In Her Words
Candid profiles of strength told by the women of Northbridge
Throughout the month of March we have collaborated to celebrate Women’s History Month and the rich history of the amazing women living in our communities. Their candid stories are brimming over with love, happiness, passion, family values and the markings of individuals who have truly lived well and loved life.
Anne’s Story (Resident of Avita of Newburyport) as told by Deb Shapiro, Social Program Director at Avita of Newburyport.
Educator, Administrator, Fundraiser, Counselor, Nature Lover, Community Activist, and eternal explorer, that’s Anne Avantaggio Meyer. Anne graduated from Radcliffe College in 1947 and now, at 92, continues to be intellectually active and curious! What a marvel to hear of the phenomenal journeys throughout her life!
Fresh out of Radcliffe College, Anne bravely moved to Beirut, Lebanon to teach in the American Community School. There, she met the love of her life and perfect partner in adventure and life, A.J. Meyer, then teaching at the American University of Lebanon. A.J. later went on to become a professor and director of Harvard University’s Middle East Studies Center. Anne and A.J. spent 7 years in Beirut where they began raising their family (2 of 3 children). But Anne’s adventures continued when she and A.J. moved to Tangier and then London. They eventually returned to Cambridge, MA, and the family was able to spend summers in their beloved old farmhouse, which Anne renovated, in Jefferson, Maine. Anne loves nature and cherished gardening and hiking. She did many AMC hikes throughout her life, but most memorable was returning to Belzano, Italy (her parents’ country of origin) in 1985 at the age of 57 to hike the Dolomites (Italian Alps). Anne held many positions in her life, always giving, but raising her family and instilling her sense of wonder in them was number one!
Anne is a lifelong learner, and loved her studies in music, latin, history, sociology, education, and counseling. Aside from her BA from Radcliffe, Anne holds a Masters degree in teaching and an ABD degree in Counseling. She loves music and played piano, recorder and harpsichord, a true prodigy. Always physically active, Anne played tennis and enjoyed swimming. Of all her remarkable accomplishments, she is most proud of, in her professional life, starting “tent” schools in the Gaza Strip in her early career, and in her personal life, creating gracious and warm spaces in every part of the world she has lived in.
A most beautiful characteristic of Anne’s personality is her curiosity and interest in people. Hearing Anne tell a story from her life is fascinating to all, but Anne never goes without asking about your life. She loves learning everyone’s story!!