Ann Moody, a former self-employed beautician in Gorham and a single mother who worked tirelessly to provide a good life for her three children, died on Aug. 28 after a period of declining health. She was 83.

Mrs. Moody was a standout athlete at Gorham High School and served as captain of the girl’s basketball team. In her junior year, she won the title of Foul Shooting Champ. In 1951, the beginning of her senior year, she was crowned Maine’s Apple Queen and went on to represent the state at prominent events such as the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C.

A celebration of her life and legacy will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Dolby Funeral Chapel, 76 State St. in Gorham.

On Wednesday, she was remembered by her children as a strong and independent woman who inspired them to live happy, meaningful lives. She lived by example.

Her son, Shawn Moody of Gorham, founder of Moody’s Collision Centers, credits his mother for his business’ success. Her son said he quit sports in high school to work on cars, and started his business at 15 years old out of his mom’s two-bay garage.

“She was 100 percent supportive,” he said. “She inspired all three of us. I saw how much she sacrificed.”

Mrs. Moody graduated from Gorham High School in 1952. She got married after high school and divorced in the early 1960s. She was left to raise three young children on her own.

She was a beautician, operating a shop from her home on Narragansett Street in Gorham. Her son said she had a steady stream of loyal clients, including some prominent Gorham residents.

“Mom was the type of person people could trust,” Moody said. “She truly cared about her customers and clientele.”

She later was a hairstylist at Hay & Peabody Funeral Home in Portland and Neal & York Funeral Home in Gorham. In total, she worked as a beautician for about 25 years.

Mrs. Moody grew a successful business and still managed to be available to her kids. The work allowed her to be home for them after school. Her son recalled days when she would ask: “How in the world am I going to do all this?”

“Even though she was balancing all that. … we never really felt poor or disadvantaged,” her son said. “It really didn’t matter to us. Mom loved us and cared for us. We had a roof over our heads. She really loved us. We had a great childhood.”

He shared another story of an annual supper at Ken’s Place in Scarborough. He recalled the summer his sister fell in the parking lot holding a plate of fried clams. A flock of sea gulls swooped in and devoured them. Mrs. Moody quickly pulled out a hidden $2 bill and handed it to her daughter to get another plate.

“It was the last two dollars she had,” Moody said. “Kim was devastated. She would say, ‘Money is only important if you don’t have any. … Mom always kept us grounded. She taught us to be true to ourselves.”

Later in life, she took classes at the University of Southern Maine and pursued a second career in real estate, flipping houses. When the market took a downturn, she got out the business.

“She had a real knack for frugality,” her son said. “She could make something out of nothing.”

Mrs. Moody lived in Gorham for nearly her whole life. She moved into the Gorham House over a year ago when her health began to decline. She had COPD and was on oxygen. Her son said she always looked forward to visits from family.

“I really believe she is right here with us,” her son said. “I really feel like she will continue to be part of our lives in memory and spirit.”