Aanya Adler Friess (“Anne”), 92, died peacefully in her home in Albuquerque, N.M,. on Sept. 5, 2019. Born in New York City to Ruth Adler Friess and Horace Friess in 1926, Aanya made New Mexico her primary home for 60 years. She also remained deeply connected to a home and lifelong friends on Martha’s Vineyard. As a child, she attended Fieldston School, part of the Society for Ethical Culture founded by her grandfather, Felix Adler. She received a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. in dance history from the University of New Mexico.
Aanya was a professional dancer, dance historian, published poet, and community activist. She worked her entire life to promote peace, justice, and environmental sanity. She was a founding member of the Corrales Community School, and the Children’s Resource Center in New Mexico. She was a longtime active member and supporter of Albuquerque’s Center for Peace and Justice.
Those who loved Aanya recognized her intellectual, yet feisty, authority-questioning nature. Her greatest joy was people — her family and many friends. She is survived by her children: Elena Kirschner and partner Les Hutchison of Flagstaff, Ariz.; Joel Kirschner and his wife Elizabeth, and their son, Richie, of Albuquerque; and William Kirschner and his wife, Kate Leone, and their daughter Lucy of Washington, D.C. In addition she is survived by former husband Richard Kirschner, his wife Mary, and their son Jonathan.
Donations in lieu of flowers may be sent to the Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice. A celebration of her life will be held at 2 pm on Saturday, Oct. 26, at Nahalat Shalom, 3606 Rio Grande Blvd. NW, Albuquerque.