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Artist, photographer, writer Annette Nordine Doud dies at 78

For The Madera Tribune

Annette Nordine Doud, 78, passed away Dec. 20 from complications of cystic fibrosis.


Even though the path of her life was made difficult by illnesses she could not control, she greeted each day with color and style. Madera artist, photographer and writer Annette Nordine Doud, 78, died on Dec. 20, 2018, from complications of cystic fibrosis, a progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections, limits the ability to breathe and damages the pancreas and other organs.

Her works adorn many walls in Madera, particularly those of the Madera County Arts Council’s Circle Gallery and the Madera County Courthouse.

Mrs. Doud was born Feb. 17, 1940, in Burlington, Washington, to Carl Harold and Violet Roseland Nordine. An only child, she grew up on the family’s 40-acre dairy farm. She learned to drive her father’s then-new Oliver tractor when she was just 7. She came by a strong work ethic gained by working for neighboring farmers in the summer and driving pea-viner trucks as a teenager.

She was elected Burlington-Edison High School’s homecoming queen for the class of 1957. After graduating from Burlington-Edison, she attended Western Washington College in Bellingham, then completed her studies at Washington State University in 1962 with a home economics degree and a teaching certificate.

That year, she married Richard Batdorf and they quickly had a family with two boys, Kurt and Kraig.

Annette was a creative problem-solver and natural teacher. She made birthday cakes in the shapes of cars and tractors. She was always ready for a berry-picking trip into the woods, so she could make jam, pies and cobblers. She taught her sons to bake and cook. She learned pottery. She sewed shirts for her boys, dresses for their cousins and wildly colorful wild neckties for her husband. She worked at a sketchy winery in Los Angeles (and laughed heartily years later about how she knows an ounce of marijuana fills a cupcake paper cup). She inspired a sense of possibilities, cheerfulness, fairness, independence, wonder, helpfulness, creativity and fun. And she loved puns — the worse, the better.

After her marriage to Richard Batdorf ended in divorce, Annette put her home-economics degree to use at Tacoma City Light, where she was the utility’s public educator and home economist for several years. She tested recipes on her sons and figured out how to bake a cake in a microwave oven with a lot of trial and error.

In 1985, she married Charles P. “Chuck” Doud, at the time the associate editor of The Tacoma News Tribune.

While continuing to work in Tacoma, they started the weekly Skagit River Post newspaper in Burlington in 1985, with son Kurt in charge of daily operations while they drove to Burlington on weekends. In 1986, they merged it with the Sedro-Woolley Courier-Times and moved to Skagit County as full-time newspaper publishers.

Annette’s friendly, outgoing personality made her a natural at ad sales. She always kept a camera with her and used it to capture the beauty of her surroundings when she made sales calls throughout the Skagit Valley. Photography became first her hobby, then her occupation.

Mr. Doud’s newspaper career took them to Bellingham, Washington; Prescott, Arizona; Salem and Lincoln City, Oregon; and Ridgecrest and Madera, California.

In Madera, the Douds were offered the opportunity in 2004 to acquire The Madera Tribune. Along with some other stockholders, they bought the paper, and continue to publish it to this day.

Annette joined the local artists’ guild at the Madera County Arts Council. Her talents blossomed with her photography and painting. Her work sought out interesting and unique views of nature and especially the agriculture that supports Madera County.

The annual Celebration of Agriculture with the Arts and many other local shows featured her photographs and watercolor pieces.

In recent years when her adopted hometown built a new courthouse her photographs, featuring local veteran service groups and a patriotic theme, were selected to grace the walls of the Madera County Superior Court complex.

She and three of her fellow artists — Lena Bradford, Nancy Burckert and Rose Wheeler — supported the local art scene through the Circle Gallery Artist Guild.

Together the friends traveled to San Francisco to see the exhibit of “Women Impressionists” at the Legion of Honor and to Carmel to visit its unique shops and galleries, riding the Bart lines for the first time. They also took art classes together in Madera, Fresno and Chowchilla with Joan Brumley, Ann Lewis and Kate Jackson.

Annette’s annual Holiday Art Shows in her home gallery welcomed the community to enjoy the works of local artisans and provide them with an opportunity to sell their pieces. The show grew each year and developed into a multi-stop art tour.

“At one point the Holiday Art Tour grew to 10 locations, including homes and restaurants that hosted local artists,” said Bradford.

Bradford met Annette in a drawing class at Madera Adult School. Both ladies were interested in learning to paint and discovered they first needed to learn to draw. They took these lessons together from Cheryl Routt.

“She was so friendly, and she taught me photography techniques such as how to steady a camera against my face or against the window in a moving car,” Bradford said. “Anytime she called she had that chipper greeting and you could hear the smile in her voice.”

She always found beauty around her, loved taking photos of nature whether it be flowers, trees, mountains or creeks, Bradford said. She gifted her friends with photos taken of them when invited to parties and milestone celebrations.

“I have some photos with my mother that she took at our son’s wedding,” Bradford said.

She might not have those precious memories if not for Annette, she said.

Nancy Burckert and Annette have been friends for 15 years. They shared a love of art, especially watercolor painting, she said.

“We took classes together, critiqued each other’s work and a shared a great friendship,” said Burckert. “She was such an interesting individual, detail oriented and curious about everything.” Burckert remembers her as a very generous person, one who will be missed.

“She has so many friends, acquaintances and family and we will all miss her so much,” Burckert said. “She’s one of a kind.”

Annette became involved in the City of Madera Sister City Program with I-Lan, Taiwan, serving on its board from 2003 to 2009. Sister City programs foster international friendship with towns and villages in foreign countries on a person-to-person, grassroots level.

“Annette was so supportive of the Sister City program,” said longtime friend Krystal Kidwell. “Although Annette’s artistic expressions were through her photography, painting and writing, she was a patron of all art and people. Her sponsorship of the I-Lan Sister City musical exchanges over the years got so much publicity from The Madera Tribune.”

Chuck and Annette opened their home, serving as a host family for the young and talented musicians who traveled so far from Taiwan. Developing international friendships will earn her a posthumous certificate of appreciation and merit from the I-Lan government, said Kidwell.

“She worked as an advocate for The Madera Tribune and saw that the paper supported local events and worthy causes,” Kidwell said. “She was truly a beautiful person, inside and out.”

Mrs. Doud suffered from cystic fibrosis and its effects, such as pulmonary diseases, throughout the majority of her life.

Cystic fibrosis expert Dr. David Lee of the University of San Francisco, Fresno, Cystic Fibrosis Center, treated Mrs. Doud and having studied her case believed her to be the world’s oldest living cystic fibrosis patient. The disease is usually fatal before age 50. Mrs. Doud donated her body to the university so it could be studied by medical students.

Mrs. Doud is survived by her husband, Charles (Chuck) Doud at the family home in Madera; son Kurt Batdorf and daughter-in-law Christine Valdez, of Mount Vernon, Washington.; son Kraig Batdorf, on the family farm in Burlington; stepchildren Greg Doud and wife, Hallie, of Blaine, Washington.; Elizabeth Doud of Miami Beach, Florida; Ann Hernandez and husband DeWayne of Graham, Washington; and Mary Doud of Seattle. She also is survived by step-grandchildren Keenan Doud, Chloe Doud and Alex Hernandez, all of Northwest Washington State.

Memorial services are pending with inurnment to follow in Madera and Burlington.

For those who would care to donate, contact the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Chapter at 4550 Montgomery Ave., Ste. 1100, Bethesda, M.D., 20814.


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