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Helen Sharp Anderson

Obituary
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Helen Sharp Anderson (Mrs. Thomas Dunaway Anderson), a native of Ennis, Texas, was born the 10th of June 1916, and died on the 16th of October 2013 in Houston. She was the daughter of the late Eula King Sharp and Judge John Henry Sharp of Austin, Texas.
After Mrs. Anderson's early schooling in Ennis, Texas, in 1930 she moved to Austin, where her father served for twenty-four years as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas. She graduated from Austin High School in 1933 and from the University of Texas in 1937. While in her freshman year at college, Mrs. Anderson was chosen to be a Bluebonnet Belle, a title conferred on the most beautiful women at the University of Texas by a panel of Hollywood stars. In 1937, she represented Austin as a Duchess at the Battle of the Flowers (Fiesta) in San Antonio. Following her marriage to Thomas D. Anderson in 1938, she moved to Houston.
Mrs. Anderson's volunteer efforts were focused primarily on historic preservation, gardening, and the environment. In 1945, she became a member of the River Oaks Garden Club, served as president of the organization from 1958 to 1959, and as Bicentennial Chairman in 1976. Her home and garden were exhibited eight times on the Azalea Trail, sponsored by the River Oaks Garden Club. For many years, Mrs. Anderson was also active in The Garden Club of America as vice president, director, zone vice chairman, and national chairman of the long-range planning committee. In 1983, she received the Garden Club of America Zone IX Creative Leadership Award. Her accomplishments were recognized in 1988 when she received the Garden Club of America's Medal of Achievement.
Mrs. Anderson was long identified with cultural affairs on the local and national levels. One of her outstanding honors was being asked to serve in 1967 as Vice Regent for Texas in the Mount Vernon Ladies Association of the Union - joining the board of directors that owns and operates the historic home and estate of George and Martha Washington near Washington, D.C. Mrs. Anderson served as Vice-Regent for Texas for 22 years and was elected to serve for three years as the Regent of the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association before reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75, which she had created. During these years she led a successful campaign to raise millions of dollars to restore the Texas Gate, the main entrance to Mount Vernon for over a century. In Washington, Mrs. Anderson also served as a board member of the National Cathedral Association.
In 1997, Mrs. Anderson received the Synergy Founder's Award honoring Environmental Excellence from the Citizens' Environmental Coalition. She was a long-time member of the Fine Arts Advisory Council of the University of Texas at Austin. For many years, she and her husband, Thomas D. Anderson, were members of the Winedale Advisory Council of the Center for American History of the University of Texas at Austin, which in 1997 awarded both of them the Ima Hogg Historical Achievement Award for Historic Preservation.
Mrs. Anderson was an active docent for six years at Bayou Bend, the home of the late Miss Ima Hogg, which houses one of the nation's premier collections of American furniture, paintings and decorative arts, which Miss Hogg gave to the Museum of Fine Arts. Mrs. Anderson also served as a board member of the Bayou Bend Advisor Committee, during which time she conducted a successful fund-raising campaign for the renovation and restoration of Bayou Bend. In addition she served as a board member of the Japan-America Society, Sheltering Arms, the Harris County Council Girl Scouts, and Volunteers for Patient Support ("VEPS") at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Long interested in the Museum of Fine Arts, she was the first Chairman of the Junior Gallery of the Museum. For several years, Mrs. Anderson led her daughters' Girl Scout troops, and was a den mother for her son's Cub Scout troop.
Mrs. Anderson was a member of the Church of St. John the Divine, where she taught Sunday school for a number of years; the Junior League of Houston; and Pi Beta Phi sorority, in which she held numerous positions. Club memberships included the Assembly and Bolero Clubs in Houston, the Colony Club in New York, and the Sulgrave Club in Washington, D.C.
Mrs. Anderson was predeceased by her husband of 69 years, Thomas Dunaway Anderson. Survivors include her daughters, Helen Anderson Shaw and husband, John Arthur Shaw of Chevy Chase, MD; Lucille Anderson Streeter and husband, Richard Henry Streeter of Washington, D.C.; her son, Judge John Sharp Anderson and wife, Holly Teas Anderson of Houston; four grandchildren, Thomas Clayton Anderson Streeter, John James Clayton Anderson, Alexis Dunaway Anderson, and Bryan Sharp Anderson; and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, Judge and Mrs. John H. Sharp; her sister, Lucille Sharp Avery of Austin, Texas; and a sister and brother who died in childhood.
The family would like to thank the long time staff, Bessie Mae Seals and Betty Mae Sam, whose excellent management made it possible for Mrs. Anderson to remain in her home. In addition, the family would like to express their gratitude to Mrs. Anderson's caregivers, Jovita Thorn, Keidra Ames, Mamie Collins and Bertha Kinds, whose care was so essential to Mrs. Anderson's wellbeing.
Friends are cordially invited to a visitation with the family from four o'clock in the afternoon until six o'clock in the evening on Monday, the 21st of October, at Mrs. Anderson's residence.
The memorial service is to be conducted at three o'clock in the afternoon on Tuesday, the 22nd of October, in the chapel of the Church of St. John the Divine, 2450 River Oaks Boulevard in Houston, where the Rev. Dr. Douglas W. Richnow, Senior Associate Rector, is to officiate. Immediately following, all are invited to greet the family during a reception at Mrs. Anderson's residence.
Prior to the service, the family will have gathered for a private interment at Glenwood Cemetery in Houston.
In lieu of customary remembrances, contributions in Mrs. Anderson's memory may be directed to Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, P. O. Box 6826, Houston, TX, 77265-6826; River Oaks Garden Club, 2503 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX, 77098; Mount Vernon, 3200 Mt. Vernon Memorial Hwy., Alexandria, VA, 22121; University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, P. O. Box 4486, Houston, TX, 77210-4486.

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Published in Houston Chronicle from Oct. 17 to Oct. 20, 2013
Helen Sharp Anderson
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