Ali has passed.

(From Annie)

Our brilliant, blazing girl passed this afternoon.

A priest administered last rites in the Catholic faith of her ancestors and of Luc’s family, and she clearly took this as permission and began the dying process on her own. Life support was lifted to aid her body’s intention. We stroked her and gently talked to her while she let go of her life.

She blessed us with her ‘small but fierce’ (her description of herself), spirit, her excellence, discipline, extraordinary intelligence, her multiple talents and her deep, solid devotion to her family, many mentors, her community of friends and fellow lovers of the sea and all things maritime, her dear animal family Laddie and Gideon, and most of all her soul mate, her beloved husband and best friend of nearly half her life, Luc.m
Thank you each and every one for your loving care of us through these last six days. Her life ended so soon, but it was a rich, full, amazing and vital life and she has been thoroughly, deeply loved.



45 thoughts on “Ali has passed.

  1. Eric and Melissa and all of your family…my deepest, sincerest thoughts. Sending you all love and healing light as you go forth. Always,

  2. Goodbye Ali…you will always be in my heart. I thank you for all you showed me and shared with me. I’m sorry we won’t be able to finish Thayer and Alma and Balclutha (and my boat…) and everything else together, but I hope you know you will be a part of everything I do. I still had so much to share with you.

    Luc, I am so deeply and immensely sorry…words cannot express how I feel. Whatever I can do to help you through this, I am here.

    Ali’s family, I thank you for nurturing and raising such a beautiful, intelligent, interesting, fun girl…we are all thankful to have had her in our lives, however brief.

  3. May God in his mercy give you strength at this sad time. Ali I will always think of you, and remember you and Greeley having a good time when you were able to come up for a visit. You will be missed by your SAFR family. Luc and all my prayers are with all of you.

  4. I am so very sorry. I kept coming back to this blog, looking for positive signs that we might get a miracle. I can’t imagine how you are dealing with this. Words fail me now, other than to say my heart breaks for you all right now.

    I didn’t meet Ali very many times, but I feel I got to know her a bit more through my many years of friendship with Eric. She was a remarkable young woman, very much her own person, a real force of life. It is so unbelievable she is no longer with us, and I can only offer you my deepest sympathies for your loss.

    With much love and sympathy,


  5. I too kept checking this blog for miracles…I am so sorry for this unthinkable thing that has happened. There are really no words that can ever express how heartbreaking and unfair this is. My thoughts are with you all now and in the future.
    With love,
    Karin Pofsky

  6. There are no words to express my sorrow at this time. I am so glad that I got to see her one last time on Thursday. I have happy memories of my times with her and Luc while working on Balclutha, those memories will stay with me always.

  7. Ali, i will always remember you. You were a person i greatly admired and i wish i we had more opportunities to work together. As a young woman you held your own with the boys and i could tell that you held their respect, not to mention my own. Thank you for sharing your skills with me, however briefly. Thank you for being a good teacher and colleague. Thank you for being an inspiration. Thank you for your passion and dedication. Your mark on the pier is everlasting, both with the people you touched and the beautiful work you left behind. I miss you, your presence, tremendously. Rest in peace.

    To Luc and both families, i am deeply, deeply sorry for your loss. You are all in my heart, which, though broken, reaches out to you with love and strength.

  8. There are no words to express my sympathy and sorrow. I know how very much Ali was loved and my heart goes out to all of you. All my thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Sending all my love to you.

  9. Eric and to all your family, Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult times. “Death leaves’s a heartache no one can heal, love leave’s a memory no one can steal. May the memories of Ali alway’s put a smile on your face.

    Deepest Sympathy,
    Rhonda Kersting

  10. We are so saddened by this news and join with the rest of your community of friends and family in sending our heartfelt condolences.
    Steve and Mikki Kane

  11. Luc: Dolores and I extend our heartfelt sympathy to you, your family and Ali’s family and friends. Your love story inspired us all. Memories of Ali and Laddie aboard Tiger and around the Yacht Club remain with us. May you find some peace.

  12. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Ali’s entire community of family and friends. Love and peace to you all, Aimee and Jeff Coleman

    Sent from my iPad

  13. I met Ali, through Tarbrush, when I visited San Francisco earlier this year. My sincere condolences to Luc and all of Ali’s family and friends. The historic sailing ship world is a small one…Ali’s passing is a loss for all of us.

    With Aloha,
    Susan Yamamoto (Falls of Clyde)

  14. We are so very sorry and heartbroken to hear of Ali’s passing, we pictured many more toasts and smiles together with Luc and Ali… There is none to take her place and she will live through the wonderful memories of her sweet smile and kindness and since of humor that she did not hesitate to share dear Luc we will always be grateful we got to meet the both of you. Thank You, Love Barb & Steve

  15. Although I only had the pleasure of talking to Ali a few times, I will miss the joy that she radiated and brought to all those around her, and will always remember her every time I look at her handiwork. My thoughts are with Luc and your families, and everyone at the Hyde Street Pier.

