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Anne P. Laurenson

Anne Pemerl Laurenson of Washington, DC died on February 6, 2017 at 103 years of age. Born in 1913, her extraordinary life spanned the twentieth century. The third child of German immigrants homesteading on the Canadian prairie, Ms. Laurenson did not learn English until the third grade, yet graduated top of her Napavine High School class in Washington state, where her family had emigrated in 1926. A natural linguist, she went on to earn a B.A. in French magna cum laude from Puget Sound College, later Puget Sound University, in 1934. Ms. Laurenson was a gifted teacher and her peripatetic career saw her teaching languages to military personnel in California during World War II, Japanese staff during the U.S. occupation of Japan, and students at J.E.B. Stuart High School in Falls Church, VA following the war. After earning an M.A. in linguistics from American University, Ms. Laurenson served on the faculty of the School of Languages and Linguistics at Georgetown University for fifteen years, where she also directed its longtime external ESL program. By colleagues, friends, and family alike, Ms. Laurenson was admired for the vibrant spirit, fierce independence, endless curiosity and indomitable will that marked her singular life. Affectionately known as “Mukie” by her family, she is greatly missed by her devoted daughter-in-law, Margaret Laurenson, of Alexandria, VA, her six grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren, and by her brother Edward Pemerl of Chehalis, WA. Ms. Laurenson was preceded in death by her two beloved children, Pemerl Laurenson Rogers and Michael Bozie Laurenson, who died too young and whom she thought of every day. A private memorial service will be held by the family in Washington, DC.

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