Agnes Shaw Anstett


anstettAgnes Shaw Anstett, 94, died peacefully on April 17, 2016 in the presence of her loving family. Her death was due to complications from a fall earlier that day. Agnes was born to Fredericka and Gordon T. Shaw in Seattle in 1921. She graduated from Forest Ridge High School and joined Gamma Phi Beta sorority at the University of Washington. While at the UW, she met Duane Anstett, her future husband of 67 years.


Agnes and Dewey raised eight of their nine children on Long Island, New York. In 1959 the family moved to Seattle, where their ninth child was born. They created a beautiful home on the shores of Lake Washington in Kirkland, and continued to raise their large, loving family. Six generations of her family have now lived in the Seattle area. Agnes and Dewey cruised each summer to Victoria for many years on their boat the Shwego II. After their children were raised, their travel included Europe, Japan, China, New Zealand and the Middle East.

Agnes was a member of Newman Club, Holy Family Parish in Kirkland, Gamma Phi Beta and the Olive Kerry Guild of Children’s Hospital.


Agnes loved the written word. She participated in several book clubs, and wrote an award-winning column, Cook’s Corner, in the East Side Journal for seven years. She authored two books and many feature articles. She also wrote treasured birthday poems for her many children and grandchildren.


“Happy in life. Happy in Kirkland. Happy in Heaven.” Agnes was kind and spiritual, and had a youthful spirit. She was lovely on the inside and out. Her family and friends will miss her gift of truly listening to us and making each one of us feel special. And we will miss her as the “operator” for our huge family; keeping us all informed of the latest family news, even at the age of 94.


For the past five years Agnes lived at Merrill Gardens in downtown Kirkland, where she made many new friends, and family members dined with her on a daily basis.


Agnes is survived by her sons David and Fred of the Seattle area, and Michael (Claire) of Auckland, New Zealand; daughters Didi, Marie (Rob) Maddox, Meg, and Kathy (Rich) Cannon, all of the Seattle area, and Beth Van Ausdle of Alameda, CA; and daughter-in-law Joan of Castle Rock, CO. Agnes is also survived by 18 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren: Damien, Roxann, Jean, Peggy, Todd, Julie, Jaxon and Kaia Anstett; Alyssa, Alex, Ethan and Ava Fields; Shawn, Hadley and Harper Maddox; Carly and Parker Lawhead; Casey, Kyle, Sarah, Korbin, Isla and Mackenzie Scott; Claire, Charlie and Monica Cannon; Michael, Tommy and Sammi Van Ausdle; and Kylie and JoeJoe Gunn. Agnes was predeceased by her husband Dewey in 2010, son Terry, grandson Fraser, and sisters Betty, Dorothy, Maryan, and Margy.


A celebration of Agnes’s life will be held at 11 am on Thursday, May 26 at Holy Family Catholic Church in Kirkland. Contributions in her honor may be made to Holy Family School or the Olive Kerry Guild Endowment of Children’s Hospital.

10 Responses to “Agnes Shaw Anstett”

  • Angus and Sharon Ross says:

    In memory of the lovely Aggie,what a privilege to have met you and known you through your lovely children. Your grace and graciousness ,your loving, caring personality and your genuine interest in everyone you met will be forever remembered.

    Farewell dear Aggie with all our love,
    Angus,Sharon Ross and family

  • Jim and Mary Leamon says:

    Anstett Family, We were so sorry to hear of Aggie’s passing. She was a beautiful lady. She was sweet and loving. We enjoyed our time spent with her and your dad. Our love and prayers go out to you and your families during this sad time. ❤️ ❤️

  • Margaret Bright Burnell says:

    To all of the Anstett Family, My deepest sympathy to you all in the loss of your Dear Mother. So sorry I was unable to attend the Mass this morning. Had been out of town and didn’t learn of her passing until this morning and already had an appt. at 10:30. I had known your mother for many years as a member of Holy Family Parish. She was a lovely lady and will be remembered in my prayers.
    Margaret DeLorenzo Bright Burnell and family

  • Laurie L says:

    Your mom and grandmother was a beautiful woman. I only spent limited time with her, but what a gracious and sweet lady she was.

  • Joanna and Jerry Olmstead says:

    Our sympathy to all the Anstett family. Aggie was a wonderful person who we knew through Beth and then boating. She was one of the first persons we met when we moved to Kirkland. She was very talented as well as a wonderful mother and friend. She has left many happy memories. It was an honor to know her. We will miss her Christmas letter that always had family pictures. We have saved all of them over the years and cherish them.
    Jerry and Joanna Olmstead

  • Jacquelyn (Scott) Benoit says:

    Mrs. Anstett made an entire family feel so welcome to America many years ago. My mother, Gladys Scott especially appreciated their friendship. Mrs. Anstett always found ways to include my mom in the neighborhood gatherings. She was such a wonderful example of how one could be both a successful contributor to family and life. She was a complete person!!! My special thoughts go out to all of her children and grand children!! Jackie (Scott) Benoit

  • Mary Heien says:

    Aggie and I had many lunches together at Merrill Gardens. She was such an interesting person – never at a loss for words. She was so devoted to her children as they were to her and she always looked forward to the evening meal with them, knowing which one would be coming on a given night to join her.
    I feel so fortunate for having known Aggie and will always remember her.

  • Amada and Tim Lebel says:

    To the entire Anstett family, our deepest sympathy and prayers. I only met Aggie a few times but I will always be touched by her sweet disposition and the kindness she showed. I see her grace displayed in her loving family and I treasure my friendship with Kathy (Anstett) Canon – an old , dear friend. may God bless you and keep you until you see your sweet mother again in the presence of our Lord and Savior.
    Hugs, Amada Lebel

  • Sandra and Harley Anders says:

    Dear Anstett family, it has been an honor to have known Aggie and the entire family all these many years and to look back and remember all the laughs we shared together. God bless all of you. Aggie, I love you so much and miss you.

  • Marilyn Fassbind says:

    It was truly a lovely service for Aggie. Always smiling, she welcomed us to her neighborhood, then was a good friend and helped my mom adjust to Merrill Gardens. I know from reading her book what a fun and interesting life she had and she will always be in my heart.

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