SITKA, ALASKA – Ann DeLill-Johnson, 77, died peacefully on Dec. 26, 2016, at Sitka Community Hospital.
Born April 1, 1939, in Ithaca, N.Y., she was the daughter of the late Earl and Helen (Booth) DeLill.
She graduated from Cornell University in 1961, where she earned a degree in microbiology and was active in the Sage Chapel Choir. After graduation, she moved to Madison, Wis., where she started a career in science working as a microbiologist for the University of Wisconsin’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. Later she would relocate to Mount Desert Island, where she worked as a professional assistant in research at the Jackson Lab for 20 years.
In the mid-’80s, she left the Lab to pursue a career in business banking, eventually becoming a certified trust auditor for BHBT. Unfortunately Ann developed lupus and found she could no longer work full time. Health problems forced her to leave and in 2001 she relocated to Sitka, Alaska, to enjoy her grandchildren. By 2005, she had established Channel Rock Bookkeeping, a small freelance business and went to work part time at what is now Alaska Pacific Waste. Despite being in her retirement years with ever decreasing mobility from the lupus, Ann found this work and its personal interactions to be a motivation that kept her moving.
In a personal reflection to her Cornell classmates some time back Ann wrote, “the section above for honors and awards is blank but that does not mean that I have not experienced many in my life. They are not on plaques and paper, but are memories of a wonderful life being highly regarded by many people; some with famous names, some not. Golfing, river rafting (Wisconsin), playing guitar and singing in Bar Harbor coffee houses, hiking, canoeing and fly fishing (Maine). What an honor to be a mother and watch the children grow and discover their life path to travel. I had nine wonderful years owning ‘Duck Puddle Farm’ on four acres of mixed woods, caring for pond, lawn, gardens and house. Then my life took me from MDI in the Atlantic Ocean to Baranof Island in the Pacific Ocean. I can no longer be active as in the past but my life is filled with the wonders of nature. I see whales, sea lions, sea otters, bears, mountain goats, deer, swans, geese, eagles, ravens, gulls in a setting of mountains and glaciers. There have been many painful moments along the way but it has not prevented my life from being an awesome trip…”
Ann is survived by a brother, James DeLill of Newhall, Calif.; a son, Richard E. MacPike of Bennington, Vt.; a daughter, Patricia A. MacPike and son-in-law, Karl Wolfe, of Sitka, Alaska, and two grandchildren, Hannah and Jasmine. Expressions of remembrance can be made to the Shriners Hospitals for Children, P.O. Box 1510, Ranson, WV 25438-4510 or SAIL Community Playground Project, 514 Lake St., Suite C, Sitka, AK 99835.