Annie Williams Grant, 83, was born in Blacksville, South Carolina and passed on July 3, 2019 at Monmouth Medical Center. She was raised and educated in New York City, attended Northeastern Academy High School, Walter Harvey Junior College and Drake Business School for studies in business administration and bookkeeping.
Annie retired on August 30, 2008 as a Commissioner on the Monmouth County Board of Taxation. She was appointed commissioner by Governor Jim Florio, sworn in on July 29, 1991; was reappointed to a second term by Governor Florio, then reappointed by Governor Whitman; and on June 16, 2003 was reappointed by Governor James McGreevey. Her duties included adjudicating property tax assessment appeals and overseeing the administration of property taxes in Monmouth County. She was the first African American to hold this quasi-judicial position in Monmouth County. When appointed, Annie was one of three African American Taxation Commissioners in New Jersey. Appeals to Annie’s rulings have been dismissed by the State Tax Court, and she had the distinction that several of these court decisions have been published in the Law Journal. Annie was a member of the International Association of Assessing Officers.
Professionally, she was the manager of the Long Branch H & R Block Income Tax Office for 30 years. She was a state certified instructor for income taxes, taught income tax classes for 30 years and conducted numerous seminars in local high schools and community groups. In 2000, she received the H & R Block Plaque for 30 years of outstanding service, along with a set of luggage. Annie retired in 2003, after 33 years with the tax service. She received other awards, including H & R Block President Certificates, the 1990 H & R Block Client Service Plaque and a diamond ring for 25 years of service. Annie was also a New Jersey State Notary Public.
Politically, she was the Democratic candidate for Monmouth County Clerk in 1989. Annie had been the Treasurer for the Long Branch Democratic Club for 30 years. On September 20, 1992 she was named Woman of the Year in Politics by the Monmouth County Commission on the Status of Women and also by the Asbury Park Democratic Club.
On February 4, 2005, Annie was invited by Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. to speak at the Democratic Congressional Round-table and also a special guest on the front row of the Capitol gallery, to hear the President’s State of the Union address. The next day, she participated in a rally and press conference on the steps of the Cannon Congressional Office Building with Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Congressmen Rangel, Levin, Conyers, Green, Hoyer and others. Again, she urged that the Social Security Program be left alone and that all the funds that had been borrowed from the Social Security Trust Fund be repaid with interest, (along with the $2 trillion needed for the proposed reform by President Bush) guaranteeing its solvency. Her comments were played on FM 107.1 (The Breeze) and carried in the Asbury Park Press as well as the Associated Press Network.
She had been very active in her community as President of District Six (Monmouth County) Veterans of Foreign Wars Ladies Auxiliary, President of the Ladies Auxiliary of VFW Post 2140 (Long Branch), Chairman of Volunteers for the Monmouth County American Red Cross, President of the Monmouth County Business and Professional Women’s Council, Inc., Secretary of the Long Branch Environmental Commission, Co-founder of Interfaith and Interracial Group, Girl Scout Leader, Member of Zonta International, the League of Women Voters, Fort Monmouth Ladies 18-Hole Golf Club and the Deborah Hospital Chapter.
Annie received many awards for service, including U.S. House of Representatives’ Citations, Monmouth County Freeholders Recognition Certificate, Monmouth County Democrats Recognition Plaque, New Jersey County Tax Boards Association Appreciation Plaque, New Jersey State Assembly Recognition Resolution, a Long Branch Mayor and City Council Proclamation and Community Service Certificate, VFW Post 2140 Woman of the Year Plaque, New Jersey State VFW Ladies Auxiliary Service Plaque, U.S. Army Certificates of Appreciation, Gordon Consistory #50 Community Service Award and the Par-ettes Golf Tournament Trophy in 1979 and 1988.
While living in Wurzburg, Germany with her Army husband Avery Grant, Annie organized a daycare center on the military post; and was called on several occasions to speak on organizing daycare centers at other installations in Germany. Upon leaving Germany, she was presented the Marne (3rd Infantry) Division Certificate of Appreciation by the Commanding General.
Annie was a member of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Long Branch and was active as Sunday School teacher, Vacation Bible School teacher, President of the 49er’s Circle Administrative Board member and volunteer tax consultant. She wrote a column on taxes in “THE COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER.”
Annie was married to Avery for 59 years. They have two children Avery Jr. Grant (Rose Marie) and Adrianne Dickerson (Peter) and a son-in-law Anthony Ferguson Sr.; grandchildren Anthony Scott Jr. (Belinda), Rene’, Shannon, Christina, Kyle Avery, Brandi and Joshua; great-granddaughter Jade; Godchildren Lisa, Chelsea, Cheyenne, Sharlene, Norman, Greg, Dolores and Timmy. Annie and Avery have lived in Long Branch since building their home in 1967.