We’ll Miss You Anne

August 13, 2004

A colleague and dear friend to many at Mary Baldwin, Anne Hamilton Golladay Musser passed away July 31 after a short illness. Anne worked at Mary Baldwin for 24 years, most recently as director for advancement information services. She was also the mother of Mary Baldwin alumna and Spanish instructor Sonja Musser Golladay ’93.

In addition to Sonja, Anne is survived by her son-in-law, Jason Clarke, and her fianc&eacute, Tim Contrada, whom Anne intended to marry in October of this year. A memorial party will be held Saturday, September 25 at White Star Tavern restaurant.

Anne has had a rich history at Mary Baldwin. When she first started work in October of 1980, Anne was the alumnae records clerk. By March of the next year she had been promoted to gift recorder and keypunch operator. In 1988 she was promoted once again to data base manager. From 1993 to 1999 she was the assistant director of advancement for information services. 2000 she became associate director. In 2001 she was promoted one more time to the level of director.

Dreama Brown, associate budget director, has known Anne since they were in high school together. They became roommates at Madison College (now James Madison University). “I can tell you that Anne was a very sweet person with a mind of her own. Anne liked to have a good time and usually went to parties while I stayed behind in the dorm (I was engaged at the time). She always accused me of moving the furniture while she was out — she said she never knew where her bed would be when she returned. The highlight of our Monday evenings at that time was watching the Monkees on TV.”

Personal Tributes: Anne Musser

From her daughter:

“I know (not through my own memory but because of a memory of hers that she told me about) that once, when I was very little, we were driving down Frederick Street in front of Mary Baldwin, and I asked her what that place was. She told me; I replied that one day I would attend here. I remember her love of the theatre productions and her taking me to those even before I graduated high school. My other memories include the many interesting buildings she worked in from Riddle House and the old music building on New Street to the space above SAC. And of course, I remember the lovely folks she’s worked with over the years, especially those who have gone on like Frank Pancake, Fran Schmidt, and George McCune. She decorated her space and her self for every holiday and season. And I remember her winning, at one point, the cow skull for the “Beating a Dead Horse until It Lives” award. She always taught me to give to the college, even if just a little bit, every year in gratitude for all it has given us and continues to give.” — Sonja Musser Golladay ’93

Mary Baldwin friends from far and near share thoughts and memories:

“Anne took me under her wing as her ‘son’ in my short time in Staunton. Her zest for life was contagious. She had a fantastic way of always seeing the bright side of life. Laughter, great conversation, and receiving little gifts that continue to make me smile years after getting them are just a few of my fond memories shared of Anne. Her giving, gracious, and kind spirit will continue to be with the many people she’s touched in her short time with us.” — Jack McCarthy, former assistant director of college relations

“Anne was a dedicated staff member and a gentle colleague. Her quiet smile, her merry laugh, her commitment, and her diligence: all will be greatly missed. I remember her with much affection” — Cynthia Haldenby Tyson, president emerita of Mary Baldwin University

“I remember how she was always interested in what I was doing and how I was doing as a student. She really wanted to know that everything was okay with me and that I didn’t have any problems or worries. Every time I came to visit after I graduated, she welcomed me with a smile and a hug and would ask what I had been up to — and I had better not leave out any details!” — Kristen Bryant Gould ’02, former student assistant

“This summer has been rough for me in the area of financial aid. I’ve been working to find ways to stay here at Mary Baldwin. Anne became aware of the situation a few days after my meeting with the financial aid office. She sat me down in her office with her warm, loving smile, and told me that wherever I went, whatever I did, I would end up where I was supposed to be, succeed like I have always done, and that moreover, things happen for a reason.” — Laurie Petrone ’06, student assistant

“I have a very special memory of Anne Musser. She remembered my love for Boston Terriers, and each year sent me a birthday card that featured one. I saved them all. I will miss her for many more reasons than the cards, but I shall always remember her on my birthday.” ─ Ethel Smeak, professor emerita of English

Most people who knew Anne well, or even at all, remember how much she loved Pug dogs. Anne’s Pug, Magick, is the subject of many paintings, photos, and drawings from her friends.

