Ann Tousley, 77, died peacefully at home Friday, March 3, 2023, following a brief illness. Born in Colfax, to Ruth and R. Dean Tousley, Ann grew up in Pullman where she developed an appreciation of classical music, modern theater and excelled athletically, becoming the Washington State swimming champion in the 100 and 200 butterfly.
Ann graduated from Northwestern University in 1967 with a degree in journalism and worked as a freelance journalist for many years. After working as a correspondent for Commerce Clearing House for three years, she left Chicago for Tucson in October of 1970 where she worked as a waitress and went back to school earning a Master’s Degree from the University of Arizona. Finally in 1986, Ann was forced into looking for a real job and was hired as adjunct faculty in writing at Pima Community College while continuing to work as a waitress. In 1989, she began teaching full time, a career spanning almost 30 years. In 2006, Ann received the Outstanding Faculty Award for PCC.
While in her 50’s, Ann, an avid hiker, took up backpacking and did several trails in the Grand Canyon and northern Arizona. After retirement in 2014, Ann traveled extensively, with a special fondness for South America. As a human rights advocate, she became involved in work for the Democratic Party. She was also active in Freethought Arizona, a group of people with secular, atheist and agnostic beliefs who advocate for the separation of church and state.
Ann was a generous person with a good sense of humor, especially capable of laughing at her own failures and seeing the positive side during crises.
Ann is survived by her devoted friend Ellen Caldwell; her sister, Elinor T. Michel and her husband Walter Hesford; three nephews and their families: John, sons Andrew and Jake; Whit and his wife Camille, children Christianne, Ryan and Chelsea; Chris and his wife Jan Wolford, who helped during her illness; two cousins Melinda and Angela Koken who visited and supported her during her final days.
Although there will be no services according to her directions, donations can be made in her name to ACLU Arizona Foundation.