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Phyllis (Miller) Anderson

Loving wife and mother, gifted painter

Phyllis “Pete” Beatrice Anderson, a longtime Claremont resident, died on October 11, 2013 in Spokane, Washington, where she resided for only six months in a memory care facility. She was 92.

She was born in Massillon, Ohio on December 5, 1920, the youngest child of Edith Mae (Smith) and Carl Edward Miller. Nicknamed Pete after a favorite comic strip “Petey Dink” in the 1920s, