1959 - 2022
“Goodbyes are only for those who love with their eyes. Because for those who love with heart and soul there is no such thing as separation.” - Rumi
Ann Gagen Licata, 62, of Sorá, Panama died peacefully and surrounded by loved ones on February 3, 2022. Her love was huge, infectious, and fierce, and constantly felt by her family and friends. She was never one to be slowed down in business, in supporting her loved ones, and in finding joy in all aspects of her life, Ann brought a great deal of empathy and depth to her conversations with anyone, about anything.
Ann was born in Chicago, Illinois to Mary Hartnett Gagen and Frank James (Bud) Gagen. The third of seven children, she may have been the smallest in stature but was always biggest in personality, always leaving a memorable impression in every role she took on such as lovingly being the guardian to her duck Daisy, ironically portraying the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz and invigorating positive energy and school spirit as a cheerleader.
After graduating from St. Louis University, Ann worked in the neonatal ICU at the Children’s Hospital in Chicago, and eventually headed to California to pursue her passion for deep-sea fishing. It was in San Diego that she met the love of her life, Vance Licata. Together, the entrepreneurial couple co-founded Rx Technologies, one of Hewlett-Packard and GE’s most successful distributors. That success earned them the opportunity to retire young and move to Panama, with more fishing opportunities, wild rainforest frogs and sloths for Ann to adore, and the ideal environment for Ann’s spirit to flourish even as her body wavered. Together, they built a home that became both an in-person and virtual sanctuary for their family, friends, and beloved parrots.
Ann had a firm belief that the purpose of life is to embody our authentic selves, enabling us to fully share our unique gifts and love with one another. Side-by-side, or from thousands of miles away, Ann shared her abundant zest for life and extraordinary gifts with everyone she interacted with, whether that meant sharing her love for colored mascara, spending a family member’s entire three hour plus road trip dissecting the meaning of life, or replying to panicked WhatsApp messages at 2 am after someone’s horrible first date. She had a gift for being there in the littlest moments that often, when looking back, became the biggest ones thanks to Ann’s guidance and insights.
Ann believed that in the afterlife, all physical and emotional pain is neutralized as those who passed are spirits of pure love that are accessible as guides and helpers to those of us still in our physical bodies. Her loved ones know Ann is already thriving in her new role as a spirit guide, sending us messages and signs while no longer limited by the quality of cellular service nor our inability to keep up with her!
Her extended family thanks God for Ann and Vance’s almost 30 years of incredible mutual devotion in sickness and in health, and thanks the wonderful caregivers upon whom she relied.
She is survived by her husband Vance Licata, her siblings Maril MacDonald (Mark), John Gagen (Mary Lynn Hendrickson), Adam Gagen (Colleen Callahan), Molly Rauzi (Mike), Andrew Gagen (Svetlana Gritcenyuk), and Neal Gagen; her 14 nieces and nephews, Autumn Douroux (Jason and son Maddox), Whitney Gagen (son Preston), Chris Rauzi (Sue), Eliza Gillem (Chuck), Morgan Manion (Tom and children Mac and Skye), Atticus Landa (Lola), Max Gagen, Killian MacDonald, James Gagen, Kathryn Gagen, Theo Gagen, Isabella Gagen, Margarita Gritcenyuk, Mary Gagen, and John Gagen; many deeply loved extended family members, friends, caregivers, and parrots.
There will be a memorial service in Chicago during the warmer weather that Ann has always preferred. Meanwhile, in lieu of flowers, her family invites you to contribute memories, and share messages to her memorial site: https://www.annlicata.com/