Students, co-workers mourn death of 11-year Whitman staff member

Ann Jauhiainen took pride in her work.   As general merchandise buyer for the Whitman College bookstore, she devoted more than 11 years of service to the campus, and was the recipient of Whitman’s Town-Gown Award (now the Pete and Hedda Reid Service to Walla Walla Award) in 2007.   She participated in the friendship family program for international students, and was on the boards of directors for the Carnegie Art Center, YWCA and Parks and Recreation.

Ann died Saturday, Oct. 17 of brain cancer in the company of her family and is survived by her husband, three children and two stepchildren.
Douglas Carlsen, director of the bookstore, hired Ann in 1998 and considered her a friend as well as a colleague.   He said she was dedicated to doing her job well.   Until her diagnosis in June, Ann was in charge of all of the cards, clothing and school supplies sold in the bookstore.

“If you took away the books, everything else was her,” he said.   “She was always busy.”

Ann left her mark on Whitman, selecting the colors of the couches, chairs and rugs that students see every day in the Reid basement.
“They can walk out there and see her handiwork,” said Carlsen, gesturing beyond the bookstore.

Senior Margaux Faris-Merkert, who has worked at the bookstore since her first year at Whitman, said Ann was always supportive of students trying to learn from her example.

“Even when she was having chemo-therapy, she would come in and set up a sales rack,” she said.

Faris-Merkert said she and two fellow bookstore staff members, seniors Dena Popova and Celani Dlamini, plan to attend services for Ann today and tomorrow.

“Her presence has been missed in the store, her energy,” said Carlsen.   “She connected with many of the students.”

A vigil service and rosary for Ann will be held today at 7 p.m., with the funeral mass tomorrow at 10 a.m. at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church, 2098 East Alder Street.




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