After surviving five months with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, Ann M. Price died on Tuesday, June 18, 2019, following a long, admirable career as a local non-profit agency executive, community activist and mentor. She was 72. Ann Virginia Martin was born Feb. 2, 1947, in Las Vegas, the daughter of George Almon Martin and Frances Louise Schernitzki, who met as students at Wenatchee High School.
Ann grew up in Eugene, Oregon. After her parents divorced, she spent summers in Las Vegas with her father. And, after graduation from South Eugene High School and her freshman year at University of Oregon, she married Jim Price in Eugene on May 6, 1967. He had worked with her brother at the Las Vegas Review-Journal before taking up a new career at horse racing tracks in Arizona.
In 1970, Ann graduated summa cum laude from Arizona State University, earning a bachelor’s degree in theater and television production. When Jim’s work made them full-time Pacific Northwest residents, she spent three spring seasons as an Oregon Shakespeare Festival costume seamstress. In the late summer and fall, she joined Jim at Spokane’s Playfair Race Course, working as a publicity and press box assistant.
In the late 1980s, Ann turned to non-profit work, launching three decades as a fundraiser and communications officer, often filling leadership roles for various professional and community organizations. She became a fine public speaker and a special-events management expert.
She served as executive director of Mid-City Concerns, managing Meals on Wheels, and, in 1992, began the first of two terms totaling nine years, as director of donor and community relations for the Spokane Food Bank, now Second Harvest Inland Northwest. Two years later, she and three friends created “Taking a Bite Out of Hunger,” the organization’s signature fund-raising event.
After two years in a similar position for The Senior Homes Foundation, she joined the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture as its capital campaign coordinator. After becoming associate director of development, she returned to Second Harvest then served successively as development officer for Community Frameworks and Immaculate Heart Retreat Center until she retired in 2016.
A 1998 Leadership Spokane graduate, she spent two terms on its board of directors and a term as president of the Inland Northwest Planned Giving Council. A former First Presbyterian Church elder and endowment committee chair, she continued as a member of the church’s Jubilee sale leadership team. In addition, she chaired the Westminster Chamber Orchestra advisory council and the Spokane Council of Ecumenical Ministries. In retirement, she co-chaired the Holy Names Music Academy board.
She loved the arts, travel, jazz, stylish clothing, gardening and the color orange. She and Jim are Spokane Symphony subscribers, as well as museum members and volunteers. After they transitioned to their 1912 craftsman bungalow and its historic garden, they often hosted fund-raising events and large parties. They became involved with Spokane Preservation Advocates and, in 2018, Ann became the president.
Admired, respected and loved by her professional peers and friends, Ann was comforted throughout her illness by a stream of prayers, cards, calls, notes and visitors.
Predeceased by both parents and her older brother, Tom, Ann is survived by her husband of 52 years, their son, Jon, daughter-in-law, Katie, and grandsons Jordan and Jackson of Seattle, as well as her younger half-sister, Robye Weaver, of Salem, Oregon.
A memorial service will be held at Manito Presbyterian Church, at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 20. Memorial gifts may be directed to Second Harvest’s Kay Porta Legacy Society.