“We shared many stories about Pugs, because my mother- and father-in-law used to own five. When my dog passed away three years ago she was there for me, giving me comfort and helping me find another one.” — Linda Fretwell, supervisor of revenue assurance

“I remember when Anne found out Colin [McElroy] and I had gotten a Pug. She was so excited she would e-mail me pictures of Magick and mail me little ‘Puggy’ things to brighten my day. I would call her to ask questions about Pugs and their mannerisms and talk about Magick and Woofer. I felt like she really completely understood what it was like to have a dog for a ‘child.’ I’ll miss those conversations, but most of all I’ll miss her.” — Kelly Clemens McElroy ’03

“This is a cat and dog story that Anne enjoyed; she spoke of it often. The woman who lives next to me has a rather large black and white, long hair cat named, of all things, Elvis. He decided that my yard was his also. One weekend, Anne and her fianc&eacute Tim came to visit. I urged her to bring Magick. When they arrived, Magick was on his leash just wriggling with excitement. My yard is totally fenced, so Anne took off the leash and off went Magick, like he was in Disneyland. I’ve never seen such a happy dog. Well, we stood there watching him and then he comes running back to Anne (probably to tell her all the stuff he had found).

The next thing we know, there is Elvis, puffed up to twice his normal size and crouching on the ground, ready to attack Magick! Anne scooped Magick up in a flash and I walked over to Elvis trying to shoo him away. Instead he attacked my legs! I had Anne, Tim, and Magick go into the house for safety and got out a toy from the garage – a ‘water rifle.’ I quickly filled it and found that Elvis was staring through the back door, still in attack mode.

I pumped that water rifle up and let him have it. The first time I did it, he ran away just a few steps and then turned back. So, I chased after him, shooting water as hard as I could, until he disappeared from sight. Inside Anne had Magick cuddled in her lap. It took a bit of coaxing, but she finally put him down to explore the house, which he found just as much fun as the yard, and much safer.” — Joan Clark, research associate, Institutional Advancement

Anne was a special friend and colleague

“Anne was a real, dear, sweet person. She was fun to be around. And she was always laughing and joking and had a smile on her face. I’ll miss her dearly. She loved animals, especially Pugs. I loved working with her. I always enjoyed our little chats in the morning. They helped the day be better.” ─ Dorita Ramsey, housekeeper

“Anne Musser was here when I started working at Mary Baldwin in 1986. We both worked on the second floor of Miller House. My boss at that time was George McCune. He just loved Anne. Every morning when he would walk down the hall to his office he would look in her office and say ‘Good morning, Lovey.’ That was his favorite pet name for anyone he really liked.

No matter what the situation was, Anne always remained calm and poised. In the last several years I have been working with Anne in printing the thank-you letters for Annual Fund gifts. When the letter system would change I would loudly complain and ask why. Anne, firm and pleasant, would calmly remind me to ‘ask Angus,’ our director. She was wonderful to work with. I admired her intelligence and her beautiful nature. I do not remember her losing patience or being disparaging about anyone in all the years that I worked with her. Anne Musser was an exceptional individual.” — Marion Hart, secretary for Institutional Advancement

“Anne was a warm and quietly stabilizing presence in our office. I miss her. She connected with people, and she loved life. Not easily swayed by the opinions of others, she knew deep within her what it was to be a good person, a good colleague, a good friend, a good mother?and she was all those things. A cancer survivor, she bore without complaint the chronic pain that was the legacy of an automobile accident. She raised her daughter, Sonja, to be a centered, capable, and caring person, with an independent mind and a strong backbone; she was intensely proud of Sonja and had every right to be. I will never forget the twinkle in her eye when she told me, not so long ago, that she and Tim were going to be married. She said that marriage wasn’t something she’d sought, but it was what she wanted now that Tim was in her life. She radiated a deep joy, and she deserved that.” — Crista Cabe, associate vice president for communication, marketing, and public affairs

“Anne and I were associates for 15 years while I worked in the Alumnae Office. We became good friends when I joined her in the gift office of Institutional Advancement. Anne was family, friends, and Pugs. She was proud of Sonja and Jason and tried to keep her joy subdued when Sonja decided to return to Staunton after several years in Arizona. She also tried to play down her happiness with Tim, his bonding with Magick, and the fun in planning their wedding. She was irresistible when she asked if I thought my son-in-law would be able to play for her wedding, knowing it would also please me. We had such fun talking about our children who were the same age and our son-in-laws who had worked together at Domino’s at one time. We tried to keep up with the activities of her ‘adopted grand twins’ and my grandchildren.

Anne had friends everywhere and they depended on her for her knowledge and support. She was ‘the source’ for finding anything. Anne loved it when Jack McCarthy came to town and she could go to lunch with the ‘young people.’ She didn’t want to be considered ‘old.’ Everyone will miss the monthly decorations, and the costumes at Halloween … but mostly that ‘hi’ whenever they pass the gift office.” — Judy Neff, advancement assistant, Institutional Advancement.