Our friend and fellow musician Ann E. Larson passed away peacefully at her home after years of fighting recurrent cancer. She was an amazingly faithful member of the Vashon Maury Chamber Orchestra (VMCO) for 16 years, lending her beautiful and steady cello voice, preparing handwritten announcements for the Beachcomber, and keeping detailed records of past performances and repertoire. For many years she kept the orchestra going as the only cellist in the section, which she handled with great aplomb. She enjoyed forming and performing with small chamber ensembles at the Vashon Community Care Center and other informal community venues.
Annie was also a wonderfully skilled bow maker for violins, violas, cellos, and basses. VMCO is dedicating its October 26 concert to Annie (7:30 pm at Vashon Center for the Arts), and invites local musicians who have Larson bows to participate in a special piece. Cellists will perform the Saint-Saens ‘Swan’ movement as a cello choir in her honor.
Annie grew up in Southern California outside Los Angeles and graduated from Palos Verdes High School in 1973, then the University of California with highest honors. She then attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, receiving a PhD in biochemistry in 1980, just 7 years after graduating high school, and completing a doctoral thesis on Vitamin K metabolism approved by distinguished nutrition researcher Dr. John Suttie. The importance of her work advancing the understanding of neurotransmitters was recognized through a short career in the biotech field, and her strong sense of humor led her to run a small women’s publishing group, Silverleaf Press.
When fixing up her house in the Ballard neighborhood in Seattle, Annie realized her love of woodworking (much more than espresso machine repair, which she also excelled at) and learned the art of bow making from renowned American bow maker William Salchow. She moved to the Tramp Harbor area of Vashon in 2001, enjoying many kayaking trips with her beloved dogs, and took pride in her heirloom apple trees as a member of the Vashon Island Fruit Club. Annie loved to hike and successfully circumnavigated Vashon and Maury islands walking along beaches. She lived simply “offline” without an email address, never once using the internet.
Annie was a generous friend, and loved and appreciated her friends. She was cared for by dozens of friends and caregivers with the Vashon Home Care Network and Vashon Natural Medicine. “People said I was a hermit but I had the best friends in the world.” – Ann E. Larson
Thanks to everyone who supported Annie and enjoyed music with her. Memorial contributions may be made to VMCO or the Vashon Land Trust. Annie requested for her ashes to be scattered by friends. Remembrances are welcome at https://www.islandfuneral.com/notices/Ann-Larson