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Anne Treseder ’66

December 1, 2020, in San Francisco, California.

When Janet Treseder, Anne’s sister, said that my wife, Elizabeth (Shaw) Cronbach ’66, and I were Anne’s best friends, we were touched. Some things we remembered about Anne at Reed: On the occasion of my first meeting with her, Anne knew of Johnny Ace, a rhythm and blues musician. In the late ’50s, I would listen to him on a pop music AM radio show. By that time, he was dead, having shot himself playing Russian roulette. I was very surprised that anyone else at Reed had heard of him. Anne liked taking a bus to shop for food and going to the Catlin Gabel rummage sale. She was active in the left-wing Focus Club and managed to survive sociology under the Prof. John Pock [sociology 1955–98] regime. She wrote her thesis, “Role Orientations among Physicians,” advised by Prof. Howard Jolly [sociology 1949–70].

Anne got a master’s degree in sociology from the University of Wisconsin and a law degree from Golden State University. She worked at various law firms, ending up as counsel at the State of California Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, from which she retired.

In the ’70s in San Francisco and Madison, she was active in NARAL, the reproductive freedom network, when it was just starting. In the ’80s and later in San Francisco, she studied Portuguese, visited Portugal and Spain, and got interested in causes related to East Timor and the posthumous recognition of Aristides de Sousa Mendes, a righteous gentile and diplomat who facilitated the passage of Jews from France to Portugal by issuing passports against the instructions of his government. Anne did not convert to Judaism, but might as well have. (She officially left the LDS church—it took some doing!) She gave me a subscription to the Northern California Jewish Bulletin, now known as J: The Jewish News of Northern California. This was important to me since it is my only connection to organized Jewish life.

She had two nephews whose dad is a musician who had a longtime job on the Queen Mary. We heard a lot about them. Their family is Jewish.

In the second half of the 2000s, Anne had to move from the apartment on Lake Street near 19th Avenue, where she had lived for more than 30 years. She managed to find another apartment on Lake Street near Fifth Avenue but continued to use the pharmacy and post office near her former apartment.

At this point, I started chauffeuring her around to run errands. Up until last fall, it was almost a weekly excursion for her and me to go up to CVS Pharmacy at 32nd and Clement, the post office at Geary and 21st, and the supermarket in Laurel Village on California Street. Finally, as her health was failing, I would also drive her to get blood tests at the UCSF/Mt. Zion complex.

She had emergency surgery the evening of December 13, 2019, when she had her colon removed. After that, she spent a couple of weeks in the former Jewish Home for the Aged (now part of the San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living) and then was moved back to her apartment on Lake Street, where she stayed until the end. I would visit her up until the time of the initial COVID lockdown. After that, I would phone her occasionally. I kept hoping she would get out of her apartment, but there were three flights of stairs, so she never left.

I spoke to her a week or 10 days before she died. Anne was aware of the election results but confused about whether Donald was still in office. We’ll miss her. —Contributed by Michael Cronbach ’65

Appeared in Reed magazine: March 2021

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