Anne Aloyse Thorne came to stay with us at Caring House, and we were honored to welcome her and her family.
Anne was born and raised in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada. She was the oldest child of David and Alice Thorne’s five children, followed by Mary, Patricia, Rose Marie and George. She was active in the local music and theatre scene in her youth, participating in various summer theatrical productions. She also sang and played bass in the soft rock band, Monopoly, along with her sister Mary. The band even produced and recorded a record album.
After graduating from Holy Angels High School, Anne completed a year of study at Xavier College (Sydney Campus) and then went on to complete her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the University of Calgary, Alberta. After that, she moved to California in pursuit of warmer temperatures and a lifelong interest in music and theatre, a passion born out of early exposure to the arts as part of a musical family. However, she traveled back to Canada often to visit her family, which grew to include sister-in-law Susan, niece Allie, and nephews Scotty, David, Thomas and Sam.
As Anne settled in the South Bay, she continued to pursue her passion for the arts by participating in local theater, including playing the female lead in Aladdin and stage managing Torrance Community Theatre’s production of Jesus Christ Superstar, among others. She also stage managed numerous community and variety show productions for Act II at the Norris Theatre for the Performing Arts, and she served as one of four co-producers of California Gold. At the same time, she began setting up her own business in professional bookkeeping, which she ran from 1989 to 2008.
Anne felt most at home by the ocean or generally in nature, and she was fit and active all her life. In 2008, at the age of 55, she changed careers and became a Certified Group Exercise Instructor with the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA). The next year, she attained her AFAA Personal Fitness Training Certification, as well as a certification from the Aquatics Exercise Association. For the next 13 years, Anne developed a thriving business as a fitness instructor and personal trainer with the Arthritis Foundation, most notably its Silver Sneakers program, and with various clubs and private clients in the South Bay. She also made good friends while working in this field, which isn’t a surprise to anyone who knew her!
Her dedicated service to anyone of any age and with any ailment also fueled her volunteer participation in Pauly’s Project, an organization that serves the homeless and destitute on Skid Row in Downtown Los Angeles. She met the homeless weekly, face-to-face, distributing clothing, hope, warmth and kindness through her beautiful smile, gentle encouragement and uplifting words. Many say that her interest in others stands out most to them – she would often focus on listening intently, rather than speaking about herself. She was also always surrounded by friends and loved ones, especially her best friend Rob and her beloved rescue cats, Red and Milo.
As Anne’s illness started to take its toll, she decided she wanted to spend Christmas with her family, and we were privileged to be able to help make that possible. In addition to our festively decorated home, her family made sure her room was filled with the holiday spirit. Then, as we prepared to host carolers in our backyard, her family prepared too… they had musical instruments ready to play along with the musicians. The four sisters gathered together in our backyard, enjoyed hot tea and sang along to the live music – a beautiful memory they told us they now cherish.
Anne was a very spiritual person with a deep belief in God. Her family truly feels that her bright smile, caring heart and feisty spirit are now at rest, and she is greatly missed by all who knew her.
Anne passed away on December 26, 2021. Honor her. Remember her.
Family and friends gathered at American Martyrs Catholic Church in Manhattan Beach on August 27, 2022 to celebrate Anne’s life. It was a beautiful afternoon filled with wonderful memories and so much love for this amazing woman.