Isabelle E. Anderson
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April 19, 1921 ~ November 23, 2010
SANTA ROSA, CA - Isabelle "Izzy" Anderson, 89, beloved mother of Jim and Dave Anderson, passed away on Tuesday, November 23, 2010 due to Alzheimer's. She was born April 19, 1921 to David Richard and Mary Ellen Thomas in Spokane, Washington. Mom grew up in nearby Wallace, Idaho and often told stories of the Great Depression when her mother watered down the bean soup day after day until there was only one bean left! Mary Ellen also took in boarders and lived off "the wheat money" from the Jones family's Eastern Washington farm.
Mom loved to go to the movies and had hoped to be a movie star someday. A childhood playmate later did become the film star Lana Turner. Mom was a cheerleader for the Wallace High School Miners and worked as an usherette in a movie theater. After high school Mom entered the Sacred Heart School of Nursing in Spokane where she got her degree in 1943. Then, World War II broke out, and Mom joined the Women's Army Corps. It was around that time at the Army Airbase in Mountain Home, Idaho that Mom was to meet a young B-24 pilot from Kansas, Lt. Gerald Anderson. She would call him "Andy". He would call her "Tommy". One day the nurses were ordered to salute the colonel when they saw him in order to promote good discipline. Mom saw some men jogging by and, thinking one might be the colonel, she came to attention and snapped off a crisp salute. This action caught Dad's attention so he decided to feign an old football knee injury and go to the infirmary to meet this lovely young nurse. They began dating and soon it was time for Dad's graduation. Dad invited Mom, but she didn't want to go alone in the company of thousands of men. Her lieutenant gathered up all 40 nurses on the base and they accompanied Mom to Dad's graduation. Mom gave Dad her picture when he left for the Pacific. After the war Mom and Dad were married on August 30, 1947.
During her career, Mom worked in hospitals, as a private duty nurse, and at the Silas B. Hays Hospital at Fort Ord until her retirement in 1984. She loved reading, swimming, going out to eat, and was the life of the party at every celebration. No one ever received a Christmas gift with more love, excitement, and appreciation than our Mom.
She is survived by one sister, Mary Olsen of Bellevue, Washington; her sons, Dave and Jim Anderson; their wives, Margie and Louise; and her grandsons, Thomas, Andrew, and Doug. Mom's funeral will be at 1:30 PM on Saturday, December 11, 2010 at Cypress Community Church with reception immediately following. Memorials may be sent to Sutter VNA and Hospice, 1110 N. Dutton Ave., Santa Rosa, CA 95401.
Published in The Monterey Herald on Dec. 6, 2010