Longtime WFS member and fire buff Anne Friend died on September 15 at her home in Los Angeles, at the age of 71.
She was born Anne Forinash in Caldwell, Kansas, moving to California with her family as a teenager. She studied engineering at the University of California at Berkeley in the 1950’s, and around the same time began attending meetings of the Society of Friends. In the 1950’s, she married and moved to the Washington, D.C., area, where she and her husband became members of the Society of Friends and helped found Langley Hill meeting.
Returning to California in the mid-1960’s, she was active in Friends meeting for the next 40 years. Following her divorce in 1973, she chose the surname “Friend,” to express her spiritual commitment.
Anne Friend worked for the City of Los Angeles for 20 years, primarily as a personnel analyst, doing background research to document the validity of civil service tests. She also worked briefly as a construction inspector and as a member of survey parties, and was proud of being able to help break the trail for women in these areas.
She struggled for many years with severe depression that dulled her ability to feel the spiritual presence that had informed her early life, and kept her from being able to share with other people as she would have wished. During the times when her depression was less intense, she was creative in many ways: a backpacker, wandering the wilderness of southern Utah, a photographer, art and music lover, singer, kite flyer, and fire buff. She attended WFS’ conferences in Los Angeles and Georgia, and donated a custom-designed, hand-knit sweater to the fundraising auction. In her will, Anne generously bequeathed to WFS her collection of firefighting paraphernalia. It will be auctioned off at the conference in Maryland this spring.
NETWORKING THE WOMEN OF TODAY'S FIREFIGHTING WORLD, AND PROVIDING RESOURCES TO HELP BUILD THE FIRE SERVICE OF THE FUTURE