Ann Katherine (Williams Herman) Walton, former resident of Los Gatos and San Jose, CA, passed away peacefully at home in Bellingham, Washington, on October 1, 2018. As she wished, she was encircled by her children who love her dearly. Ann was born to Dennis and Thyra Williams in Morrilton, Arkansas on January 24, 1937, starting an adventurous life full of curiosity, intellectual pursuits, travel, inspiration, art, and most of all, a true love for her family and friends.
As a child, she moved frequently with her family to homes in Arkansas, Texas, Virginia, New York and Illinois. She attended Stanford University, earning her Master's in Education. There, she met lifelong friends and first husband, Ted Herman, with whom she started another adventure, teaching elementary school in Ann Arbor, Michigan, then moving to Texas, and adding three children; Genevieve (Clawson), Katherine (Vander Vennet) and George Herman. They settled in San Jose, California where she was an active, involved parent and involved with her own interests: volunteering, book clubs, AAUW, gardening and traveling to far-flung places including Italy, Machu Picchu, Ireland and Japan. She also shared her love of art, leading arts education programs for 40 years at organizations including the San Jose Museum of Art, Art Docents of Los Gatos and Stanford's Cantor Center. As the whole family hiked the Sierras, Cascades and the Grand Canyon, sailed the San Juan Islands, and biked across Great Britain and Europe, Ann kept the energy up and regaled the family with stories and observations to make sure they experienced the beauty and history available up close and all around.
She later married Charles Walton and enjoyed a charmed life while staying involved in the arts, ballroom dancing, music group and book club as well as local politics, advocating and raising the funds for the Santa Cruz Lighthouse. She hosted many parties and, with Charles, traveled to many places including Singapore, the Panama Canal, Russia, and regular trips to see grandchildren, Nicholas, Jane and Beth Clawson of Bellingham, Henry and Miles Vander Vennet of Austin, Texas, and Travis and Lola Herman of San Diego, California.
In 2008, she moved to Bellingham, WA. Ann was active in many groups including the Birchwood Garden Club, Sehome Neighborhood Association, Whatcom Museum Advocates, and Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship. She took classes at Western Washington University via the Academy for Lifelong Learning. She participated in and loved leading the Great Books group at the Bellingham Senior Activity Center.
Ann was preceded in death by her parents and brother. She is survived by her three children, seven grandchildren, many cousins, and our memories.
She lived with elan and purpose until her last days. At her request, her ashes will be scattered privately and no memorial service will be held. Remembrances may be made in her name to Whatcom Hospice House or a favorite arts or education organization.