Studio View

Remembering Ann Woodin

Andy Rush and Ann Woodin cat a Drawing Studio celebration in honor of their birthdays.

Ann Woodin — writer, founder of the The Drawing Studio’s Docent (volunteer) program, world traveler, political activist, and certified mediator — died April 25 at Rancho Linda Vista in Oracle. Ann was the beloved wife and soulmate of The Drawing Studio Founder Andrew Rush. She died peacefully, surrounded by family and friends. We will cherish and remember Ann and her invaluable contributions to The Drawing Studio.

At The Drawing Studio

Andy Rush began The Drawing Studio at an age when most people are thinking about retirement. Ann was involved emotionally, logistically, and financially. Andy could not have devoted heart and soul to The Drawing Studio without her.

Andy and Ann

Andy and Ann

In 2001, The Drawing Studio moved to 4th Avenue. The larger space allowed us to add more classes and a gallery, but we still had no paid staff. Ann offered to become our first Docent Coordinator. She built a vibrant volunteer program that allowed The Drawing Studio to prosper and grow. She trained volunteers to answer the phones, greet people who came to see gallery exhibits, and register students for classes. She put together a handbook of policies, procedures, and simple good advice that served us well for a decade. 

Ann was an effective and relentless “enroller” who instilled a deep sense of service in others. She was peerless in this capacity. Saying no to her was almost impossible. Whatever Ann wanted you to do, her ability to articulate why it was in your best interest was utterly convincing. Her experience as a court mediator helped, and yet she always spoke from a completely mission-centered heart.


Writing and Activism

Ann wrote in a studio she designed and built at the Ranch. She was the acclaimed author of Home Is the Desert, a classic of Southwestern environmental writing; The Rule of Two, about intimate relationships and illustrated with Andy’s drawings; and In the Circle of the Sun, which chronicles her intrepid travels across the deserts of the world —with five boys in tow.

Ann was part of the heartbeat of the Ranch and active in Oracle town politics. She served for many years as the Secretary of the Ranch (“Whoever takes the minutes has the power to determine reality,” she said only half-jokingly.) When large real estate developers took an interest in Oracle, Ann went door-to-door asking residents what was important to them. Her efforts helped create a cohesive town plan.

A memorial will be held Sunday, May 28, at 5 PM at Rancho Linda Vista in Oracle. Please click here for a map and directions. All are welcome.

Pat Dolan and Lynn Fleischman, on behalf of The Drawing Studio community

You are invited to share your memories of Ann and condolences for family and friends in the comments below. 

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24 Responses to Remembering Ann Woodin

  1. Evan Kligman says:

    My prayers and condolences to Andy and the drawing studio.

  2. Helen Luce says:

    Sending much love to Andy (and Ann’s children) and waving a fond and loving farewell to Ann as she departs on the next leg of her Journey.

  3. Rameen Ahmed says:

    I am so very sorry for your loss. Sending hugs and blessings to the family during this difficult time.

  4. Valeska Cromer says:

    I only New her for a short time, during which she was forthright with her beliefs but not the activist she was in her younger days. I knew the gentler side of Ann.
    May her soul rest and may those that have stayed behind remember their joyful times together. Peace to all, prayers for all.
    🌺🌸 Lovingly, Valeska Cromer

  5. Laura Cerna says:

    So sorry about your loss, Andy. Ann was indeed an excellent person. Love, Laura

  6. Katherine Josten says:

    Sending my sincere condolences and love to Andy and to Ann’s family and her Rancho Linda Vista and Drawing Studio family.

  7. Jim Bremser says:

    I am sorry for the loss of Ann, what a indomitable spirit she was

  8. Judy Nakari says:

    My sincere condolences to you, Andy; although I never knew her, her legacy certainly lives on

  9. Peter Read says:

    This is indeed sad news. My fondest memories of The Ranch have always had Ann’s picture attached to them. Wherever she is going now, she will be welcomed, and will likely make as large an impact there, as well.
    Sincerest condolences to Andy’s and Ann’s, and The Ranch family.

  10. Rubina Gallo says:

    My condolences to you and your family, Andy. May Anns spirit sore
    where she has now journeyed to, RIP 🙁

  11. Kerry Milligan says:

    My sincere condolences to Andy and family. I didn’t know Ann, but from getting to know Andy and some of her friends at TDS, I know she was part of a very special circle, and that will continue on forever.

  12. Reg and Gloria Ramsay says:

    A beautiful talented lady. I always enjoyed her visits. We could talk for hours. So many memories. I had been unable to visit due to my condition. Andy may you know how much you are loved.

  13. Margaret Stahl says:

    Much love to Andy and Michael and all who knew and loved Ann. It was an honor to know her.

  14. Pat Eisenberg says:

    Sorry for the loss of this lovely woman, wife, mother, friend. Love to Andy and Ann’s family – thinking of Ann and wishing her spirit well

  15. B Brandel says:

    So sorry, Andy and Family.
    Love and Peace to Ann and to all of you.
    B Brandel

  16. MaryLou Thompson says:

    True LOVE that both you, and Ann, shared….I loved how you were so open to interacting with Ann after her disease changed how she was able to communicate and you saw her on even a deeper level. You were both an amazing GIFT to each other and to ALL of us who shared in your wisdom

  17. Wilbur Wong says:

    I’m sorry for the loss of Ann, Andy. I’ve been away from Oracle for twenty years but you have always been in my life and memories. Ann’s life has always been a celebration of joy and harmony and we are all better for her touching our lives.

  18. Cathy Pearlman says:

    Dear Andy, I’m sorry for your loss. I knew you and Ann from the est days and I visited the ranch many times. Memories of Ann has, and always will be a source of inspiration. 🌟
    Cathy Miles, now Pearlman

  19. Genevieve Rothkopf says:

    I am so sorry for your loss, Andy. Ann was a remarkable woman. I’m glad to read that her last moments were at home with family and friends. Although I didn’t know her well, I several nice conversations with her over the years and admired her.

  20. Gabi ochoa says:

    Ann was one of my Ranch mothers. She was a force of nature, is one of the forces of my nature. I’m glad she was in my life.

  21. Catherine Nash says:

    Blessings and love to Ann on her journey, to Andy with kisses and hugs, and to the Rancho Linda Vista and the Drawing Studio for cultivating the sense of family. I am so sorry for our loss~ LOVE to you all~ Catherine

  22. judyth drury says:

    Hi Andy What fun Ann was. She was so kind and welcoming to me at RLV. Remember her warning of biting creatures when staying in the guest home. And her thrill at receiving roasted chicken for your next day’s chicken soup. Good memories and I thank you Andy for generously sharing Ann with so many. I loved her opera cape. Take care of yourself, Andy.

  23. Dakota Gold says:

    My sincere condolences to you, Andy, and to your family. May the memories of Ann fill your hearts giving you and your loved ones peace. She sounds like a great force and spirit that has left many positive contributions to those she was around. Sending love and light.

  24. Job Potter says:

    As an old friend of Ann’s son Peter, I have the fondest memories of Ann, going back to visits to the Tucson house in the late ’60’s, and lovely and generous times in the Pinacate. She was an extraordinary person, and always most welcoming to her children’s friends. Sending all good thoughts to everyone in Oracle… Job Potter

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