Resident Spotlight: Ann Finucane

Ann Finucane’s life story weaves a path from the West Cost and Canada to the nation’s capital and New York. Born in San Francisco, Ann grew up in Burlingame, California, a city best known for its numerous eucalyptus groves. In fact, during a recent trip back to Burlingame for her 60th high school reunion, Ann noticed that while many buildings had changed, the famed trees had stayed the same.

 

At the end of her senior year, Ann’s family moved to Vancouver, Canada. It was there that Ann studied education at the University of British Columbia. At just 19 years old she began her teaching career as a second-grade teacher. But that teaching career would be put on hold when she was drawn back to California. It was then Ann worked in the bio medical field and spent her free time at Lake Kirkwood. Growing up, Ann’s family camped at Lake Kirkwood each summer and her parents helped care for a Girl Scout camp located there. In fact, as a teenager she would first meet her future husband, Jim, at that very lake.

 

Ann married Jim at age 25 and they had a son, Aric. Jim’s career took them to Washington, D.C., where Ann would end up working for the Washington Waldorf School. Over the course of 35 years Ann held many formal and informal roles at the school, including secretary, teacher, and fundraiser. It was also here that she would first be introduced to Anthroposophy and become aware of the Camphill movement.

When it was time for Ann to retire she realized her volunteer work with the Washington D.C. Anthroposophical Society and her time at the Waldorf school had created many connections for her – several of which led directly to Camphill Ghent. Long since divorced, Ann visited Camphill in December 2012 and had no doubt she would move here, which she did in June 2013. Now five years later, Ann plays an integral role in community life.

 

If Ann isn’t enjoying an outing to the movies, or a walk through the scenic landscape, you’ll find her helping a neighbor. Ann spends her days driving friends to doctor appointments, taking people grocery shopping, caring for pets when others are away, and making sure those unable to get to their mailboxes, get their mail in a timely manner. When asked why she has taken on this special role Ann simply says, “It’s just who I am” and others, like Camphill Ghent’s Executive Director couldn’t agree more.

 

“Ann embodies the spirit of community that Camphill Ghent was formed around,” says Onat Sanchez-Schwartz, Executive Director. “The support she provides her neighbors and her participation in community life is a true example of what Camphill is meant to be.”