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Anita M. Andrew


1953 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Anita M. Andrew Obituary
Anita M. Andrew 1953—2018
Anita Andrew, historian, China scholar, adoptive mother of two Chinese daughters, accomplished chef and cooking instructor and wife of 38 years to John A. Rapp of Beloit, died unexpectedly on Dec. 14, 2018 in Beloit Memorial Hospital.
The cause is undetermined. She was 65.
Dr. Andrew, who earned her Ph.D. in history from the University of Minnesota, had been an associate professor of history at Northern Illinois University in Rockford since 1994. She taught courses in Chinese and Comparative Asian History, including an online course in Asian history for computer gamers, one of the school's most popular offerings. Previously she was a visiting assistant professor at Beloit College.
Dr. Andrew worked with many academic publications as a writer, editor and translator. From 1994-2000, she was the editor of Ming Studies, an interdisciplinary journal on China's Ming Dynasty of 1368-1644. She continued to serve on the journal's board of directors. She also authored articles for the Journal of Women's History and Education About Asia, and several chapter entries in the Encyclopedia of Asian History, as well as translations from Chinese for Xibei shida xuebao (Journal of Xibei Normal University). She also co-authored a book with her husband, Autocracy and China's Rebel Founding Emperor's: Comparing Chairman Mao and Ming Taizu (Rowman and Littlefield, 2000).
In 1995 and 2001, the couple adopted orphaned girls in China during the height of that country's one-child policy, which served to favor boys. She authored a paper, "China's Abandoned Children and Transnational Adoption: Issues and Problems for U.S.-China Relations, Adoption Agencies, and Adoptive Parents," and was currently working on a book manuscript, From China's Daughters to All-American Girls.
The book project came out of a major public history undertaking she initiated on intercountry adoption from China. The goal was to build a digital archive of the array of American adoption agency information on placements of abandoned Chinese children with American families since 1992, the beginning of official government-to government regulations on adoptions in China.
She also published fictional short stories based on her own children's origins, including, "Somewhere in China a Mother Remembers," proceeds from which she donated to charities supporting orphanages in China.
Anita Marie Andrew was born on August 30, 1953, in New Haven, Conn., the daughter of the late Leon and Edith (Perfetto) Andrew. She attended Amity Regional High School in Milford, Conn., and Wheaton College in Norton, Mass., before earning a master's degree East Asian Studies in from Indiana University. She received her Ph.D. in History in 1991 from the University of Minnesota.
In addition to her academic career, Anita volunteered for presentations at area hospitals on adoptive nursing to assist other adoptive mothers. She conducted workshops for secondary school teachers to assist them in including information on Chinese history, politics, language, and culture in the curriculum. An excellent cook, especially in Italian and Chinese cuisines, she also offered classes in Chinese cooking and language in Rockford, Illinois, for parents adopting Chinese children through the Families with Children from China program.
In addition to her husband, longtime professor at Beloit College, survivors include daughters Amy Chunyi Rapp of Paris, France, and Laura Mingyi Rapp, a student at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn.; an aunt who raised her from the age of 10, Eleanor Perfette of Beloit; brothers-in-law David (Lee Anne George) Rapp of Washington D.C., David Heerdink of Evansville, Ind., James (Cathy) Rapp of Melbourne, Fla.; step-sisters Joan (Brian) Kirkpatrick of Ft. Mills, S.C., and Janet Lee (Tony) Partridge of New York City; an uncle, Andrew Perfetto of New Haven, CT, and several nieces and nephews.
A memorial service of remembrance for Anita will be at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 5, 2019 in the Eaton Chapel of Beloit College, 700 College St., in Beloit. Arrangements are by Daley Murphy Wisch & Associates Funeral Home and Crematorium, 2355 Cranston Rd., in Beloit.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.daleymurphywisch.com.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Anita's memory to scholarship funds at Beloit College and/or Northern Illinois University.
Published in Rockford Register Star from Dec. 19 to Dec. 21, 2018
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