In Memoriam: Anna Maria Peirson


The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution announces with great sorrow the death of former employee and volunteer Anna Maria Peirson on March 17, in the comfort of her home. She was 75.

Anna Maria was born in Oristano, Sardinia, Italy, on August 25, 1936. She lived in Rome until 1947, when her family immigrated to Caracas, Venezuela. Anna Maria met her future husband, Jake Peirson, while he was working at Creole Oil. She married in 1964 and moved to Concord, MA, shortly after giving birth to their son Lawrence. In 1967, when Jake was hired by WHOI, they moved to Woods Hole, MA.

Anna Maria came to work at the WHOI library in 1979. She left in 1982 but continued to volunteer at WHOI for many years, greeting and informing visitors to the Ocean Science Exhibit Center. In support of her husband’s work as associate dean in the Education Office, she became surrogate mother to many WHOI graduate students.

She was a dedicated and loving wife and caregiver to her husband Jake Peirson. Anna Maria was a person of great integrity, large pride, and unique character.

Similar to her father, she went on to develop an affinity for painting with oil on canvas. Her autobiography was completed in 2010. Anna Maria will be remembered as “one with spirit and gusto.”

She is survived by her three sons, Lawrence, Eric, and Stefan as well as her sister Laura.

Services will be held on April 1, at 2:30 p.m., at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Quissett Campus, Clark Building Room 507.

The family invites all Anna Maria’s friends to come and celebrate her life with them, and requests that instead of flowers, donations be made to American Diabetes Association and Arthritis Foundation.

Information for this obituary was provided by her family.








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