Sarah Ann (McNeely) Fitz

September 24, 1931 ~ December 20, 2021 (age 90)


Sarah Ann McNeely Fitz passed away peacefully on December 20, 2021 in Corpus Christi, Texas at the age of 90.  Born in Graves County, Kentucky to Sophia Edna Fuqua McNeely and Stirling McNeely, Ann grew up in Mayfield, Kentucky and spent her teen years in Cocoa Beach, Florida later attending the University of Miami and McMurry University in Abilene, Texas earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and Music.   Ann taught music in the Austin and Leander area public elementary schools for many years. 

1976 was the halfway mark and a significant turning point in her life when she entered into permanent sobriety and started on an incredible spiritual journey.   A widow and her children grown, Ann began her travels which eventually led her to make her home in Corpus Christi.  She was inspired by the peace and justice works of Dorothy Day, Mahatma Ghandi, Dr. Martin Luther King, and the Berrigan  brothers and became a part of the Catholic Worker movement, living and working in community from Atlanta, Georgia to Los Angeles’ skid row.  She volunteered in Marietta, Georgia at the Habitat for Humanity and like her mentors had done, participated in peaceful protests including at the School of the Americas in Georgia where she was arrested six times.   Passing through Corpus Christi in 1991 on a peace walk to Central America, she fell in love with the area and founded the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker House on South Carrizo Street as a house of hospitality which she shared with recovering alcoholics.  With help from the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament, Holy Cross, St. Thomas Moore, and St. Phillips, among other parishes, and her many friends from the recovery community, she began to serve the homeless on our streets.  Serving boiled eggs and tortillas out of a donated bread truck, she became known as “the egg lady” on the streets.  She became a mentor, not only to the poor on the streets but especially to those who became rich in the joy of giving with her.  She visited with women in the local jails taking the message of sobriety and a better life to those most in
need.   Her establishment of the Maurin-Day House on Leopard Street eventually became the Mother Teresa Day Shelter.

A convert to Catholicism, Ann began writing a monthly column in the diocesan newspaper, the South Texas Catholic in 1996. Her articles revealed her love of the Gospels and taught us to “walk the walk.”  They continued until 2010 and were recently compiled in a book for her 90th birthday. Love lifted me … excerpts of which are available on the ddcwhcc,org website.

For the past several years she served Sunday breakfast from her home at the Catholic Worker alternating Sundays with friends from other parishes. Every service would bring volunteers of all ages to help feed and clothe anyone in need.  Hundreds would show up to enjoy coffee and plates of hot biscuits and gravy. Her work continues today at the Dorothy Day House housing men in recovery and serving in the hearts of the countless friends she met and inspired along the way.

Ann was predeceased by her parents, brother Ralph McNeely, husband William Fitz and infant daughter Katherine Fitz and special friend, Billy Carl Short. 

She is survived by her sons Walter Van Zandt and Isaac Van Zandt (Ruth Ann), daughter, Allison Fitz Schlepp (Jason P) who cared for her in her final months, grandchildren, Thomas, Amber (Curt), Travis (Hannah), Alex, and six great grandchildren.

An outdoor Celebration of Life will be held at the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker House, 210 South Carrizo, 78401 on Tuesday, January 18 th  from 5-8pm.  

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the house or a charity of your choice in her honor.

See for more about Ann Fitz and the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker House of Corpus Christi.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Sarah Ann (McNeely) Fitz, please visit our floral store.


Celebration of Life
January 18, 2022

5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Dorothy Day
210 South Carrizo
Corpus Christi, TX 78401

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