Ann Redelfs


A beautiful light was extinguished on Saturday, April 18th when Ann Redelfs passed away in Duluth, MN at the age of 62. Ann was a profoundly decent and generous human who found a way to lift up everyone around her. Every friend/neighbor/student or colleague she ever inspired, and every crow she fed on her back porch, feels her loss keenly and is so grateful to have had Ann in their lives.

Born in Wichita, Kansas, Ann moved to Oklahoma City at 11 years old. Ann received her undergraduate and Master of Science degrees from Oklahoma State University.

Ann was a founding emeritus board member of the Anita Borg Institute for Women in Technology and the original Diversity Officer for the San Diego Supercomputer Center. She served on the steering committees of numerous conferences, including the Grace Hopper and Richard Tapia Celebration conferences, and the Super Computing conference series. Ann worked long hours and still found time to be a consummate mentor that inspired others to pursue their dreams with the same ethos and passion.

In 2002, Ann returned to Ithaca joining the Cornell Lab of Ornithology as associate director of public programs. As an avid birdwatcher, it was a dream job for her. Since 2004, Ann operated independent consultancy Redelfs LLC, lending her grant writing, project management and leadership skills to numerous organizations.

Ann lived in Ithaca, N.Y., Houston and San Diego before settling in Duluth in 2004. She delighted in the area’s natural attractions: the invigorating weather, pristine hiking spots and of course the wildlife. Throughout her life and in Duluth, Ann’s friends gave her a sense of purpose, boundless energy and strength. She showed great joy through all her interactions, numerous acts of kindness, thoughtful letters, and personal phone calls. To Ann, friendship came as naturally as breathing.

Most recently, Ann taught online classes for the University of Minnesota-Duluth, and treasured her relationships with the students. Another passion in Duluth was neighborhood preservation; Ann was editor of “Congdon Neighbors”. She also enjoyed her Hiking club, Gigabyte Gals and other friendships on team projects such as the 4th Street project.

Ann was such a wonderful person and a shining light for everyone in her life. There are many ways to honor Ann: go birding and take joy in the beauty around you; donate to her favorite charities – Southern Poverty Law Center and Heifer International; hug a friend; or just show kindness to a stranger. That would make her happy.

Surviving family: brothers – Brad and Doug Redelfs, Doug’s wife Linda and daughter Darby, Darby’s husband Daniel and kids: Audrey, Andrew, and Elizabeth. Cousins: Rich and Kim McLaughlin, daughter Shelly and husband Matt Jordan, and son Austin. Cousins: Kristy (Redelfs) Matthews and husband Vince, Kirk and Mary Ann Redelfs, Jeff and Yvonne Redelfs.

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