  16. Dear Luc, dear family – such a loss, so much light has gone from this world, but not the love you shared and gave forth together. May you never feel its loss, and may you feel held by that love which surrounds us all, even at this darkest of times. May healing happen in its own time, and may peace come in moments of sweet memory. Thanks for this eloquent, heartfelt, loving blog. We send you love and “a rose in the winter time.” Anne and John Tucker

  17. I am so sorry to hear of the passing of this remarkable young woman. I was always impressed at Ali’s quiet confidence and her beautiful maritime skills. She has left an enduring mark at SF Maritime in both her deeds and her presence. She will be sorely missed. Please take some small measure of solace from the knowledge that we are all better people for having known her.

  18. Annie, Jerry,

    Deanna sent me this blog, which I was very sorry to read.

    I remember Ali as a lovely little girl in an unusually pretty dress, at Don’s wedding in about 1990. She was standing there, poised and quiet, with Annie and Jerry
    I remember the time before her birth when Annie told us the story of the adoption soon to happen, and hearing much about Ali’s first years.

    Deanna once shared a letter Annie wrote to her about Ali’s homes education, much of it on the sandy beach at Sea Ranch, which was such an inspiration to Deanna.

    I read the bio at the link sent by Richard Everett with great interest. Your loss is too great. May you and Luc find comfort in the love of these people who care so much.


  19. I met Ali at a party. She had come with my friend and classmate Luc, and I remember thinking who could be the woman who loved this tattooed weirdo sailor? Ali was and always will be the Truest person I ever met. She appreciated people, truely and honestly. She knew to her core who she was and who else can say that.

    Ali my only regret is that I didn’t meet you sooner. You made everyone you met better people for knowing you.

    You are missed,

  20. We feel like we have gotten to know Ali & Luc through this blog, though sadly, we had never met. Thank you Eric & Annie for sharing your sister & daughter with us during this very difficult time in your lives. Your thoughts, words, and pictures introduced us to an amazing, vibrant, talented, respected, and loved young woman. Our thoughts & prayers have been constantly with your family, and will continue to be. It is beyond our comprehension what your family has, and is, going through. Most Sincerely, Jeri & Rick (Steph Rogal’s parents)

  21. I am so so sorry to read this; my heart goes out to all of you. I also always think of Ali as “small but fierce”–be it charging around the house in Cotton Rainbow or giving her graduation speech. Every time I’ve seen her over the years I’ve marveled at how much she has changed–and also stayed the same. My sister recently told me that my nephew visited the Balclutha; I’d like to think he also glimpsed Ali’s amazing way and got to see her doing what she loved. There are no words for this loss, but you are all in my thoughts.

  22. Alli, so sorry you have left us but glad your in a better place. Your accompany in life were amazing, although we were not as close as most cousins i was always proud to say you were mine,you were more like a lil sister who did everything right, you lived up to everyones expectations and surpassed them with ease. You are and will be sadly misse
    Luk you held the heart of an angle and a rebel at the same time, two people never belonged together more then you two. Time heals all wounds never foget the love you two shared
    Annie. And Jerry thanks for given a lil girl so much love and guidance,hopes and dreams and a will to succeed you are awesome parents

  23. It is impossible to imagine the pain Luc and family are enduring. No words can help erase what you are all living through. We will continue prayers for you all. Yes she did live fully, which was the essence of her charm. I am grateful she crammed so much into her short years and I had the pleasure of meeting her. I will continue to have a smile creep across my face when I think of her. I pray it can be that way for all of you.
    Ellie Naill

    • Thank you so much Richard for posting this article. It’s a beautiful representation of Ali and how much she knew and loved about what she did. Growing up on the pier and watching Ali and Luc fall in love and carry out such a full life was impressively inspiring. I can only think to hope that heaven needed some good knot work to decorate its bells.
      I’m glad that I got the time that I did with Ali while she glowed here. I will always be grateful to her for showing me how possible it is to live your dreams.
      Ali you live on in all the hearts you touched and the lines you have woven will always bear your essence.

  24. Luc, I am so sorry that I didn’t have a chance to get to know Ali better. I’ve seen you guys around for a few years now and your warmth, energy, humor and your love for each other was obvious. I can’t imagine the loss you’re feeling now.


  25. Our hearts grieve along with you. We will continue to pray for you all during this difficult time. In reading through this beautiful blog and leaning more about Ali and her relationship with Luc, this Irish blessing seems to capture her memory:

    “Death leaves a heartache no one can heal; Love leaves a memory no one can steal.”

    Peace be to all of you,
    John and Kate England
    (Lilly’s Oregon cousin)

  26. I came to know Ali & Luc when Chris (Tarbrush) invited them along to our weekly pool nights. Such a surprise when Ali kept coming by to play (and out-shoot) us crusty guys, now & then, when Luc was gone for long assignments. Ali must have enjoyed our unlikely companionship. She brought us the gentle & quiet strength & humor of her presence. I’ve never seen anything like the love between Ali and Luc. With all who love Ali, with all who can’t accept that her vitality was taken away so suddenly and so long before it was supposed to be – her old friends the pool guys share sorrow and grieving, with all our hearts to her family and friends and Luc.

