Anne Meeks was born in Brigham City, Utah, as Audrey Anne Ashcroft. She was married three times, the last time, to Oscar Meeks.
Anne lived on Vashon for 20 years, from 1978 to 1998, and loved every minute of it. In 1998, having moved from her garden house on Pansy Garden Lane, in downtown Burton, to Bachelor Road, near Tahlequah, she moved to Kailua-Kona, Hawaii — one of many Vashonites who migrated there.
“We’re all bozos on this bus,” Anne liked to say about her life on earth, which she approached with deep spiritual perspectives.
She loved to take “ops” (opportunities) to travel or party or get together, and glued her many relationships with amazing cookies and peanut butter bars together, which she baked constantly. Anne learned the “bozos” phrase when she worked at Island Spring Tofu Factory in the 1970s and 80s. She volunteered a lot, and many coffee klatches in her tall Burton house spurred projects that improved the quality of life here. These included teen centers, spiritual rituals, music concerts, poetry readings, and more.
She wrote: “To me, being creative is to visualize a thought, or desire, or dream and hold it in our mind with emotion, expectation, hope, gratitude and love … The Spiritual Law is ‘like attracts like,’ and as one thinks in his heart it will be.”
Anne Meeks, who some called “Root Woman” because of her small dark stature and her enthusiasm that gave her a natural high, was generous to a fault. She rented out a downstairs room, but frequently lowered or canceled the rent if she liked you.
Anne’s house was stuffed with dreamcatchers, prisms, and fishing floats she and her husband had scavenged from the beach when they lived on the ocean in Moclips before moving to Vashon. If you admired something in her bauble-filled house, Anne would often give it to you. Her husband, Oscar, built her house, with sometimes questionable structural integrity for a three-level home, and she praised him often. She called it “Oscar’s House.”
She didn’t believe in death, but transfiguration. The panoramic view, from her bedroom balcony, of July 4 fireworks displays from Seattle, Quartermaster Harbor, Kent, and Tacoma was unsurpassed.
Anne volunteered as a counselor during the early years of New Horizons Camp, a camp for developmentally disabled adults at Camp Burton. When it became more difficult to navigate the uneven terrain there, she stood back. Campers still ask after her.
In Hawaii, Anne volunteered at the Salvation Army Store in Kona, which she fondly called “The Army.” According to Anne’s friend and companion Geraldine Harrison, whom she met at “The Army,” Anne never concerned herself with the past, just the now. She said that as much as she loved Hawaii, she missed the sense of community on Vashon.
Geraldine added: “There is an old saying ‘The future is unknown, the past melancholy; we have only the present,’ and that was how Anne lived. She volunteered at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Seattle where she met Oscar. She always gave to veterans’ organizations because they were so good to Oscar Meeks. Anne was loved by all who knew her.
She is survived by her daughter, Nancy R. Chism of Albany, Oregon, and her granddaughter, April L. Baldock, of California. Her son, David Baldock, and her older granddaughter, Anne, preceded her in death. Her daughter-in-law, Lifen Wang Baldock resides in Washington State.