Passed away peacefully in Petaluma, CA. on December 20, 2012. Anne was born September 18, 1941 in Waimea, Kauai, HI, to Ichiro Okada and Elsie Ogata Okada. During elementary and high school, she worked in the Okada Store in Waimea, which was managed by her parents, and as a library aide in the public and school libraries. After high school, she earned a BA in Spanish and Literature from Arizona State University
, and later attended graduate school at the University of Illinois
, and University of California UCLA
. In 1964, Anne volunteered for the U.S. Peace Corps, traveling to Ecuador as part of a secondary and university education group. She taught English to engineering students and was at the time the only woman teacher at Quito's Escuela Politécnica (now Universidad Politécnica). Her future husband was a fellow Peace Corps teacher. Summers were spent high in the Andes Mountains, teaching crafts and coaching soccer matches at a YMCA seasonal camp for children. After leaving Ecuador, Anne become a librarian in Cali, Colombia, and later moved back to California, working first as an elementary and middle school library aide in Novato, and then teaching elementary school ESL English as a Second Language in Santa Rosa and Petaluma. Anne and her family hand-built their two-story Petaluma home from foundation to roof, together with 10 other families as part of a city-sponsored self-help program. In her spare time, she was a member of the Friends of the Petaluma Library, the California Native Plant Society, Petaluma FISH Friends in Service to Humanity, and the Snap-y International Folk Dancers. She was also a member of the United Church of Christ in Petaluma.
Anne will be dearly missed by her beloved husband Stephen Ayala of Petaluma. Cherished mother of Alec Ichiro Ayala of Anaheim, CA. and Daniel Jiro Ayala of Copenhagen, Denmark. Loving grandmother of Natasha Ayala and Piper Ayala. Caring sister of Ranceford Okada of Broomfield, CO., and David Okada of Westchester, OH.
A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, December 28 at the United Church of Christ, 825 Middlefield Drive in Petaluma. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Friends of the Petaluma Library, 100 Fairgrounds Dr., Petaluma, CA 94952, or Petaluma COTS Committee on the Shelterless, P.O. Box 2744, Petaluma, CA. 94953. Arrangements made with PARENT-SORENSEN MORTUARY & CREMATORY.