Anne P. Fiske Zuñiga


Anne, my loving wife!  We first met on a blind date in the summer of 1993 set up by our mutual friends, Mitch and Lisa Press. I had never gone on a blind date, so I was a bit apprehensive. To make a long story short, I almost blew my chance to meet Anne because my ill planning made me 40-50 minutes late to Julia’s in Wallingford, which is where we planned to begin our date. The other serendipitous event was Anne and I ended up stuck in the waiting room of the Emergency Room while Lisa got her knee stitched. During that time, which had to be 90+ minutes, something between us sparked. Two years later we were married.

In 1997, we bought the house, that we still live in, and started to build our family. Anne loved making our house full and loving. She took great pride in making our deck so festive with flowers and plants so we could enjoy the summer months entertaining on our deck. She was equally giving of her time and energy in making sure Petra and Gabriel felt loved and grew up in a happy and cheerful house. Anne was always making them laugh and giggle. She was so supportive of my using 3 months of Paternity Leave so I could learn to be a successful father.

Anne was always devoted to her parents. In their later years, we hosted weekly Sunday dinners. Every dinner was a gourmet meal with fine wine and lively conversation. She was also devoted to her brother, and his family that included Kelly Kirkpatrick and their two daughters – Elizabeth and Alexandra Kirkpatrick Fiske. There are countless memories of wonderful backpacking trips in the Sierras, trips to Hawaii, and other fun family outings.

Anne was equally accomplished in every job she worked in. The outpouring of notes from former colleagues has been huge. She was loved and respected by those she worked with. The last 20+ years of her career was spent working at the Seattle Housing Authority (SHA) and Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT). Everyone from SHA and SDOT begins to cry whenever I talk to them over the phone, or in person. Their words and actions speak volumes.

On her final day on earth, we had the opportunity to be with Anne throughout the day. She died at home with loved ones, and in familiar surroundings. We are so incredibly thankful for the next 24 hours she spent at home following her death where we got to care for her with dignity and grace.

-Marcos Zuñiga, husband



Our mom was the best! We start with listing some of the many, what we coined, “Mom-isms” that we grew up with. Firstly, any time we ate something with arugula in it, she would promptly go: “Arugula arugula arugula-la!!” When we were having an emotional moment that may or may not have been slightly over the top, our mom would sometimes respond with “Good golly Ms. Mooollyyy!” Singing at random moments, “Okis dokis alarokis tyrannosaurus rex! Dinosaurs are small and tall, and some have long necks!” Another was turning off my (Gabe’s) light at 3 AM when I would forget to.

It is hard to even feel like sharing these memories, but this is the best way of showing just how unique our mom is, and was. Her love was whole. It was silly, earnest, and warm. She was also never afraid to poke fun. We are grateful for these little moments of silliness and care, just as much as the large ones. We will miss her forever, but she still feels so close. That’s how we know she’s still loving us just as wholly.

-Petra and Gabriel Zuñiga, children



She was my best friend.  But at what point does the beloved child whom you nurtured and taught, scolded and comforted become that person whose presence in your life makes that life complete and completely joyous?  That realization came to me one summer during her school years when she embarked on a months long bicycle adventure in Hawaii.  Four long weeks away from home, and four long weeks that that home was empty of her spirit, her enthusiasm, her sunshine…I missed her so much.  But fast forward, and off to college – my Alma Mater, as a matter of fact. I was proud that she had chosen Wellesley.  Not that they had chosen her – they were lucky to have her – but, oddly, that she had endorsed a selection I had made.  Her approval was important to me.  Wonderful letters came regularly – we still have many of them, and they are treasures.  Her reactions to the people and the ideas she encountered were so interesting and wise.  Our little girl was growing up.  And her decision to spend part of her junior year half a world away in Japan was both brave and confirming to her father and me – we had chosen to spend a year there ourselves!

Family experiences continued to be important to Anne.  All the camping and hiking and exposure to the mountain areas of the western US were enriching to all four of us.  Her decision to test Seattle as a post college opportunity location was brave, though not surprising.  It might be far in distance, but not in comfort.   She and I drove her Subaru across the country, reliving some of the summer experiences we had had as a family. And being in an automobile together mile after mile is a bonding experience itself.  We had a wonderful time!

From her first, perfect apartment in Seattle to a position in an art museum, Anne in Seattle has been a perfect fit.  She has enriched this city in innumerable ways, through her work in the Budget Office, Transportation, Neighborhoods and Seattle Housing Authority, not to overlook her achievement in being crowned, Miss Seattle 1987 Women’s Body Builder!

As full and busy as her life here has been, this beloved daughter encouraged her father and mother to join her here.  From the moment of our move here – and for several years of visits before that – she and her wonderful husband, Marcos, and children, Petra and Gabriel, made us welcome and shared their love and knowledge of Seattle with us.  They, and we, and Seattle have lost an irreplaceable friend.

-Patricia Fiske, mother



A letter to my sister. Jackson Browne’s 1977 album Running On Empty was one of my sister’s favorite tapes. (Cassette tapes, children: you shoved them into a boom box, or the cassette player in the dashboard of your car. You had to flip them over halfway through).

Jackson Browne was a great rock and roll doppelgänger for Anne.: talented and beautiful, but also thoughtful and vulnerable. Enough of an outlaw (“Cocaine” – 4:55; “You Love the Thunder” – 3:52) to be exciting and to challenge the hierarchy, but not gratuitously anti-social (The Rolling Stones) or too soft and vulnerable (James Taylor).

The road (“The Road” – 4:50) was a big part of what forged us as a family – driving across the country every summer from Bethesda, MD to Mammoth Lakes, CA and back again. Driving all day and all night, Anne and me sleeping in the back of the red family station wagon on a plaid Army Surplus sleeping bag. Hours spent watching power lines and endless rows of corn (“Nothing But Time” – 3:05). Stopping off for dinner in small towns like Kearney, or, on the way back East: Grand Island where the Holiday Inn had paper soap in the bathrooms (“Shakey Town” – 3:36).

We fought, of course (over who was supposed to walk the dog – usually me; or who had left a ¼” of milk in the fridge – usually me too) but we always made up or moved on.  When Anne took off for Wellesley in the Fall of 1981 we both immediately realized what we missed (and loved) about each other. Anne had style and an imperviousness to the social scene at Walt Whitman High School. She approved me and made me feel admirable (“Love Needs a Heart” – 3:28). We shared our secrets with each other – our loves and our losses (“Rosie” – 3:37). Anne led with many firsts – First female Student Council President at Wood Acres Elementary School, first family member to spend a year abroad in college (Japan).

Anne respected and admired people of principal. From our parents who modeled integrity and a ferocious work ethic, to teachers who made her simultaneously laugh and think (Ms. Egan, Mr. Gilhool, Mr. Wrona) to classmates at Wellesley and members of her varsity lightweight 8. She was drawn to public service and met some extraordinary mentors at the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington. Her love of service was sustained by her colleagues at Seattle OMB, SDOT and SHA. Anne respected and supported the men and women who quietly plowed the streets, dug the tunnels, and built affordable homes. (“They’re the first to come, and the last to leave, working for that minimum wage”: The Load Out – 5.38). She watched the political tides ebb and flow, and the complexity of the public square, without ever losing her sense for the good and the true.

Anne showed tenacity and grace in the face of her illness. She and I had some hard conversations about what lay ahead for her (Running on Empty – 5:20). But she was never showed self-pity – only a determination to be with her family and her beloved children as long as she could. I wish you could have stayed with us longer, dear sister (Stay – 3.28). Please, please stay.

-Peter Fiske, brother



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