to help people and was a good listener, offering life-lessons and words of
wisdom. She was an avid lover of the Arts and taught her children the value and beauty of all forms.
Many a times we went on trips to the theater, cultural exhibits, museums of all types, and art auctions.
We learned about the great artists, painting styles, light, and colors. Mom always said “that everyone
has a talent” and encouraged us to find ours.
Mom and Dad believed in the importance of family. While Mom was born into a Polish family, she
adopted her husband’s Italian family as her own and learned to cook Italian meals like her Sicilian
Mother-in-Law. In 1998, Mom gave each of her kids a handwritten illustrated cookbook with all of our
family recipes - Yum. Anne was dearly loved and will be greatly missed. Anne was proceeded in death
by her beloved husband, Frank. She is survived by her four children; Marianne, Rozanne, Suzanne and
Frank. In addition, she will be missed by Jack, Dwight, David, and Marco, her four grandchildren and
their spouses, with one grandson awaiting her arrival in heaven, ten great grandchildren and their
spouses, and two great, great grandchildren. And let’s not forget her many furry dog and cat children!
A private service is planned for May 1, 2023. A Celebration of Life will be held on May 2, 2023. Please
contact Reardon Mortuary, 805-526-6677, for the time and location of the Celebration of Life. In lieu of
flowers and to honor Mom, memorial donations may be made in Anne’s name to the Lupus Foundation
of America or the American Cancer Society.