Anne Marie (Annette) Niswonger, the "face" of Patsy's Candies shop, died of cancer this week. She was 72.
She was the wife of candy shop owner Wesley Niswonger, but she soon became the spokesperson for the shop, and the one customers recognized the most when visiting Patsy's, said their son, Mike Niswonger.
"She was the face of the company," he said. "She did a lot of our interviews and TV spots, and every customer knew her well."
Born April 18, 1941 in Algiers, Africa, Anne Marie was married to Wesley 49 years. She spoke fluent French - and the couple's three children knew when they had angered her.
"She would get that mom voice,"Mike Niswonger said, "and when she was mad, the French would start going. There were probably some words we can't say in English, but she would say in French."
Anne Marie worked at Patsy's candies since the mid-60s, and everyone who knew her called her an "angel," Mike Niswonger said.
She loved classical music - Mozart and Bach were her favorites - and was a "true vinyl aficionado" who eschewed CDs.
Mike Niswonger now co-owns the candy store at 1540 S. 21st St. with the rest of his family. His father is still a fixture at the store. But the memory of his mother chatting with guests, arranging confections and constantly working nearby live on.
"It's heartbreaking," he said. "We thought she might spring back and come back to the store, but now she can't."
Contact Ned Hunter: 636-0275