The American War Bride Experience

GI Brides of World War II

Anne E. Fleming

Fleming, Anne E. Tuesday, 09 Aug 2005
Bainbridge Island Review - Bainbridge Island, WA

Anne E. Fleming, age 85, died peacefully Aug. 9 at her home after a year-long battle with cancer. She was born Feb. 23, 1920 in Freshwater on the Isle of Wight in England to Thomas and Florence Fylan. Living through the air raids and bombings of World War II England, Anne’s family suffered many losses. One of eight children, she lost five brothers in the war, four of whom died in submarines in the British navy.

While working at the U.S. Officer’s Club in Southhampton, England in 1944, she met her husband Bruce Fleming. They were married in 1945 for 56 years until his death in 2001. They were in Belgium for a time after the war where Bruce was stationed during repatriation. Anne came to the U.S. in 1946 as a “war bride,” traveling across the Atlantic Ocean on a converted troop transport ship with many other war brides.

She and her husband made their first home in Yakima, and in 1957, they moved to their home on Crystal Springs on Bainbridge Island, where she lived for the rest of her life. She was an original member of the Bainbridge Light Opera Association, which later became the Bainbridge Performing Arts, was an honorary lifetime member. She appeared in more than 40 productions with BPA and several melodramas with the senior center.

The only car she drove for over 40 years – a 1959 Studebaker Silver Hawk – was an island landmark. She enjoyed gardening, travel and the theater and was a great fan of the Seattle Mariners.

She is survived by her son, Lou (Carol) Fleming of Bainbridge Island; daughter, Sandra Fleming of Bainbridge Island; grandsons Darren Fleming of Bellingham, Kenneth Fleming of Poulsbo; brother, Chris Fylan of Portland, Ore.; and numerous nieces and nephews.

There will be no services, but a celebration of life for her will be held 3-5 p.m. Aug. 28 at the Playhouse. All neighbors, friends and fellow performers are welcome.

Silverdale, WA 98383.

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