Ann Luce of Golden, Colo., died peacefully in her sleep on January 11, at her home in Cold Creek Canyon. She was 91. A painter, pilot, art educator and publisher, Ann was active in the Boulder area for over 45 years after spending the first part of her life in the mid-Atlantic states and New York City. She was an accomplished painter and a graduate of St. Timothy's and Vassar College, and also attended the Maryland Institute in Baltimore and the Art Students League in New York City.
She married childhood summer neighbor, Gordon P. Baird, in 1946 and had two boys, Jock and Gordon. After 10 years, the marriage ended and Ann moved to Manhattan, where she taught art and later worked at McCall's magazine and several book publishers, where she later wrote and illustrated dozens of young adult and educational books. Ann also kept a 36-foot sailboat and cruised the New York/New England coast with her sons. Ann was at times fearless, in 1967 sailing her disabled boat into Menemsha, Mass., harbor during a gale, to the astonishment of the local fishermen.
Marrying Peter Paul Luce in 1967, she soon moved to Boulder and the couple became one of first residents to build a home at the top of the "hogback" ridge in Coal Creek Canyon, defying high winter winds and trucking in their water. She also took a prominent leadership role in halting a mining operation in the canyon, at one point confronting bulldozers on her horse.
Ann took up flying at that time, and obtained a full instrument license that she maintained for 40 years, sometimes facing harrowing experiences similar to what she'd seen on the water, including two forced landings in the U.S. and further adventures in South America. She also became a fine skier, ran marathons in Boulder, and restarted her formal art education, earning her Masters in Art History from C.U. at age 50 and specializing in Columbian art. Ann turned this interest into a new educational publishing entity, Alarion Press, that put out film strips, videos and multimedia products. Leveraging her flying skills, Ann regularly hawked her products at national trade shows. She also joined her son, Gordon, to became a cofounder of Musician, a national magazine later purchased by Billboard.
She remained a prolific artist, and became the matriarch of Boulder's Artwork Space studios, subsidizing dozens of creative artists in an intimate, collegial union. After her marriage to Mr. Luce ended, Ann experienced a long friendship with Bill Guinther, a Korean War F-86 pilot and later a popular disabled ski racer at Winter Park and occasional guest conductor for the Boulder Symphony.
Ann Luce is survived by her sister, Elise "Butch" Wallace of Sherborn, Mass.; her two sons, Jonathan and Gordon Baird, Jr. of Gloucester, Mass., and their wives, Linda Baird and Joe Ann Hart. Known to her family as "Grannie Annie," Ann will be missed by her grandchildren, Joanna Blabac, Dr. Abby Waldman, Morgan Everson, Jake and Wilder Baird; and two great-grandchildren, Beyla and Shiloh Blabac. She is also survived by Butch's children, Brad, Jay and Julie Wallace, all from the Boston area.
Donations to Ann's memory can be made by buying and celebrating artwork from worthy artists in your community.
A memorial service will be held in February at her Colorado home.