Another Sad Loss for the Ballard Farmers Market Family


Jessie's Berries. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Anita Vizcaya and her daughter Alexandria.  Smiling as usual. Photo Copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

Anita Vizcaya

On Thursday, March 19, 2015 Anita Vizcaya passed away in her sleep, after a productive day of making candles in the farm house kitchen and going to bed happy.  Her family is grateful for the mercy that she left this world peacefully and without pain.

All who knew her, realized that Anita was a wonderful mother and friend.  Alex and Anita were a team, working together with a shared respect and love between them that was unmistakable.  One of her favorite quotes, and the one that her family named as her memorial statement is from “On Motherhood” by Elizabeth Stone: “Making the decision to have a child-it’s momentous.  It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”  

Anita was born in Mt Vernon, Washington, and grew up on her parents’ farm, Jessie’s Berries. Located in Skagit County, the farm was named by her father to honor Jessie, Anita’s mother, when they began farming in the late 50’s.  Anita took on a greater share of the farming as her parents grew older and the farming became harder for them.  And like so many small farmers must, she worked full time in a real-world job too.  She retired last year from the Tesoro Refinery, after a long and illustrious professional career.  

Long after Anita’s Dad passed away, the 3 Vizcaya women worked diligently to keep the berry farm productive.  We benefited from  their hard work.  Their ever present beautiful and infectious smiles were glorious gifts to all the people who came to the market, not to mention the marvelous berries they brought to us each week.  

Anita Vizcaya, Artist

Anita Vizcaya, Artist

Energetic and full of the love of life, Anita’s passion was drawing and painting, which she pursued during the dark and wet winters on Fir Island Rd in Mount Vernon.  Anita  is survived by her mother, Jessie, her sister, Ofelia, brothers, Alfredo and Javier, son-in-law Daniel, and of course, her daughter Alexandria.  

Their family was open and loving to each other and so they know that she did not want the family to organize a memorial service.  Instead, she insisted they go to Hawaii and enjoy the beauty, warmth, and comfort that Aloha can provide in a time of need.  

Yet, in her good natured way, she understood that some in her extended family, friends, and co-workers might want to have a recognition of some kind.  The family has informed us that they won’t be accepting guests for a while, but if you find yourself going by their farm, they will have a guest book on the front porch for you to share your feelings.

We who worked so many years together with Anita at the market, would like to invite her fellow vendors and her customers to join in recognition of the beautiful person that she was, by stopping at the Market Information desk to share memories of her with an entry in the Anita Vizcaya Remembrance Book we will have available there.  In lieu of flowers/gifts, it was her wish that donations be made to N.O.A.H.   All notes of condolence you wish to leave with us, will be forwarded immediately to Anita’s family.

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