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Anne Browning Dick (Williams)

Birthdate:
Birthplace: West Englewood, Teaneck, Bergen County, New Jersey, United States
Death: April 28, 2017 (90)
Point Reyes Station, Marin County, California, United States (Congestive Heart Failure)
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Arthur Williams and Hazel Adele Sharp
Wife of Richard Jay Rubenstein
Ex-wife of Philip K. Dick
Mother of Laura Leslie; Hatte Anne Blejer; Private; Private User and M van Eerde
Sister of Arthur Williams and Robert Petticrew Williams

Occupation: writer, jeweler
Managed by: Hatte Anne Blejer
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Anne R. Dick

Anne R. Dick (née Anne Browning Williams) passed away peacefully in her home in Pt. Reyes Station, California on Friday, April 28, 2017.  She was born in West Englewood, N.J. on January 27, 1927, the daughter of Hazel Adele Johnson and Arthur Williams II.  She had two older brothers, who she adored, Arthur Williams III and Cmdr. Robert Williams, USN, who predeceased her.  She married Richard J. Rubenstein in 1948 and they travelled across country to San Francisco to work on the various Beat journals that Richard founded, including Gryphon and Neurotica.  Anne and Richard were active in the Beat scene in North Beach and she could tell stories of everyone from Gary Snyder (she loved him) to Jack Kerouac to Allan Ginsburg.  They abandoned that life for the peace of Pt. Reyes Station in 1955, buying a large, all-glass Campbell-Wong designed house where Anne lived for the next six decades, and where she raised four daughters.

Anne was widowed in 1958, at age 31, and remarried the next year to the science fiction writer, Philip K. Dick, about whom she wrote her first book, Search for Philip K. Dick.  She is survived by her daughters Hatte (Rubenstein) Blejer, Tandy (Rubenstein) Ford and Laura (Dick) Leslie and grandchildren Aaron and Chris Brown, Evan Reano, Ariella and Mike Blejer, Kimberly and Dave Ford, and Lisa and Justin Coelho, as well as three great grandchildren, Lily Coelho, Aeton Schey and Max Brown, her son-in-laws, David, Mark, and Russ, and granddaughter-in-law, and dear nieces and nephews.  Her daughter, Jayne (Rubenstein) Reano predeceased her.  She is also survived by her long time jack-of-all-trades assistant and honorary family member, Craig Bailey, who was a devoted friend and lately, her gourmet chef.  She will be mourned globally, by friends in South America, Spain, Italy, and Israel.

Anne attended Washington University in St. Louis, majoring in zoology, and graduating magna cum laude. It was archaeology that most appealed to her, but she was told that it was not suitable for a woman.

From her earliest years she was a rebel and a trendsetter, always ahead of her times. She was fearless, intrepid, never meek, sometimes difficult, and always fascinating to converse with and accomplished across a range of activities, despite having been born at a time when women had little power. She lived exactly the life she wanted in rural West Marin, by sheer force of will.

She was a huge presence in the world – a renaissance woman -- an artist, a published writer of three non-fiction books and seven books of poetry, an autodidact in many subjects -- especially archaeology and anthropology, but also European history, a horsewoman, and a true intellectual.  She loved animals and her house was full of cats, dogs, sheep, horses, ducks, a goat, guinea fowl. Perhaps it was the zoology major and love of animals that led her to create extraordinary designs of animal pins at Anne R. Dick Jewelry, which she founded and ran, supporting her family, from 1962 until 2008.

She explored all manner of art projects on her own and with her children.  She had a beautiful voice and sang American folk songs with her daughters.  With her daughter, Tandy, she sang in the Inverness Music Festival.  She was full of interesting stories about ancestors that she had heard from her mother. Her second book was an edited compilation of the letters of her grandfather, Moses Perry Johnson, who like she did, set out West, in 1905.

Anne was an athlete.  She was a prodigy swimmer at age two in Janesville, Wisconsin, where she summered with her Stowe and Lovejoy cousins.  As an adult, she would jump into muddy, freezing Tomales Bay and swim laps with the stingrays. She took up horseback riding at age 55, rode dressage and trained her own horses.  She started an internationally acclaimed vaulting team (gymnastics on horseback) with two of her daughters and other local youngsters on her own horse, the adored Lambie Pie.

She had enormous energy.  Her house was full of her art projects -- a bathroom totally tiled with Italian glass tiles, hand cut by her, with a huge mermaid and many fabulous sea creatures.  A front door with a stained-glass panel at its side 6 ft by 2 ft that she had made.  Her bronze sculptures on the walls, on the tables, outside in the garden. 

She read voraciously and liked to discuss astronomy, physics, biology, politics, archaeology and history. 

She had an enormous passion for life, including for gourmet food, and so she became an amateur mycologist, gathering local mushrooms, mostly Chanterelles.  She took her children abalone hunting, cooked outdoor oyster barbecues and hosted large dinner parties on her patio facing Black Mountain.  She was a fan of The Station House and Bovine Bakery and of Craig’s skillful cooking, all with herbs from her garden.  She loved her beautiful home, filled with color and artwork inside and surrounded by her garden and nature, just outside. She loved West Marin and proved it by living 62 years enthralled with its natural beauty until her last breath.

Her life is told in her memoir, Anne and the Twentieth Century.  Her daughters and her equally talented grandchildren will miss her each and every day.  There is a hole rent in the universe of the many who loved her.

There will be a memorial and celebration of the life of Anne R. Dick on June 3, 2017.  For details and to RSVP, friends should email annerdickmemorial@gmail.com.   Please send memories, photographs, or stories to that same email address by May 18, for inclusion in a memorial booklet. 

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donating in her memory to the following organizations Hospice by the Bay http://hospicebythebay.org/donors/  Marin Agricultural Land Trust:  http://www.malt.org/donate and The Heifer International:  https://www.heifer.org/

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Anne R. Dick's Timeline

1927
January 16, 1927
Teaneck, Bergen County, New Jersey, United States
2017
April 28, 2017
Age 90
Point Reyes Station, Marin County, California, United States