ANNA PICKETT (1934 - 2016)

  • "My heartfelt condolences go out to all who loved Anna Lou...."
    - Thalia Moshoyannis
  • "Anna Lou Pickett was a bright shining force for good in..."
    - Jay Moseley
  • "To Anna Lou's family, please accept my sympathy. What a..."
    - Doug Van Oort
  • "It was 26 years ago in May 1990 after I graduated from..."
    - Christopher Amberger
  • "Anna Lou is my hero. So grateful for how she boosted the..."
    - Denise Render

PICKETT--Anna Lou. 1934 - 2016, longtime West Side resident, died May 10th of glioblastoma cancer in the company of her sisters Ruby Curro of Bonita Springs, FL, and Joan Wills of Washington, DC. She was 81. An accomplished educator, civil rights advocate, and civic activist. In addition to her sisters she is survived by a sister-in-law, cousins, nieces and nephews across the country. Born Anna Lou Lawson, she grew up in Gaston, IN, attended Franklin College and graduated from Ball State University. There she met her husband, Hugh D. Pickett, a campus Baptist Minister. The Picketts moved to Ann Arbor and in 1963 New York City for Hugh to become an executive of the Ministers and Missionary Benefits Board. He predeceased her in 1992. Anna Lou's professional life centered on the needs of students with disabilities, as a teacher and then a principal of a special school for disabled students denied an education. In 1979, she spearheaded the founding of the first-of-its-kind National Resource Center for Paraprofessionals at the City University of New York, now housed at the University of Utah. Her leadership sparked national voluntary practice standards for paraprofessionals which have been adopted or used as a model in most states and school districts throughout the country. Active in the New York City Reform Democratic civil rights and anti- war crusades of the 1960s, she was elected a Democratic District Leader in 1969. She was the Assistant Commissioner for Community Affairs at the Environmental Protection Administration of New York during the Lindsay administration. In 1974 she was the Campaign Manager for Mary Anne Krupsak's successful run as the first female Lieutenant Governor of New York. During that campaign she mentored Gale Brewer, now the Borough President of Manhattan. Later she served on Manhattan Community Board 5. She helped establish landmark status for several theaters and always enjoyed telling, with humor, about the process to establish landmark status for the Empire State Building. Later she became an active member of Citizens Union and active supporter of the West Side Campaign Against Hunger. She was a longtime resident, board member, and friend to the staff and residents of the 470 West End Co-Op. In the late 1960s, she was the first woman elected to a leadership position as Moderator of Judson Memorial Church, where she maintained a longstanding, faithful membership. Anna Lou valued and maintained strong relationships, and served as a mentor to many within her family, profession, and community. She was the glue that held the family together, maintained active links with Gaston High classmates, a high school exchange student from Germany and now three generations of his family consider her a "second mother" as does a range of a younger generation from her summer Shelter Island House family. A memorial service and reception will be held on June 24, 5:00pm, Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square S., NYC. In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions in her name to either the Judson Memorial Church or the West Side Campaign Against Hunger

Published in The New York Times on June 7, 2016
bullet Civil Rights
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