Sunday, October 6, 2013

Tribute to Ann Hastings Morton

by Tineke Ouwinga 

Although Ann Hastings Morton (1939-2013) was not an active member of the WMSC, she certainly shared many of its values. Ann was a lifelong educator and learner with a sense of adventure.

Ann Morton with Charlene Chase at WMSC's 10th Anniversary dinner.   (photo L. Gailitis)
I met Ann when she was a Trustee and an Alumni Board member at Gould. She was very much interested in our programs and liked interacting with the faculty. I loved Ann's passion for traveling, trying out different languages and cultures. For her those were the immersion adventures everyone should experience. Ann planned her own student trips, which she thoroughly enjoyed.

Ann was a very positive woman who was determined to help others, young and old. She saw possibilities where others would have given up. She drew people in because she believed in the goodness of human beings. Ann, as a class agent of the Gould class of '56, always made sure that everyone would attend the yearly gatherings. She was an amazing organizer and a major fundraiser for the Gould Annual Fund. It was no wonder that Ann received 'The Alumni of the Year Award' in 2012.

Ann embraced life. She was an excellent skier, whether it was on the mountain or in the water. She loved the outdoors and was co-chair of the Mahoosuc Land Trust's successful fundraiser to preserve her beloved Step Falls. Even her cancer Ann used as a teaching experience. She helped organize family and friends as the 'Dairy Heirs' group to participate in the Revlon Walk for Women's Cancer in New York City. What fun the group had during those trips!

Ginny Gamble, Ann's sister and active member of the WMSC, told me that about a month before she passed away, Ann and David were in Acadia when she received a phone call from Stephens Memorial Hospital asking her to give a presentation about her cancer treatment to a group of oncologists. Without hesitation, Ann took the challenge and 'taught' the oncologists because she felt strongly that the understanding from a patient's point of view would be helpful to future patients.

Ann will be remembered for her honesty, her courage, her sense of humor, her energy and her caring. Our community will miss her!

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