Ann Friend, Beloved Community Leader
Ann was one of the first to be designated a Hometown Hero in The Woodlands.
Ann Friend and her husband, Clifford, moved to The Woodlands, Montgomery County, Texas, in 1977 when The Woodlands was just beginning. A tremendously community-minded civic leader, Ann’s love for The Woodlands and her keen business sense enabled her to make her mark on “her town.”
Ann was one of the first to be designated a Hometown Hero in The Woodlands, an award bestowed upon residents who are active contributors to this community. She owned a successful direct-mail business, The Mailing House, and was one of the founders of the South Montgomery County Woodlands Chamber of Commerce. She helped establish traditions in The Woodlands, such as the holiday fundraising for Interfaith, associated with luminaries and the annual parades.
Ann was also involved in promoting the public library in South County, its schools, and — among her greatest accomplishments — helped to found Interfaith, a non-profit social service agency providing programs and services to meet the needs of The Woodlands. She organized community support to gain state approval to build a nonprofit hospital in south Montgomery County, initially called The Woodlands Hospital, now known as Memorial Hermann The Woodlands. She was instrumental in establishing The Academy for Life-Long Learning at Montgomery College (now Lone Star College) and began the Interfaith tradition of business advertising in the Interfaith Directory, a tremendous fundraising activity. She was active in United Way and the Woodlands Chamber of Commerce, as well as many other organizations.
Clifford and Ann Friend were the parents of world-renown yoga master, John Friend of Shenandoah, Texas, and Robert Friend of Atlanta, Georgia. Clifford Friend died in 1998, and Ann died on September 2, 2002, in The Woodlands.
By Melinda Reeves Cagle
Information provided by the Texas Heritage Society