Catherine Anne Black passed away peacefully on June 7, 2020, surrounded by her family.
Anne was born in Chatham, England, on December 3rd, 1954, to the late Michael Black and Margaret (Carey) Black. Already a globetrotter by age 4, she moved with her family to East Greenwich, Rhode Island. There she attended Our Lady of Mercy School, East Greenwich High School (class of ‘73) and went on to graduate from Providence College in 1977.
Anne was a seeker. She traveled the world, namely Canada, the UK, Europe, Australia, and across the US. Some of her favorite summer days were passed in Belgrade Lakes, Maine. In her life she skied, swam, road-tripped, sunbathed. For several years, she called Seattle home. Anne loved strolling the city’s parks and spending time with west coast pals. Her favorite journey was from anywhere to anywhere else, on a summer night in her treasured convertible.
Anne was a giver. She was in the business of reminding people that they mattered. She mailed: postcards, letters, birthday notes, care packages, an inexplicably perfect red kimono to her niece’s college dorm room. When Santa took time off, Anne picked up the slack.
Anne was a connector. A true extrovert in the classical sense, she drew energy from being around others. She was an open book who laughed often. She had friends across the world, and she derived an abiding joy from all of them. Anne had a warm welcome at the ready for any wallflowers or newcomers that crossed her path.
Anne was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in early 2015. True to form, she never let it get her down. Throughout her treatment, she continued to collect friends, tell stories, and bring people together. Rather than “fight” cancer, she embraced this challenging last leg of her journey. Anne loved her monthly support group at Dana-Farber, and the opportunities it gave her to speak publicly about living with cancer. She raised money for cancer research and continued to travel up until the last months of her life.
Mary Oliver wrote, “Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon? / Tell me, what is it you plan to do / With your one wild and precious life?” Anne spent much of her wild, precious life brimming with love. She will be remembered in every convertible that zooms by, every stunningly weird Christmas sweater, every laugh shared over something absurd. She now embarks on her most far-flung adventure to date. We’re so grateful she was here. She mattered.
She was the beloved sister of Margaret Black Elfman (Marc Elfman) of Wellesley, MA; Fionna Black of Attleboro, MA; and Michael Black Jr. of Orlando, Florida. Anne also leaves behind six treasured nieces and nephews, Elizabeth Elfman (Carl Barth) of Astoria, New York; Andrew Elfman (Corinne) and Daniel Elfman of Boston, MA; Hannah, Alison and Michael Black of Orlando; three grandnieces, Ivy, Aria and Georgia Barth, and a cousin, Catherine McElroy of North Providence, Rhode Island as well as many relatives in Scotland and Canada.
Anne’s family is grateful to the medical team at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute for their exemplary and compassionate care.
A memorial service will be planned for the Fall.
Contributions may be made to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in memory of Anne Black to support cancer research and patient care at: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, P.O. Box 849168 Boston, MA 02284 or via www.dana-farber.org/gift.
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
10 Brookline Place, W 6th floor, Brookline MA 02445