Ann-Eve Mansfeld Johnson

Honored By

Honored by: Cunningham-Jones, Janna-Neen J.
Date submitted: October 24, 2006
Gift: Leaf Tile, Large

Ann-Eve Mansfeld and her sister Leonor, were third Generation members of a Pioneer Arizona family. Grandfather, S. J. Mansfeld, was founder of the University of Arizona, and first President of the Board of Regents. He was owner of the first news depot and library west of the Pecos River. He was a community leader and philanthropist. Her grandmother, Eva Goldschmidt, gave founding moneys for the first synagogue in Tucson, and was a founder of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra (as a member of the Saturday Morning Musical Club). Mother Vivian Ainsworth, was also from a pioneer family. She was a crack shot - better than the men in the family at "bringing home the bacon" and a super bridge player. Her only sibling was Leonor, 10 months younger, but they might as well have been twins.

Ann-Eve graduated from Tucson High School and the University of Arizona (1930). She was a member of Mortar Board Women's Scholastic Honorary and Alpha Phi social sorority. She was secretary to the Student Body, and a winner of the Freeman Medal. She was a founding member of the Tucson Junior League, and eventually served two terms as President. Ann-Eve was a charter member of the U of A Alumni Association, and was eventually President of the group. She was also founding President of the Friends of the University of Arizona Library.

Ann-Eve made a career of community involvement. Among her monumental achievements was preservation of numerous historic structures in the downtown of Tucson during the Urban Renewal movements of the 1960s. The most prominent of her efforts was in the saving of the Fremont-Carillo House. She founded the Tucson Heritage Foundation to carry on her vision and work. She was President of the Arizona Historical Society.

Ann-Eve was one of the first members of the Pima County Board of Welfare and became Chairman of that Board in a day when individuals were placed on "welfare" after interviews and votes. She served as a member and then twice President of what became the St. Luke's Home and their Board of Visitors (the fundraising arm). Ann-Eve fought in the State Legislature to have the University of Arizona School of Medicine in Tucson rather than Phoenix, and then established the Cystic Fibrosis Clinic for Children at that school. Her efforts to build and maintain a Children's Colony for developmentally disabled children in Coolidge, Arizona was a pioneer effort in an emerging field.

Ann-Eve was totally supportive of the education and development of her children, and actively participated in their academic and social lives. All of their friends just loved her. She was tiny and elegant (she was included in Tucson's Best Dressed List so many years that a Hall of Fame was created for her!!!), vivacious, and loved her husband and family to distraction. Ann-Eve loved to travel and billed our vacation as educational trips - and they were - as we trailed this tiny person through the Prado and again through the souks of Istanbul, up the steps of the Parthenon, and watched the geysers at Yellowstone.

Ann-Eve was politically active, too, and, as a second-generation Republican, started canvassing neighborhoods as a precinct Committeewoman. Her efforts finally earned her a place as Republican National Committeewoman, and finally, as Vice-Chairman of the national campaign for Barry Goldwater when he ran for President of the United States.

Ann-Eve also managed to fit in a stint as founder and President of the Tucson Chapter of Planned Parenthood. She had met Margaret Sanger, the national founder, who had a winter home in Tucson for many years. Ann-Eve became a disciple of Mrs. Sanger, and went on to help her friend, Peggy Goldwater, start a chapter in Phoenix.

Ann-Eve managed all of this activity with joie de vivre, smiles, tact and the avid support of her children and encouragement of her husband. A true 21st Century Woman!!

Janna-Neen Johnson Cunningham-Jones