Written by Kaitlin Hill

One hundred years ago, in June 1922, the world had its share of memorable moments from odd to outstanding. On June 13, a man named Charles Osborne came down with the longest case of hiccups on record lasting 68 years. On June 14, Warren G. Harding became the first president to use a radio. And on June 24, the American Professional Football Association was renamed the National Football League. But perhaps the most impactful event of June 1922, certainly to the people of Hunt Country, was the birth of Ann MacLeod on June 28. 

In her century on Earth, MacLeod has been a loyal friend to many, generous when devoting time to admirable causes, and, of course, a fierce competitor on the tennis court. But to sum up her life and celebrate her birthday with a timeline and list of accomplishments would be to simplify a woman who has been so much to so many. Instead, to celebrate her 100th birthday, we asked a few of the people who know MacLeod to share what they love most about her and why we are all lucky to have her. 

Her son, Colin MacLeod, describes his mother as, “very sunny, bright, and outgoing,” adding, “she’s a huge networker. You could be in an elevator with her somewhere and she would meet people from Europe and find some nuanced connection. It’s just remarkable the places she has been and the people that she has [been] acquainted with throughout her life.” A favorite memory of Colin MacLeod’s is the “manners nights” at the Middleburg Tennis Club. “That’s a cute story,” he says. “We used to have ‘manners night’ once a week at the club. She would invite my son, her grandson, James, to dress up and we would [learn] table manners at the tennis club. It was Ann’s idea.” As for her longevity, he shares his mother’s philosophy on nutrition. “She always ate vegetables from a home garden, protein, and wine. That’s what I always tell people, she likes to drink a lot of wine.” 

Beth Ann Mascatello says, “When someone says ‘Ann MacLeod’ the only words that come to mind are ‘pure joy.’” Mascatello met MacLeod at the Middleburg Tennis Club and shares that “Ann radiated sunshine and love. She is interesting, fascinating, and tenacious. However, what makes her uniquely special is her passion for others.” Mascatello adds, “She is truly interested in learning about others and their journey. Whether she was modeling in the Windy Hill fashion show or chairing the Windy Hill Gala, she has approached every day as an adventure with a positive, loving attitude.” Mascatello remembers a recent drive with MacLeod in April that was a testament to her outlook on life. “We were driving down Atoka Road and she was looking out the window with a smile on her face marveling at the Blue Ridge Mountains. She said, ‘My how I love the Blue Ridge Mountains. The birds are chirping, the sun is shining, this day couldn’t be any better.’” 

The passion for others as described by Mascatello has resulted in impactful partnerships with local organizations. Longtime friend Judy Washburn shares, “She is energetically charitable…Anybody who needs help, she is always there for them, especially those who have the least.” MacLeod is a familiar face at So Others May Eat (SOME), Windy Hill Foundation, and Middleburg and Upperville churches. “She was even the wedding organizer. At Trinity, she would be the person to tell the bride when to start down the aisle,” Washburn shares. And, she is credited with keeping the Goose Creek Bridge and Battle of Upperville sites in good repair through her lobbying and fundraising efforts. Washburn adds, “All the things she does, she does with so much enthusiasm and [she] draws other people in with her to help. She is just a remarkable person.” 

Tennis is perhaps the activity she approaches with the most enthusiasm, still playing twice a month at the Middleburg Tennis Club. Kevin Brundle, manager at the club, laughs, “I’ve gotten to know Ann as the queen of the club.” He adds, “Everyone knows her. She might not know everyone, but everyone knows her.” He shares that even at 100 years old, MacLeod still plays, still comes in for lunch with her son, and always has the best parties. “Whenever we threw a party for Ann, it always had to be the biggest party because everybody knew they had to come,” Brundle shares. When asked his professional opinion of her tennis game, Brundle says, “She’s still out there drop-shotting all her friends. She shows no mercy on the court.” Ruthless though she may be, Brundle emphasizes that “Ann makes it a personal purpose to make sure she talks to everybody at the club when she’s there. And every man there has to give her a kiss. She’s just great.” 

Remarkable, generous, kind, and full of life are all appropriate ways to describe MacLeod, but it would require another 100 years to completely capture her essence, share all her memorable moments, and express the fullness of gratitude her friends, family, and acquaintances feel for knowing her. Maybe Mascatello puts it best saying, “We could all learn from Ann and her approach to life, all 100 years!” ML