MADISON-Dr. the Hon. Ann Gordon-Walker of Shorewood Hills passed away on January 27, 2021 at the age of 76. She was born on February 27, 1944, in London, England, daughter of the Rt. Hon. Patrick (Baron Gordon-Walker, of Leyton in Essex) and Lady Audrey (neé Rudolf) Gordon-Walker.
As the tale is told, Ann was born during an air raid in London. When she was barely one year old, she acquired two older sisters when they returned from five years of evacuation in Jamaica during the war. The following year her twin brothers were born, making her the quintessential middle child.
She began her schooling at North London Collegiate School before receiving her Bachelor of Science from the University of St. Andrews in Dundee. She then attended Oxford University, where she received her D. Phil. in Biochemistry. In 1968 she married Professor Laurence Andrew Ball, and together they moved to Madison to pursue post-doctoral research opportunities. After two years completing her post-doctoral work in the lab of Deric Bownds, they returned to England, where she worked as an editor for the Biochemical Journal in London. In 1974 they moved to the United States again to live in Connecticut for five years, before settling in Madison to raise their family. In 1983 the marriage ended.
Ann taught Chemistry at both Edgewood College and MATC before entering into her 21 year career at the University of Wisconsin, Madison as an Administrator for the Institute of Molecular Virology. During that time, along with her many other duties, she was instrumental in organizing the American Society of Virology Meetings that were held at the University. She retired from the UW in 2002.
Ann’s greatest pleasures came from her connections to others. During her retirement, she maintained her many friendships and continued to expand them by becoming active in both the Dickens Society and the Jane Austen Society, participating in PLATO, and volunteering in the Madison Public Schools. Ann loved spending time with friends while attending plays, particularly at the American Players Theater. She loved the card games Bridge and Racing Demons, Mahjong, tennis, golf, and cheering on the Badgers and the Green Bay Packers. She was delighted that, as a naturalized American citizen, she could cast a vote for Joe Biden.
Ann is survived by her daughters Jennifer Truitt and Katherine Ball, and son-in-law Tim Truitt; grandchildren Clarissa and Quintin Truitt, and Scarlet, Dominic, and Logan Lemuz. She is also survived by her brother the Hon. Alan Gordon Walker and her sister, Reverend the Hon. Caroline Brierley, numerous nieces and nephews, as well as many great-nieces and great-nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, her sister Dr. the Hon. Judith Gowar and her brother the Hon. Robin Gordon-Walker.
Ann’s funeral will be held on Wednesday, February 3. Due to COVID, the event will be limited to members of the immediate family. The family asks that in lieu of flowers donations be made to American Players Theater, Wisconsin Public Television, or anything that you personally know she liked.
The family intends to schedule an opportunity for remembrance and celebration of Ann’s life at a future date.
The family would like to thank the staff at Agrace HospiceCare for their compassionate assistance during these past few months.