Annette M. Norvelle

Annette M. Norvelle

Of Arroyo Hondo passed away after a long illness on the early morning of December 15th, 2020. She was preceded by her parents Sharp Norvelle and Cecile LeBrun, and is survived by her son, Steven Lucas, and her granddaughter, Maranda Barry.  Annette was born in Los Angeles in 1935, later moving north with her parents to San Leandro, CA, where she attended high school. She got her degree in English at UC Berkeley, where she also made lifelong friends in the Hiking Club, where she met Ray Lucas, the father of her son, as well as Al Kaplan, Judy MacFarlane, Richard McCracken, Anne Dacey, Jackie Hand, Krehe Ritter, and others who have been close friends to her ever since. Her son, Steven, was born in 1957 in Oakland. By 1967 Annette had earned her Master’s degree and began teaching English as a Second Language and Drama at Westlake Junior High School in Oakland. Meanwhile, many of her hiking club friends had bought land and built homes in Arroyo Hondo, NM. Each summer Annette and Steve would drive her VW Bug from Berkeley to Taos, and stay with their friends for a month or so, working on the land and enjoying each other’s company. In 1986, with the help of her family of friends, Annette purchased her own land in Hondo and started building an adobe home. In the 90’s she moved here full time, and worked as a substitute teacher in Taos public schools, sang in the Taos Community Chorus, and pursued artistic hobbies in clay, lithography, drawing and watercolors. She was a lover of all animals, wild and domestic; she rescued and cared for many stray dogs and cats, and made a point to feed and observe the hummingbirds and orb weaver spiders that visited her home every year. She sought to live in harmony with the land around her, saving water, composting, and creatively reusing materials. She was a voracious reader, and a lover of classical and folk music. She was frank and funny, with a sharp wit and an inquiring mind. Her unique presence will be truly missed. Plans are in the works for a possible gathering in late 2021 to honor Annette’s life. Anyone interested in attending, or just wishing to communicate, can email her son Steven at

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