Annie Forsythe McCleary WOODBURY — Annie Forsythe McCleary left this Earth Plane with love and gratitude on Aug. 20, 2019, at home in Woodbury, Vermont. She was blessed to live in a loving, supportive community nestled in the green mountains of Vermont within the richness of the web of life. Annie worked directly with the trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants of central Vermont, and shared this knowledge and relationship with others through her Wisdom of the Herbs School. Born on Nov. 13, 1947, in Waterbury, Connecticut, Annie was the daughter of Mary Gilkeson McCleary, a loving mother and accomplished organist, pianist and handbell musician, and Dr. Charles David McCleary, a loving father and dedicated chemist. Annie’s immersion in classical music throughout her childhood became a highly treasured part of her days. Annie graduated from Naugatuck (Connecticut) High School in 1965. She earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, cum laude, from Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio, in 1969, and a master of education from the University of Hartford (Connecticut) in 1973. Annie was an early childhood educator in Hartford for 14 years, teaching spirited, innercity students in an open classroom. She also taught preschool in Montpelier and kindergarten in Woodbury. Several of Annie’s students later studied with her at Wisdom of the Herbs School. Upon moving to Vermont in the '80s, Annie followed her passion for learning and teaching about wild edibles and medicinals. She grew echinacea and goldenseal organically at Riverside Farm and founded Purple Coneflower Herbals which supplied tinctures to health food stores and co-ops in central Vermont. Annie was a founding member of Transition Town Montpelier, a program to create community resilience for meeting the challenges and opportunities of changing times. In 2003, she founded Wisdom of the Herbs School, through which she shared her knowledge and the wisdom of the plants. For many years until his passing in 2014, George Lisi, poet and meditator, was her dear friend and colleague at Wisdom. Annie is survived by her sister, Katharine Elizabeth (Jacobi), Little Silver, New Jersey; brothers Charles Albert (Barbara), Ellington, Connecticut, and Robert Steele (Donna), Dover, Pennsylvania; six nieces and nephews, one grandniece, one grandnephew; and a loving community. A memorial celebrating Annie's life will be on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019, at the Grange in Montpelier. Time and other details forthcoming. Donations may be made to: Worcester Community Kitchen and Food Shelf Care of Karen Hoskey, 7339 Collar Hill Road, Worcester, VT 05682 EarthWalk Vermont, A nonprofit nature school for children and their communities, P.O. Box 21, Plainfield, VT 05667 MycoEvolve. Nurturing ecological resilience through earthworks, education and research Care of Jess Rubin, 125 Centennial Court, Burlington, VT 05401.

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