KILMARNOCK—Dr. Vida Ann Vliet Deringer passed peacefully at her home in Kilmarnock on Thursday, June 16, at the age of 90.
Born August 9, 1931, in Runge, Texas. Ann lived through the Great Depression on a sharecropper farm and later in an abandoned railroad boxcar. Ann’s earliest memory was that of picking cotton at the age of 3 alongside the adults to help provide for the family.
She went to school in a one room German schoolhouse, the only English speaking student. She attended Southwest Texas State Teachers College where she met her husband of 32 years, aspiring author R. G. Vliet. She graduated from Yale University, receiving a master’s of English and theater.
She then became the first female professor at Penn State, where she also received a doctorate in English literature. In the 1960s, Ann taught at American Indian College in Springfield, Mass., from which she was “let go” for participating in the Martin Luther King marches. Following a two-year sabbatical in Mexico, Ann was hired at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts where she innovated and became director of the Theater Department. She retired at the age of 54, upon the death of her husband.
Moving back to Texas, Ann became a literary critic for several prominent newspapers, including the N.Y. Times. She dabbled in writing, putting out two murder mysteries. At 56 she discovered photography, which became her all consuming passion. Ann has won several awards for her photography and other art mediums, one of which was displayed in Washington, D.C. Moving to Virginia in 1993, she became very active in the Rappahannock Art League. Ann produced art up until two weeks before passing.
Ann is predeceased by a second husband of three years, newspaper journalist Douglas Deringer.
She leaves behind a daughter, Brooke V. Soens, (Thomas Soens), grandchildren Ricardo Noe Carrillo (Emily Hines), Ana Carmen Carrillo, Brooke Renee Carrillo Northern (Damon Northern), Rebecca Nicole Carrillo Palmiotto (Brent Palmiotto), Antonio Gabriel Carrillo; and two great-grandchildren, Brennan Sol Palmiotto and Brisa Noemi Palmiotto.