Elizabeth Anderson

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Elizabeth Jean Ozan Anderson, of Edmond, OK, passed away peacefully in her home on Monday, April 11, 2011, after a courageous battle with malignant melanoma. What a magnificent life she lived! Elizabeth was born in San Antonio, TX on April 17, 1941 to Lt. Col. Cecil and Helen Elizabeth Lessing Ozan. After graduating from Thomas Jefferson High School (1959), she earned a BS (nursing) degree from Texas Woman's University (1963) and was a graduate (CRNA) of the Harris County Hospital District School of Nurse Anesthesia (1973). A lifelong learner, Elizabeth received an MLA from Houston Baptist University in 1990. Most recently, she was pursuing yet another degree, a BA in Art History at the University of Central Oklahoma. Elizabeth practiced anesthesia in the Houston area for 20 years and was only the second CRNA to be invited to work in the Fondren Cardiovascular Center of Methodist Hospital, headed by the noted heart surgeon, Michael DeBakey. After "retiring" from anesthesia, Elizabeth recognized the need for reliable home health care for aging baby boomers. This was a very innovative concept at the time. Her vision led to the founding of her home health care agency, Insta-Medic later known as ContinuCare. Her company grew to include eight offices from Houston to San Antonio. In 1995, after almost thirty years in Houston, she and her husband Gene moved to Oklahoma. Before long, Elizabeth transferred her enthusiasm for community involvement to her new hometowns of Edmond and Oklahoma City. She was active in many civic and social organizations. She was a member of the Early American Glass Club, the OKC Art Museum board, Allied Arts Committee, O-Kee-Pa book club, and the Philharmonic Orchestra League. She served as president of the OK Health Science Center Faculty Women's Club, as a board member of the Pan-American Medical Missions and Huntington's Disease Society of OK, and as a trustee of the University of the Ozarks. It was only after her illness was diagnosed that she had to suspend her involvement in many of these important activities. For such an energetic spirit, it was a bitter blow. An avid student/researcher of genealogy, she investigated the histories of her and Gene's families. Along the way, she uncovered many tantalizing tales of her family and shared them with her children, brothers, and sisters. It is fitting then that Elizabeth was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and Daughters of the Republic of Texas. Her hobbies were traveling, visiting museums, reading, and playing bridge with her "bridge buddies." Throughout their almost forty-nine years of marriage, Elizabeth and Gene shared many wonderful adventures, visiting all of the continents with one exception, Antarctica. Given more time, she surely would have made it there, too. Almost always they were accompanied by one or more of their children or grandchildren. Both said that their most cherished memories were of the wonderful times shared on these trips with their family. Elizabeth loved young student scientists and always sought them out at the meetings she attended with Gene. She was particularly keen on introducing them to the leaders in the field. It was her personal goal to see that each young scientist met with his/her most admired researcher. For instance, in Jerusalem in 1994, she saw two young Russian female scientists sitting alone in a corner during the opening reception. After introducing herself, Elizabeth learned that they wanted to meet the "very famous Drs. Lolley and Bok." Elizabeth's response was "Oh, you mean Dick and Dean! Come with me!" and off they went. Because of her interest in young scientists, just before her death, several of her friends established the Elizabeth Anderson Travel Award through the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) which, when fully endowed, will permanently support the travel of two young scientists to the annual ARVO meeting. Gratefully, Elizabeth knew before her passing that this endowment would become a reality. While she could hardly believe the outpouring of support in her name, it gave her great comfort and satisfaction that her work on behalf of young scientists would continue. Elizabeth approached everything she did with energy and a passion that left most in awe. Her life was devoted to her family, especially her four grandchildren, whom she loved dearly. She exposed them to the wonders of travel, the beauty of the ballet, and the history of art. Every trip included much time in museums, old churches, and historical sites. The memories of those experiences will keep her close to them all their lives. Elizabeth was preceded in death by her parents; brother, Cecil Roscoe Ozan; sister, Mary Catherine Ozan Rossum; brother, George Anderson Ozan; and nephew, Michael Jerome Ozan. She is survived by her husband, Robert Eugene Anderson; son, Robert Nicholas Anderson, and granddaughters, Ashley Grace Anderson and Taylor Nicole Anderson; son, David Neal Anderson, wife, Antelia Erika Juarez Anderson, and grandsons, Alexander Apollo Alfredo Anderson and Robert David Ian Anderson; daughter, Susan Elizabeth Anderson; sister, Dorothy Lee Ozan Schulze, husband, Larry Alan Schulze, and daughters, Jennifer Lee Schulze McDaniel and Jessica Ann Schulze; sister, Deborah Ann Ozan Brigham, husband David Harold Brigham, and niece, Cara Suzanne Brigham Gonzales; brother, Richard Vance Ozan and niece, Melynda Ellen Ozan Poder; brother, Jerome Wilfred Ozan, nephew, Steven Craig Ozan, and niece, Lisa Diane Ozan Hester; nieces, Robin Elizabeth Rossum Delaney and Kimberly Ann Rossum Sharp; and sister-in-law, Anna Clare Krause Ozan Willis, and nephews, Mark Alan Ozan and Charles Anderson Ozan. The Anderson family would like to thank all those family, friends, and caregivers who made Elizabeth's last weeks the best she had had in many months. A memorial celebration of Elizabeth's life will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 21, in the Bishop W. Angie Smith Chapel on the campus of Oklahoma City University in OKC. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the ARVO Foundation for Eye Research and specified for the Elizabeth Anderson Fund. The mailing address is 1801 Rockville Pike, Ste 400, Rockville, MD 20852.

Published in The Oklahoman on Apr. 17, 2011
Elizabeth Anderson
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