In November, we mark the one-year anniversary of the passing of Virginia (Ginny) Dolbeare Anderson, who died peacefully in her sleep on November 16, 2016, of complications related to dementia. As a teacher, and as a person deeply committed to the causes of social justice, she touched countless lives with her love and compassion.
She is deeply missed by her brother, Robert Dolbeare, her children, Bruce Anderson, Jaqueline Anderson, Alan Anderson and Susy Ward, foster-children Thaleia Lesveconte and Kathy Nunn, grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews and by friends without number.
A memorial is planned for July 15, 2018, when her ashes will join those of her husband, Daniel (Andy) Anderson, on the mountain behind their beloved home outside Nederland, CO. All are welcome to attend. For details as the date gets closer, please contact Jacqueline Anderson at Jacquie.firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-258-7229.
Ginny started life on January 20, 1929, the daughter of the late Jeanne and Captain Walter Dolbeare, and grew up in Richmond, Virginia. She graduated from Brown University and became a teacher. While studying at Brown, she met Daniel “Andy” Anderson to whom she was married for more than 40 years until his death in 1994.
They had four children, adopted two more, and were loving and supportive parents to a large number of “strays.” Ginny and Andy settled in in the area of Delaware, Ohio, when Andy received an appointment to teach at Ohio Wesleyan University.
In the mid-1960s, they took their four young children on sabbatical for two years to the newly independent African country of Malawi, where the University of Malawi was being created; a spirit of adventure that they shared with their family throughout their lives. Ginny took time off from teaching to be a full-time mother when her children were young, but returned to teaching in the mid-1970s.
She taught English as a Second Language to college students for a number of years at OWU, and later took that specialty to teach elementary school children in the Dublin, Ohio, Public School System. She received her master’s degree from Ohio State University during this time. Ginny retired from teaching in 1993, just as Andy need her to be a full-time caregiver in his last battle with cancer.
In 1995, Ginny moved from Ohio to take up full-time residence in the dream home she and Andy had gradually built for their retirement close to children and grandchildren in the mountains outside Nederland, Colorado. In Nederland, she was an active member of the community for many years, a volunteer at Nederland Elementary School, an active member of local senior groups and of the Mountain Forum for Peace.
She struggled with the on-set of dementia in her final years and spent the last three years of her life in beautiful, sun-filled Seven Lakes Memory Care Home in Loveland. Throughout her entire life, Ginny was a vocal and active advocate for civil rights, peace and the causes of social justice.
She served for many years as an elected member of the Democratic Committee of Delaware County and remained actively involved in the political process throughout her life. Even with the anger and frustration inherent in her struggle against the on-set of dementia, she remained the same feisty, loving, compassionate person she had always been.
She will be remembered, as one friend put it, “for her humor, for her wanderlust, for her passion for the Colorado Rockies and their wildlife, for her willingness to stand up for justice and civil rights, for a house full of trashy mystery novels that she generously shared, for her fierce loyalty to her family, and for her unwillingness to suffer fools, especially if they were Republican presidents.”
(Originally published in the December 21, 2017 print edition of The Mountain-Ear.)