Anne Butigan

Obituary of Anne Butigan


A life of gratitude



“I leave this Earth at age 55—much sooner than I would have liked to, and only due to the ravages of a rare and aggressive form of cancer (soft tissue abdominal sarcoma).  I do know that I have lived a rich life, full of friendship and family and travel and LOVE.


“The 411:  Born February 14, 1963 and lived primarily in the Olympia area until graduating from Olympia High School in 1981, then graduated from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota in 1985.


“My friend Sara the other day related to me the exuberance and joy I demonstrated as “The Olympia Bear” mascot as a senior in high school, exhorting the crowds at the boys’ basketball and football games.  As an athlete myself, I noticed that the girls’ games did not receive the same pep rally atmosphere (cheerleaders, band, large turnouts, etc.).  


“This discrepancy became more clear as my consciousness was raised as part of living in Berkeley/Oakland California and being “radicalized” by awareness on a range of social justice issues:  racism, feminism, gay rights, etc.  I traded in my Bear megaphone for political signs; the streets of the Bay Area became my gym court for marches and rallies.  Discovering that I was a lesbian led to all sorts of personal freedoms and understandings, as well as some great girlfriends but not “the one.”  I never felt I was “in the closet,” and I have been proud to be a member of a strong and compassionate part of our society.


“In Berkeley and San Francisco, I worked professionally on access to and promotion of public transportation.  When I returned to my Olympia roots in the early 2000s, I was fortunate to land a position as the Legislative Assistant to State Senator Darlene Fairley.  Fascinating job!   When she chose not to run for office at the end of 2010, I moved over to Thurston County Public Health and Social Services, where I worked until earlier this year.  This work family has been wonderful, and I can’t thank them enough for all the donations of time, money, meals, and kindness over this past year of my diagnosis.


“My life’s purpose has been to have a positive impact on myself and others, and a light impact on the Earth.  You could see me biking for errands and commuting, including transporting my two sons by bicycle as much as possible.  Adoption allowed me to fulfill my dream of parenting.


“My three Guiding Principals have been:


  • Opening up to others can lead to very powerful connections—vulnerability leads to bonding.
  • We are temporary stewards of the Earth, and it’s our job to leave the environment clean enough for the next generations.  Eat organically as much as possible!
  • Love wins!


“I have been truly blessed and am glad I returned to the Olympia area to raise my sons, while retaining a circle of friends across the US.  I believe I was born “wired” to be optimistic, and I truly tried to make the best of any tough situation.  Even this cancer has brought me closer to friends and family than I could have imagined.


“I am survived by: my sons, Clay (age 13) and Brian (age 11) of Olympia; my mother, Beverly of Olympia; my siblings, Kenneth Michael (Cynthia) of Chicago, Bill (Kris) of Seattle, Therese (Mike) of Cave Creek, AZ, Jim (Nicole) of Olympia, Clare (Mikey) of Bellevue, and John (Donna) of New York; as well as my amazing nieces and nephews,  Sophie, Paris, Sarah, Haley, Diana, Keely, Jax, Pablo, Leah, Riley, and Parker from across the US.


“There will be a big Celebration of Life and Love with music, dancing, and food later—all are welcome.  Thank you.”


--Anne Butigan



Saturday, November 17, 2018, Noon to 4:00 p.m. at the Lacey Community Center, 6729 Pacific Avenue SE, Lacey, WA 98503


All are welcome, adults and kids.  LUNCH will be served. Fun Anne treats and fun Anne events.  Music/DJ and dancing.  Fundrasing for her Boys.


Casual dress!


Hoping to get a baseline number of attendees.  Please RSVP to  But if you forget to RSVP or don't know until that day, PLEASE still come if you can!  


Spread the word.  Feel free to invite others!

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Anne Butigan, please visit Tribute Store

Anne's After Party - Celebration of Life

12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Saturday, November 17, 2018
Lacey Community Center
6729 Pacific Ave. SE
Lacey, Washington, United States
See details at the bottom of the obituary.

Memorial Donations

If you would like to make a donation to Anne's boys, Clay and Brian, stay tuned! A fund is being established. Thank you for your kindness!
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