Teacher, artist, loving wife and mother
Anne M. Worley, a longtime Claremont resident, died peacefully the evening of February 13, 2017. She was 73.
She was born on May 1, 1943 in Oslo, Norway to Sigurd and Reidun Rimdal. Her family moved to the Minneapolis area when she was 11, settling in Hopkins, Minnesota. Though she spoke no English upon arrival, she soon assimilated, picking up the language quickly. She retained a love of Norwegian culture, however, including a penchant for smoked salmon and pickled herring.
When she was in seventh grade Anne attended a symphony performance and, moved to tears by a dramatic passage in the music, turned to see a girl just her age sitting next to her, also crying. She and her fellow music aficionado, Martha Andresen-Wilder, became lasting friends. Through completely different circumstances, both women eventually ended up living in Claremont, a real treat for the lifelong pals.
She graduated from Hopkins High School, and then attended the University of Minnesota. After earning a degree in studio arts and a minor in art history, she turned to education as a career. She first taught art in underprivileged city schools in Minneapolis and later, when she moved to California, taught kindergarten and first grade in south Los Angeles and at Madison Elementary in Pomona.
First, though, marriage took Anne to western Colorado where she welcomed a daughter, Rana, and a son, Joshua. When that union ended she met the love of her life, Tim Worley, and in November of 1987 he became her husband as well as loving stepfather to the children. In 1988, the Worleys moved to Claremont so Tim could attend Claremont Graduate University. After he earned his master’s degree and doctorate, the couple stayed on.
Joshua died in a solo car accident on Shinn Road in 2009. The loss was very hard on Anne and her family. Still, after her 2010 retirement she continued to enjoy getaways with her husband at their Palm Springs condo. “She kept moving further to warmer climates,” Mr. Worley said of his wife’s geographic trajectory. “She loved the desert.” They also had the opportunity to visit Norway twice, stopping in Iceland on one of the trips.
Mrs. Worley was an accomplished artist who was skilled in printmaking as well as oil and watercolor painting. She was also an artist in the kitchen. She didn’t eat out very often because she knew a restaurant could rarely top her delicious and nutritious home-cooked meals. She was a longtime member of LACMA and adored the Getty Museum. She was also a nature lover, serving in recent years on the board of the Claremont Wildlands Conservancy.
Anne was a passionate advocate for social justice, public education, environmental protection and art, and is described by friends and family as an extraordinary teacher, artist, wife and mother.
She is survived by a sister, Greta Kennedy, her husband Tim Worley and daughter and son-in-law Rana and Sid Cho.
Services will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 11 at Todd Memorial Chapel, located at 325 N. Indian Hill Blvd. in Claremont. Memorial donations in lieu of flowers may be made to Population Connection or the Ocean Conservancy.