Anne (Marshall) Saunier
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NEW CONCORD: Anne (Marshall) Saunier kicked the bucket on Friday night, November 1, 2013, at her home in New Concord after a 67-year long battle with living.
She laughed when she heard her obituary might start that way, "You mean you're not going to say I was carried to heaven on the wings of angels?" she said.
If you never met Anne Saunier, you missed out. She was something else.
Anne was born into a family full of ideas and possibilities. She came into this world the youngest child of Ralph and Anne Marshall of New Concord, Ohio. Her father had been a state lawmaker but had settled into a life of a small town lawyer with a passion for history and politics by the time Anne arrived on the scene. Her mother was the first woman to head the East Muskingum school board and was as loyal, kind, and smart as any Marshall who ever lived.
Anne grew up in a mans world alongside her older brothers, David and Jon, but never took a back seat to anyone. She graduated from John Glenn High School before going on to Muskingum College just up the hill. Muskingum (now University) always meant a great deal to her, she served on the board of trustees for 13 years, and her ashes will be interred there. She earned a master's degree from the Ohio State University and later a PMD from the Harvard business school.
Anne launched her professional career in administration in the division of Dental Hygiene at OSU and later at Battelle. Anne married and moved to Dayton where, as one of the first female executives at Mead Corporation, she took great pride in knocking down barriers for women. She also became a loving step-mother to two children.
Anne's greatest passion was working on behalf of the rights of women. She chaired one of two days of the National Women's Conference in Houston in 1977, earning her the wrath of conservatives who called her a "bra-burner". She was active in the effort to pass the Equal Rights Amendment for women, which ultimately was not ratified by enough states to become part of the Constitution. From Dayton Anne headed to New York City where she took a job at Sibson Corporation, eventually rising to managing partner at the consulting firm. Her clients were big names-Coca Cola, the NBA, AT&T, Pfizer Pharmaceutical, Price Waterhouse, she would figure out how to restructure organizations for maximum efficiency and effectiveness. She was really good at it.
Throughout her life, she fought valiantly and unceasingly for the reproductive rights of women everywhere serving as chair of the national board of Planned Parenthood for several years. She fought the good fight on behalf of freedom of choice and career opportunities for all women. Every young woman today who enjoys such modern freedoms stands on the shoulders of giants. One of those giants was Anne Saunier.
After 25 years Anne left her NYC Park Avenue apartment, a cliché but true she lived on Park Avenue just like in the movies! She headed back to Ohio to her roots. Now divorced and having lived through breast cancer, she moved to Columbus and took a job with the Strickland administration. She was responsible for change management. There she promoted the concept of treating state government workers with dignity and respect and listening to their ideas. She was proud of her role in creating the groundbreaking Ohio Shared Services center which increased state efficiency. She retired from the state of Ohio in 2012, and spent many of her final days at the family home on Main Street in New Concord. She had a "magical" screened porch built and from it she could watch children stream into the elementary school next door, a constant reminder of the future.
Anne was a hard worker but also enjoyed life. She loved going to baseball games, where she intently watched the pitchers and carefully kept score in a spiral-bound book. She never missed a chance to belt out the national anthem-singing was a life-long love. She enjoyed a good steak, could shoot a little pool and was addicted to crossword puzzles. She was a passionate music fan, especially opera and jazz. For a time, she co-owned a jazz club in NYC called Sweet Rhythm.
She was a live wire, a genuine original, the kind of person who lights up a room. She was smart, wise, kind, deeply thoughtful, funny, meditative, and will be missed by countless people. She was a positive force in the lives of many.
Anne is preceded in death by her parents, Ralph and Anne.
She is survived by her two step-children, Heidi Saunier and John Saul Saunier; brother, Jon Marshall (Kay) of Columbus; brother, David Marshall (Irma) of Jacksonville, Florida; nephews, Aaron Marshall, (Jen, Lydia) of Columbus and Doug Marshall (Lillie, Mike, Rachel, Lillian) of Charlotte, NC; nieces, Eleanor Gease (Rob) of Washington D.C., Kim Barber (Steve, Vance, Dane, Kemp) of Midlothian, Virginia and Lara Van Dyk (Brett, Chase, Karsen) of Frisco, Texas; her little dog, Calvin; and many other family members and a legion of friends.
The Marshall family wishes especially to thank those who provided care and love to Anne in her final days including Genesis Hospice of Zanesville, Trish Barker, Tom Betti, and Pari Sabety as well as members of the Columbus Women's Chorus, who visited and sang for her. Anne's sister-in-law, Kay, deserves special recognition for spearheading efforts to help Anne during the final years and months as she lived with ovarian cancer that would reduce her to a mere wisp. Anne was positive and accepting of her condition until the end with Kay by her side.
There will be a big party to remember Anne on January 25, 2014 in Columbus. There will be a band and singing, and all will be able to toast Anne and remember the good times with her. This is exactly how she wanted to be remembered and her wishes will be honored.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be given to the Anne Walker Marshall Scholarship Fund of Muskingum University or Planned Parenthood.
Perhaps the most fitting tribute to Anne will be when some young woman walks by her niche at Muskingum and is suddenly compelled to do something grand or join the fight to change the world on behalf of things that are good and true and right. When that happens, as it surely will, we will know that Anne's spirit lives.
Condolences and special memories may be shared online at www.heritagecremation.com
Heritage Cremation Society 800-864-2295
Published in the Times Recorder on Nov. 10, 2013