Heidi Anna Johnson / Anna Castle (1956-2022)

AILLA has heartbreaking and unexpected news to share. Our friend, mentor, and colleague, Heidi Anna Johnson, passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, February 2, 2022. Heidi was the manager of AILLA from 2001 through 2012, and she built this archive into the internationally recognized language repository that it is. She laid the groundwork and built the foundation for everything that we do today.

Heidi spread the word about language archiving and its best practices not only among fellow archivists, but to a broader audience, including Indigenous communities working to preserve and use records of their heritage languages and linguists assisting in such efforts.

After retiring from AILLA in 2012, Heidi launched a successful writing career. As an independent author, she published seventeen mystery novels and numerous short stories under the nom de plume Anna Castle (https://www.annacastle.com/about/), her most popular, the Francis Bacon Mysteries series. As reflected in her tagline, she wrote with "heart and wit."

Heidi was a major contributor to the documentation of Indigenous languages of Mexico; a pioneering digital language archivist; a gifted and charismatic teacher and speaker; and a clever and engaging author. And, most importantly, she was a loving daughter and sister and an unflaggingly enthusiastic and supportive friend. She will be missed by all whose lives she touched.

Read the obituary here.
The memorial service is scheduled for Wednesday, February 23, 2022, 3-5pm CST. Details about in-person and virtual attendance options are here.