Mary Ann Lackey

Mary Ann Lackey

Mary Ann Lackey, 77, passed away peacefully on Feb. 12, 2021. She had been a resident of Avon Park since 2000, formerly living in Bonita Springs, Florida and Sacramento, California, and many places in between. Mary Ann was born in Morristown, New Jersey in December 1943. She was the daughter of Albert and Margaret Hopping, was one of five children and spent her childhood in Hackettstown, New Jersey.

Mary Ann favored warmer climates and after visiting her Aunt Gert and Aunt Ann in the winter in Bonita Springs. She fell in love with Florida and the Gulf Coast. Mary Ann traveled cross country many times with her family, working in hospitality and retail sales, and ended up retiring from Walgreens in Bonita Springs in 1999. In 2000, Mary Ann and her late husband, James Lackey, moved to Avon Park where they could spend their golden years restoring old cars and caring for horses, cows, buffalo, chickens and many dogs and cats. Mary Ann especially loved her Westies Duke and Dusty, her protector and companion Sampson the Labradoodle and her Mustang Reiny. Mary Ann was a strong supporter of the Highlands County Animal Shelter and the Humane Society and adopted many older dogs from the shelter to provide them companionship in their final years.

Mary Ann was a member of Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Avon Park. Mary Ann is survived by her three children, Barbara Kuhlmann, Marty Hartzell and Michael Ward; five grandchildren; her brother, Tim Hopping; and sister, Cindy Holder.

A funeral service will not be held. In lieu of flowers or other acknowledgements, contributions can be made to the Highlands County Humane Society at 863-655-1522 or to your local county animal shelter.

Stephenson-Nelson Funeral Home, 111 E. Circle St., Avon Park, FL 33825. Online condolences may be left at