  27. Janie and I are truely saddened at Ali’s passing. She touched our lives by demonstrating her passion and love for all things maritime. We will miss her.
    We continue to pray for Luc and both families.

  28. It is too hard to comprehend what has happened so suddenly and not making any sense why. Seeing Ali’s happy face on Tiger, with Luc and Laddie, around the bay at various maritime events, and at their club which has been their home for the past several years – these images in my mind will not fade away. Her passing leaves a big hole, but her light has touched so many hearts. Praying for comfort and strength to Luc, Ali, both your families and all your friends.

  29. I am sorry for your loss. I did not know Ali well but she always had a smile on her face and said hello to me when I would meet her on the pier. She always radiated confidence and was very comfortable with herself, a rare combination in a woman so young. This is reflection on her upbrining and the influence of her soul mate Luc. My prayers are with all of you at this sad time.

    Rejane Butler

  30. Eric and Melissa,
    We are so sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
    Matt and Amy Milowsky

  31. Jeff and Karen start Christmas with a heavy heart…Everything seemed ahead of Ali.. but now I find comfort now that she very receintly told me that she could have done a lot of things with her time but she was doing exactly what she wanted to do and was very happy…

  32. Ali represented the future of San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park–young, intelligent, talented, determined, committed, passionate, kind, thoughtful. By friendship and craftsmanship she marked us and the historic ships, and all is forever better. For Ali’s Luc, families, and friends, may warm memories of Ali be a light through your dark sorrow.

  33. There are no words to express the depth of our sympathy and sorrow for Luc & Ali’s family. Our hearts are breaking, Ali’s light has touched & inspired so many of us. May we all find comfort & healing in the love she brings & surrounds us with. Thank you for this loving blog, our prayers are with all of you. Linda & Steven

  34. So very sad and sorry to hear this news.
    Sunday before last I went down to The Pier to volunteer and found Ali in the shop on Balclutha putting the finishing touches on a splice in a huge piece of wire, with a smile on her face. As I looked at the interwoven pieces of wire I was reminded of a rigger I met over thirty years ago, Dick Rose, a retired Merchant Seaman who came to work for the National Park Service and who took such pride in his workmanship.
    I first met Ali as a young girl, volunteering at The Pier many years ago, her hands covered in Pine Tar, almost lovingly slushing the Balcluthas rigging. I last saw her as a young woman, now a permanent employee, confidently and with great dedication splicing an eye in a shroud or back stay of that same ship. I went into volunteer this past Saturday and a new piece of wire was in the vice, set up for another splice. I will never see another wire eye splice or a hand sewn sail without thinking of Ali. The Park may find someone as skillful as she was, but it will be very dificult to find such dedication, passion and good will all wrapped up in one person.
    My wife, Judy Hitzeman, (retired Registrar of SAFR) and I send our heartfelt condolences to Luc and all her family and friends.

  35. Heaven now has a beautiful angel. Although the club will not be the same without seeing Ali and lady walking the docks with her contagious smile… Her spurt will shine bright and I am sure her presence will always be felt! Luc our hearts go out to you and always know the love you and Ali have was an inspiration to us! Our thoughts, prayers and support go out to luc And both families. Annie thank you so much for your updates, I can only imagine the strength it took…

  36. Do not stand by my grave and weep
    I am not there, I do not sleep
    I am a thousand winds that blow
    I am a diamonds glint on snow
    I am the sunlight on ripened grain
    I am the gentle, falling rain
    When you awake in the mornings hush
    I am the swift, uplifting rush
    Of circling birds in quiet flight
    I am the soft, star shine at night
    Do not stand by my grave and cry
    I am not there, I did not die


    Luc, our heats break with yours, she will be with you always. You will feel her with you when your sails fill with the wind! Hugs,
    Jeff and Wendy

  37. to annie, eric, luc, melissa and all who loved and adored ali, my deepest condolences are with you during this most difficult time. any words i could share, would not be able to express how much my heart aches for you. please know that all of you are in my prayers daily. sending love and light ~ x alyson

  38. To Luc and all of Ali’s family
    Karleen and I wish to express our deepest sympathies for the passing of Ali. Throughout the years of our association through Master Mariners and PSPYC Ali was a quiet but funny and fun-loving part of all of our activities. We fondly remember the fun she had at the last Master Mariners’ “Chickenship” cruise to Petaluma, laughing, dancing up a storm, hosting a pot luck on Tiger, Salting the bilge dive bilge with a large assortment of junk, and just being herself.
    Our hearts go out to you during this trying time.
    Norm Harris and
    Karleen Ohlhausen-Harris

  39. Luc & Ali’s Family,

    I know that no words can help ease the pain and loss that you are feeling right now.
    I did not know Ali as well as I would have liked, but I’m happy I made her acquaintance.

    I extend my sincere sympathy
    Tonja Hester

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