A native Washingtonian, Ann was born in eastern Washington and raised in Tacoma. She moved to Olympia in January, 1971 and for most of those nearly 47 years has been active in the community. As her children were growing up she had a strong interest in their various activities and education volunteering with many youth programs and educational endeavors. Ann is a past state PTA president and past national PTA vice president serving on those boards over 10 years. Locally Ann co-chaired the Olympia Citizens for Schools levy campaign with Dick Pust from 1982 until 2015.
Ann’s interest in history and genealogy began at a young age when she used to draw pedigree charts of her family. Her mother’s paternal side came to the Dayton, Washington area in the early 1860’s where the first of four consecutive generations were born, Ann being the 4th. Continuing that interest, in 1974 Ann was one of the founders of the Olympia Genealogical Society where she held every elected office and twice served as president. She continues as a board member chairing the Beginner’s Genealogy Workshop held annually at the Olympia library. She is also the society’s annual Spring Seminar registrar, which she has done for a number of years.
A docent at the Governor’s Mansion since the mid 1970’s, Ann was encouraged to seek a tour guide position at the state capitol. She retired in 2011 after 17 years of providing civic
educational tours to 100’s of school children, youth and adults from around the world – a job she thoroughly enjoyed.
Ann was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Governor’s Mansion Foundation in the early 1990’s where she served as the Foundation’s historian. In 2008 Ann co-chaired the Governor’s Mansion Centennial Garden Party held on the front lawn of the mansion. Over 300 guests attended, most in period costume, including then Governor Gregoire and First Gentleman Mike. In 2015 Ann was elected treasurer of GMF and is currently serving a second term in that position.
Ann served on the committees to celebrate the centennial of the Temple of Justice in 2013, our state’s 125th birthday party in 2014 (she was in charge of the giant 3’ by 5’ cake decorated with a historical map of the state), and the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta in 2015.
A 33-year member of the local Sacajawea Chapter of the DAR, Ann is finishing her second term as registrar. She is also the chapter’s parliamentarian. She is a life member of the Pioneers of Washington and a 35 plus- year member of the Daughters of the Pioneers of Washington where she is a trustee on the state board. Locally, she belongs to Olympia Chapter #4 which manages and operates the Crosby House Museum in Tumwater. She is serving her second term as president of the chapter. Chapter Daughters opened the house as part of the OHS/BHM Holiday Tour of Homes in 2015. She is part of the South Sound Historical Association as well as the group supporting the new Thurston County Journal. She has participated in the History Conferences put on by Don Trosper with the Olympia/Tumwater Foundation and, dressing in period costume, she has manned a booth at the Thurston County Through the Decades event. Ann most recently served on a group providing input to the City of Olympia officials regarding community arts, culture and heritage.
In her genealogical research, she finds she is a distant relative of the Bigelow family.