Retired, well-known Houston Chronicle food editor dies in College Station after getting COVID-19

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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) – For most of 2020, Ann Criswell remained isolated from others at a College Station assisted living facility where COVID-19 has already claimed the lives of several residents.

In October she received a positive result for the virus and on Tuesday she passed away.

“About 20 days ago she began to have great difficulty breathing,” her daughter Cathy Lester tells KBTX. “On Friday, we saw her briefly. She then passed away about 7 [Tuesday] morning.”

Criswell, 87, managed to dodge the virus by self-quarantining for nearly seven months at the facility, but complications from the coronavirus claimed her life just as vaccines are slowly being made available to other vulnerable nursing home and assisted living center residents across the nation.

She’s now one of 127 Brazos County residents who have died after contracting the virus and while Criswell may not be a familiar name to Brazos Valley residents, she was a well-known food editor and writer for the Houston Chronicle newspaper.

The Chronicle on Tuesday detailed Criswell’s three-decade-long career in this piece published shortly after her passing. In this article on, she’s described as legendary.

Criswell is survived by her daughter, son Charles, and four grandchildren.

She retired from the Chronicle in 2000.

Friends and family wishing to pay their respects and honor Criswell can make a monetary contribution to the Houston Food Bank by testing InMemory30 to 71777 or go online to this page. Checks can be mailed to the Houston Food Bank at 535 Portwall Street, Houston Texas, 77029. Please add “in honor of Ann Criswell” in the notes.

The Houston Food Bank addressed an important concern for Criswell. It was hard for her to experience the abundance and joy of food and at the same time that so many Houstonians experienced food insecurity. She strongly supported their mission.

Her online tribute can be found here.

Due to COVID-19, in lieu of services, the family is asking people to post memories on her Facebook page. Those comments will be compiled into a memory book for her grandchildren to pass down through the family, said Lester.

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