Annette C. Compton Fiertz died surrounded by friends at her home in South Woodstock, VT in the morning of May 11th after a brief illness. She is survived by her husband, Alden Fiertz, with whom she had just celebrated a truly joyful wedding on February 4th; her mother, Trish; and a broad and beloved circle of family and friends.
Born on January 10, 1959, to the late Raymond Hayden Compton and Patricia Carroll Compton, Annette spent her early years in Pennington, NJ where she attended Princeton Day School and graduated from Hopewell Valley Central High School before moving on to Wheaton College, Norton, MA. In 1980 she received a B.A. in Art History, Magna Cum Laude, after three years, including semesters as a drama student at Dartmouth College and the National Theater Institute. In 1995 she graduated from the School of Visual Arts, New York, NY with a M.F.A. in Illustration and winning the Paula Rhodes Award for distinguished work.
Annette’s previous marriage to Gordon Taylor in August 1990 ended in divorce in August 1993.
She possessed great talent and range — from Off-Broadway acting (she held an Actors Equity card) to acceptance at the Comedie Francaise, Paris, to four years in the Office of the Chairman of the E.F. Hutton Group, to the establishment of her own design and illustration studio, ComptonArt, in Woodstock, VT. She had even made bow ties as the amazed managers of the Beau Tie Ltd. of VT learned when she was selecting Alden’s wedding tie! She was truly a renaissance woman.
Annette was the author and illustrator of Drawing from the Mind, Painting from the Heart, published in 2002 including 144 pages and 200 original drawings and watercolors. She illustrated the award winning children’s book, God’s Paintbrush, now in its 11th printing and published in two languages. From 1997 to the present she taught painting workshops from Wyoming and Florida to Provence, Bermuda, Scotland and Italy as well as painting classes in the Woodstock area. At ComptonArt she served as Exhibitions Coordinator for Saint-Gaudens Memorial Picture Gallery, Marketing Coordinator for Full Circle Trolley (which included the U.S. Dept. of Transportation) and undertook projects for the National Park Service and the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.
As Marketing Director of the Woodstock Area Chamber of Commerce, Annette produced the 60-page Window on Woodstock and coordinated the establishment of such local landmarks as Trek to Taste, The Market on the Green and, thankfully, the Woodstock Welcome Center.
Annette valued her relationships with her family and friends in a manner that was truly remarkable. The vast and diverse circle of people that called her friend is a true legacy. Annette continually created community — ever broadening and deepening. She saw attributes, beauty and talents in each of us that we were unable to see in ourselves. She was also a lover of animals, especially of Cyrus, Howard and Match, the cat. Not to mention the pleasure she had when riding camels in the Gobi Desert on a trip to Mongolia with Alden in 2010.
Annette led a life that was guided every day by a set of spiritual principles. Through her words and deeds she taught us the importance of acceptance. Her acceptance of her death and the accompanying serenity it provided her and those of us who loved her were a gift. Courageous and graceful, Annette died the way she lived. There was nobody else like her.
“God is here and all is well.”
Memorial contributions may be made to the Upper Valley Haven, 713 Hartford Avenue, WRJ, VT 05001 where a Developmental Arts Center is being established in her name; or to the North Universalist Chapel Society, 7 Church Street, Woodstock, VT 05091.
A memorial service will be held at the Church on Saturday, June 2nd at 4 pm, with an exhibition of her work that day at Artistree Gallery in Woodstock.