Anne Komarek Mudge, persistent giver, gourmet cook, bonne vivante, New Yorker magazine devotée, dear mother, grandmother, aunt and friend, died Aug. 23, 2013, from cardiac complications following a car accident.
Mudge lived life like she was hopping between a Shel Silverstein children’s book and a Noel Coward play, always giving and always alert for a sparkling bon mot, which she aptly called “zingers,” to the rueful chagrin of those on the receiving end.
Anne was born and raised in Ottawa Hills, Ohio, but she yearned to travel. In July 1950 after college, she and her dear friend Joyce Baker packed her father’s coupe with sustenance and camping equipment and headed for the far-away West. Six weeks later, after several thousand miles and dozens of postcards home they returned triumphantly with 78 cents in the kitty.
In 1953, she served in the Red Cross in Morocco and Europe where she met Dick Mudge. They married in 1956 and had four children, Jonathan, Randy, Carter and Magee. They moved to South Laguna in 1962 and bought a house in Three Arch Bay. In 1969, she plunked the boys in her Country Squire station wagon and set off across the country for an adventure — the social miasma of the time was just part of the journey! In 1973 she again took the opportunity to explore, and lived with the family in Beckenried and Crans-Montana Switzerland for a year. Her motif was “‘A’ For Adventure!”
You were sure to find legendary dinner parties and nonpareil cooking in Anne Mudge’s home. There was not a better-set table, better food or a better hostess anywhere, though never, ever with pretension, and all “lost sheep” friends were welcome. Escoffier, Waters, Beard, Claiborne and Keller were all part of her repertoire, and her guests were sure to enjoy an excellent meal, good company, good conversation and laughter, all helped by a wine glass that was never empty for long.
Anne Mudge lived her life with joie de vivre, panache, style and a smile on her face. She truly believed that love, compassion and generosity were things you received more of the more you gave away. She was very close to her four grandchildren, Patrick, Parker and Ethan of Capistrano Beach, and Nathan of Santa Barbara.
“Nonnie,” as she was known to the boys, was guaranteed to have a treat for them and a special dinner on their birthdays.
Anne Mudge is predeceased by her father Edward and mother Isabelle; by her sister Karyl and brother-in-law Robert; and by her son Jonathan, who passed after a long illness in July 2013. She is survived by her three remaining children; her daughters-in-law Cragan, Chin and Margie; four grandchildren; nieces Marcy (Bill and Charlie) and Anne (Jip); and one frog.
Services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 428 Park Ave., Laguna Beach. A memorial reception at the family’s favorite restaurant in Laguna Beach will follow.