On Feb. 27, 2016, when the morning sun rose over Pico Mountain to nourish the joy of Anne Richwagen’s daily awakening, it found the flame of her life had quietly and peacefully flickered out.
Anne Richwagen, 80, of Rutland, Vt. and Goose Pond, N.H., had fulfilled her goal of introducing the wonders of love and nature to all with whom she came into contact — even after she learned about her evolving loss of memory.
Anne Trowbridge Richwagen was born Oct. 2, 1935, in Plainfield, N.J., and was a happy child of Gordon and Ida May Trowbridge. She grew up in Watchung, N.J., and graduated from Trenton State Teachers’ College in order to teach grade school and inspire children to enjoy the magic of life and the excitement of living with nature. Through the Plainfield Ski and Sports Club, Richwagen discovered her true destiny, namely, to teach children about skiing, swimming, mountain climbing, kayaking, water skiing and everything that she knew regarding the joys of nature and outdoor sports.
It was only natural then, for her to move to Vermont where she hoped she could meet someone with similar interests, get married and raise a skiing family there. A year later, she met Bill at an apres-ski party, where he was playing the piano for his friends. She joined him on the piano bench while he played, and she sang. They continued to sing and play together for the next 51 years of their happy marriage.
Anne Richwagen taught 3rd and 4th grades to put Bill through graduate school before they started a family. But she also worked to improve her skiing talents so that she could teach skiing to her two sons and other children as well. Before long, she had expanded her teaching skills from school-rooms to mountain trails by becoming a children’s instructor at Ford Sayre Ski School in Hanover, and Whaleback in Lebanon, N.H. Anne Richwagen’s success there led her to the slopes of Killington, Vt., where she became a nationally certified P.S.I.A. children’s instructor, and earning the distinction of being designated as a runner-up to the country’s 10 best ski instructors in Eastern U.S.
Her love of life and of the outdoors also brought her into RV’ing where she found new adventures such as rafting, canoeing and kayaking. With Bill, she “shot” the Mendenhall River in Alaska, the Rio Grande in Texas and the Colorado in Utah. She taught kids to canoe down the Saco River in Maine and others to kayak the lakes and ponds of N.H. Yet, it was the simplicity of life that Anne Richwagen loved the most. Relaxing with friends and family, helping to build a lake-side cabin, needle-pointing, and teaching children to always see the best in people were her greatest pleasures. She never lost sight of the values of good manners, honesty and respect for all of God’s creations. She instilled these values into countless children over the years, which she admitted was her true calling after all.
Survivors include her husband Bill and two sons: Justin Richwagen of Maryland and Peter Labrie of Colchester, Vt. She has two grandsons: Kristian and Jonathon Labrie and a brother Gordon W. Trowbridge. Her son James predeceased her while serving the U.S.A.F. during Desert Storm in 1992. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews of the Trowbridge and Richwagen families living in the deep South and the far West. In addition, she leaves behind two dear cousins from central Vermont:Barbara Anne Trowbridge and Thomas Trowbridge who, along with her rescued cat Jessie, always stayed close-by and forever faithful to her.
A memorial service will be held Thursday, March 17 at 2:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary of Grace Congregational Church of Christ in Rutland, Vt. Officiating will be the Rev. John Weatherhog.
At the family’s request, there will be no calling hours. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to: G.P. Lake Association 501(c)(3), Michael Riese, Pres. ,974 Goose Pond Rd., Canaan, N.H. 03741
Arrangements are under the direction of Clifford Funeral Home in Rutland, Vt.