Anne Randall Johnson
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1957-2013 Anne Randall Johnson died early on Christmas Eve 2013, in her home in Brattleboro, Vermont, after a long illness. She was cheered by the support of her local friends and family, as well as by a network of friends and colleagues around the world, in her courageous last months and weeks. Anne was born in Philadelphia in 1957, and while growing up spent many wonderful summers on Ames Hill in Brattleboro. She obtained her first summer job as an elf at Santa's Land in Putney, Vermont. After graduating from Oberlin College, Ohio, and working briefly in museum education in Brooklyn, New York, she joined a volunteer English-language teaching program in Egypt, where she confirmed her life-long love of travel and exploring other cultures. When Anne returned to the United States, in 1983, she was determined to pursue international work. She obtained master's degrees from the University of Texas at Austin (for Middle East Studies), and the School for International Training, in Brattleboro, Vermont (for Intercultural Management). These degrees helped prepare her for her chosen field of international humanitarian assistance and development. For more than 20 years, she worked primarily overseas managing a range of projects with various international, non-profit agencies. She worked to help impoverished villages in the West Bank and Gaza to increase their incomes though micro-finance, organized emergency agricultural relief supply for Bosnia during their civil war, and promoted rural cottage industries for Egyptian women living in reclaimed desert areas. She did two assignments in Nigeria to help increase farming communities' income through better marketing of agricultural products. After 2001 she focused more on community development initiatives in Serbia and Afghanistan, encouraging cooperation between local governments and citizens' groups to deliver services such as improved roads and water supplies. In addition to making a difference in the lives of countless people, Anne derived great fulfillment and enjoyment from the many intercultural friendships and work teams she formed as a result of this work Anne met her beloved husband Geoffrey Dolman when they worked together in Alexandria, Egypt, and they were married in Vermont in 1998. After 12 years of working overseas together, the couple moved to Vermont in 2011 to begin a farming venture. They felt very fortunate to find a farm for sale near Anne's immediate family, who had all moved full time to Vermont in earlier decades. Anne continued to support the work of international non-profit organizations, working remotely from their new Roselily Farm home on Ames Hill. After her many years overseas, Anne's family felt very blessed to have her nearby for her last two years and to be able to support her in her illness. She is survived by her husband Geoffrey Dolman, her parents Allison and Homer Johnson and her brother Philip Johannson, his wife Joan Carey and their children Ferne and Erik Johansson. A memorial service will be arranged at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Anne's name may be sent to Partners for Development (www.pfd.org), 8630 Fenton Street, Suite 613, Silver Spring, MD 20910.
Published in Brattleboro Reformer on Dec. 30, 2013