A selfless individual with a craving to learn, Anne Arundel Locker-Thaddeus dedicated her life to teaching others, both inside and out of the classroom.
Anne’s daughter Natalie Thaddeus said her mother was a unique individual who loved the color purple, butterflies and crocheting.
“She was interesting, and she was interested in everything,” Thaddeus said. “If she could have just gone to school her whole life and gotten paid to be a perpetual student, she would have. She loved learning about different cultures, which is why she was an anthropologist. When she tried her hand at something, when she got into it, she just threw herself into it. She was always asking people questions, and always trying to learn more about them instead of really sharing much about herself.”
Applying as an undergraduate in the early 1970s, Anne originally wanted to attend Texas A&M, but was discouraged by her father, H. M. Locker Jr., Class of 1941. After earning her master’s in 2009 from the University of Texas-Pan American, now known as the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Anne decided to come back to work toward her doctorate degree at A&M.
“When she went to get her doctorate, she applied to 10 schools and only one got back to her and it was A&M and she was so excited,” Thaddeus said. “We just all laughed because of what her dad said. We laughed so hard, and just pictured him rolling in his grave since she was attending A&M. I think ultimately, she loved the community of it. She probably thought it would be a fascinating culture to study because A&M has a very deep-seeded culture of tradition. I think that’s what she really loved about it.”
As a professor at Blinn College and Bryan Collegiate High School, Anne had a love for teaching others and expanding her own knowledge, Thaddeus said.
“Growing up, she would teach my friends how to crochet and how to knit,” Thaddeus said. “She was always offering to teach people who wanted to learn. That’s one of the things my friends loved about her. They could ask her a question about what she was doing and she would just talk to them for hours about it and answer all your questions.”
Family friend Giulia Giuffre said she found Anne’s knowledge in anthropology and mathematics interesting and encouraging.
“It was sort of inspiring, because she went back to school for her master’s and doctorate at a later time,” Giuffre said. “She just had a lot of different interests, and because of that she dabbled in a lot of different things. Mostly, it was just really inspiring to see her go back and continue to learn and expand on her education.”
Because she was unable to attend initially, Giuffree said Anne was excited to fulfill her dream of being a student at A&M when she began graduate school.
“I know she loved that,” Giuffree said. “I know she met a lot of great friends and great people while she was there. She introduced me to some of her Aggie family while she was there. I know it meant a lot to her.”
Anne is remembered as a very kind and generous person, Giuffre said.
“She was always lending things out, letting me borrow things, giving me things,” Giuffre said. “She always had a nice, kind word, and was very complimentary. It was always a nice confidence speaking with her, because she would always have a nice thing to say. I don’t even think she was really aware of [it], but it would kind of turn your day around. For her it was sort of just a passing comment, but it was always really nice to hear.”
Giuffre said she admired Anne’s determination and ability to not give up. As someone with many passions, Giuffre said she always appreciated Anne’s advice.
“I was always really inspired that, when many people would have felt it was too late in their life to go back to school, she went back to school for her graduate degrees, and that meant a lot to me,” Giuffre said. “Anne really showed me that you don’t have to know what you’re going to do for the rest of your life, because you can always change what you’re going to do. It’s just about living in and enjoying the moment and doing what your passion is. I remember how she would just always say nice things and it really made me value the power of words and how that can really change a person’s day.”
A constant friend who aimed to make people feel comfortable, Anne always focused on others more than herself.
“She would always say she didn’t care if she became a famous professor,” Thaddeus said. “She wanted to be the teacher of the person who would make the big discoveries or who would write the big paper. She very much wanted to be a supporter of things and not necessarily in the limelight.”