Ann Kelley Weaver provided no-nonsense journalism with a smile.
Weaver, of Shawnee, died Wednesday after a lengthy battle with cancer. She was 41.
She had a charming way of fighting to tell a thorough, well-balanced story, and that never wavered.
“Ann was a tough reporter who never let a story get past her. She was always professional, respectful and pleasant,” said Diana Baldwin, a colleague and friend. “She was a tougher individual as she battled breast cancer for 3½ years. I will always admire her smile and positive attitude she displayed during her illness.
“Ann's family was very important to her. She was a rock for them. She will be missed by many.”
Weaver had been a journalist at The Oklahoman for more than 10 years. She was a reporter for The Ada Evening News and The Shawnee News-Star before joining The Oklahoman in 2002. Weaver received numerous awards for breaking news, investigative and government reporting.
In 1999, she was an Associated Press sweepstakes winner for her stories about two wrongfully convicted men. Her work is featured in John Grisham's best-selling book, “The Innocent Man,” and used as a source in “Actual Innocence,” co-authored by attorney Berry Scheck, founder of the Innocence Project. Weaver was a graduate of Fresno State University and East Central University. Before her career in journalism, she worked as a social worker and as a legal assistant.
Weaver produced quality work and an abundance of it.
“We are saddened by the loss of our colleague and friend, Ann,” said Kelly Dyer Fry, editor of The Oklahoman and vice president of news for OPUBCO Communications Group. “She was a dedicated reporter and true professional. Ann had a way of coaxing people to open up to her.
“Her writing talents made our readers feel as if they were present for the interview.”
Weaver was among a team of writers from The Oklahoman and the Tulsa World who worked together on a project about group homes. In 2011, the project won a Great Plains Journalism Award in a journalism competition with entrants from multiple states.
The project also won awards from The Associated Press/Oklahoma News Executives and the Society of Professional Journalists.
“We are grateful she shared her talents with us all,” Fry said.
Services are set for 10 a.m. Monday at the United Presbyterian Church in Shawnee. Walker Funeral Home is directing the service.