July 29, 1924 - April 6, 2018
Anne Combest Wolthoff passed away April 6, 2018 at age 93. She was born July 29, 1924 to Steve and Dora Andler Gunjaca in Gallup, New Mexico. Her father died in a mining accident when she was a baby, and she later took the last name of Clark Combest, her very caring stepfather.
Anne spent her childhood in multiple towns in New Mexico and Arizona, but settled in Flagstaff, Arizona during her high school years, where she graduated in 1942. Determined to attend college, she worked for a year as a secretary for the Army Engineers, earning money to enable her to enroll at the University of Arizona in 1943. While at the U of A, she joined the Chi Omega sorority, was admitted to the women’s business honorary, and became a member of the Women’s Athletic Association. She graduated in 1947 with a degree in business administration.
While at the University of Arizona, she met Vern Wolthoff, a naval officer who was on campus on a training assignment. After he completed his World War II service, they were married in Tucson, Arizona December 23, 1946. They celebrated 60 years of marriage until Vern’s passing in 2007.
Vern and Anne lived briefly in Iowa, where both were high school teachers, then moved to Columbia, Missouri, where Vern obtained a master’s degree at the University of Missouri. In 1949, they moved to Medford, where Vern joined the faculty at Medford Senior High School. Anne later earned a degree in elementary education at Southern Oregon College, completed graduate work in special education, and taught at Jefferson Elementary School for 18 years, retiring in 1983. Upon retirement, Vern and Anne travelled in the U. S., Canada, and Europe.
The Wolthoffs were active members of First United Methodist church for more than 50 years and supported many community causes. Anne was always interested in the life stories of others, and truly cherished her family, happily providing guidance and affection. She was also an avid gardener, and enjoyed artistic endeavors such as sewing and decorating, as well as reading informational materials.
From her start as the daughter of a coal miner to obtaining two college degrees, Anne’s accomplishments were noteworthy. While her memory slowly faded over the last several years, she remained loving and appreciative, and kept her sense of humor and beautiful smile to the end.
She is survived by two daughters, Julie Cox and Laurie Hodnett; four grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be conducted October 1, 2018 at 10:30 a.m. in the chapel of the Medford First United Methodist Church.