Ann Phillips, co-founder of AGSD-UK, passed away on Tuesday 20th October shortly after contracting COVID-19 in her care home. She was 86.
Although Ann retired from active involvement with AGSD-UK a few years ago, many members will remember her from Annual Conferences and other events.
Born five years before World War Two, Ann was raised in Nevada, USA, where she drove cattle with her father in the summer and attended school in Reno in the winter. She moved to California where she enjoyed the sciences and history and played the double bass. She obtained a Masters in Physics from Marquette University in Wisconsin. Her thesis was on the structure of an organic molecule. Ann found employment as a physicist for the US Navy in California and won a scholarship to Imperial College in London, where she met her husband-to-be and settled in the UK in 1965.
Ann’s fourth child Peter, born in 1972, was diagnosed with Von Gierke’s disease (GSD1a) and sadly died in 2008. It was Peter’s diagnosis and a chance meeting with Sue del Mar, the mother of another GSD1a child, that led to the formation of AGSD-UK.
Ann’s co-founder Sue del Mar commented:
“Ann was such an unusual person. So bright with many sensible ideas, very forthright and determined, not always easy to deal with but always with the best interests of AGSD-UK at heart. Looking back to that day when we first met it seems incredible that between us we pioneered the charity from just the two of us, for it to now be in its present position. It was quite a battle at times but together we kept going and she was so brave not to give up after Peter died. We all owe a lot to her courage and tenacity.”
AGSD-UK Trustee Ailsa Arthur commented:
“Ann’s drive and wisdom were instrumental in ensuring that everyone’s voice was heard.”
Ann is to be buried along with Peter’s ashes on Thursday 29th October in Mottram, near Glossop.