A Tribute to My Wife

“Oh… it’s gonna to be hard to say goodbye.” My wife quoted to me Dorothy’s farewell to her comrades, just days before she passed. And there are no words to describe the hole I feel at her passing.  My extraordinary wife, partner and dear friend passed after a 22-month struggle with a rare tumor recently. The tributes that have come in have taught me again who she was in this life: A beacon of light to many, an in-spiriting source for women and men everywhere, a uniquely gifted mother to her daughters, and an extraordinary friend to me. I will miss her voice and her words and the ability to go out to dinner and simply converse–she was simply my best friend.

“Our beloved Annette Moser-Wellman, daughter, wife, sister, mother, friend and business leader died on October 22, 2013. She was born on November 26, 1958, to Betty and Alan Moser. Her loving sisters are Deborah Moser-Donlen and Lee Meaker Seitz. Annette grew up in Magnolia and graduated from college in Design and pledged Kappa Alpha Theta. She then became a Student Intern in the College Ministry at University Presbyterian Church in Seattle, where she was mentored by Bruce Larson, who said of her when asked about his legacy, “Annette is my legacy.”

Larson inspired her to go onto Princeton Theological Seminary where she studied feminist theology and deepened her faith and how it applies to life in the real world. Her mission was to transform the lives of women in the world.

In 1985, Annette married her husband James K. Wellman, Jr. She then shifted her vocational interests into business and advertising. Upon moving to Chicago she was hired by Leo Burnett as an Advertising Executive where she flourished as a leader on the “integrated marketing” team. While working full-time she took her MBA at the University of Chicago Business School. In1993, she had her first daughter, Constance Moser Wellman. In 1995, Georgia Moser Wellman joined the family, completing their home in Oak Park, Illinois.

Annette continued to pursue her interests in ministry by thinking about the intersection of creativity and business. These combined interests resulted in creating a company called Firemark. The company was soon followed by her successful book, The Five Faces of Genius: Creative Thinking Styles to Succeed at Work, published by Penguin Press.

In 1997, Annette and her family moved to Bainbridge Island, where her work thrived and her family grew. Annette continued to expand her business, speaking to large companies and groups all over the world. She did innovation consulting with some of the largest companies in the United States, and became a trusted and beloved mentor and teacher to many women executives, in particular.

She maintained her love for the Presbyterian Church U.S.A., committed to its mission and her motivation to change the world for women everywhere, believing that the future of the world depends on the health and wealth of women.

More recently she published two books:  The Junk Man’s MBA: Lessons from My Dad on Living and Working in Times of Rapid Change, and Finding Hermes’ Letter: A Fable for Our Daughters. In 2011, she was diagnosed with a rare tumor—effecting only a handful of people in North America.

She is remembered as a loving and brilliant wife, daughter, mother, friend and business leader. A woman who took her faith into the world and transformed the lives of thousands of women and men in the business world and beyond, helping them to discover their genius within, which she believed was the source of faith and every good thing in the world. She will be missed but we trust that she is tending to all of those she loves from heaven.

In lieu of flowers, she asked for donations to the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. There will be a Celebration of Life for Annette on November  2nd at University Presbyterian Church, Seattle, Washington, 2:00 pm.”

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