Annie Szvetecz

Dec. 27, 1965 - Oct. 16, 2022

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Anne Deborah Szvetecz (“Annie”), 56, of Olympia, WA, passed away on October 16, 2022 after a hard-fought battle with cancer. Annie was born on December 27, 1965 to Frank Charles Szvetecz and Deborah Meyers in Pittsburgh, PA. After graduating from The Colorado Springs School in 1984, she went on to study environmental policy at Scripps College and then transferred to the University of Colorado where she graduated in 1989 with a BA in Environmental Conservation. She was Phi Beta Kappa and a Dean’s Scholar. After graduation, she worked for Rainforest Action Network as their Hawaii Campaign Organizer, and in 1991 she relocated to Honolulu after having met David Goldsmith via that role. They eventually had two children, Jack Nehoa Szvetecz and Zoe Malia Szvetecz, and formally wed in 2002. In 1995 Annie began her M.S. in Environmental Studies at the University of Montana, Missoula, completing it in 2001 while again living in Hawaii. That same year she moved to Olympia, WA, where she eventually began her career in Washington State government as an “Environmental Professional,” first with the Department of Natural Resources, then the Department of Ecology, and most recently with the Department of Fish and Wildlife, where she was the Rules Coordinator, a position just two levels below the Department Director. Regarding Annie, her supervisor, Legislative Director Tom McBride, had this to say: “The agency, formed by a merger of two agencies in 1994, did not use a uniform process for adopting rules between programs. Annie leaned into the tough job of getting folks to change. She was thoughtful and persistent, and we are a better agency, better servants of the public, because of her. She will be missed.” In 2010, Annie obtained a Professional Certificate in Decision-making for Climate Change Policy from the University of Washington. She then went on to study law at the Lewis & Clark College Northwest School of Law, earning her J.D. in 2016, having focused on Federal Indian law, Tribal law, Administrative law, Cultural Resources, and Environmental Law. In 2020 she earned her LL.M. in Tribal Law and Governance from the Seattle University School of Law. She was a volunteer attorney for Thurston County Volunteer Legal Services, as well as with the Seattle University School of Law and the Squaxin Island Tribe. Annie was predeceased by her step-father John Haws. She is survived by her mother, Deborah Haws; her father, Frank Szvetecz, and her step-mother, Caroline Szvetecz; her children, Jack Szvetecz and Zoe Szvetecz; her siblings, Charles Szvetecz, Matt Szvetecz, Jason Haws, Kaitlin Haws, Alexis Haws, Tynan Szvetecz, and Sam Haws; and numerous cousins, nephews and nieces. Annie loved books, both paper and audio; playing with her dog and cats; baking; camping; and spending time with her children and extended family. She was a committed environmentalist and worked hard for environmental conservation and protection all her life. We echo Mr. McBride: she is and will be sorely missed. A Celebration of Life is planned for the spring of 2023 - specific details and dates TBD For those that would like to contribute to a charity in Annie’s honor please considering contributing to: The Salmon Defense Fund ​​


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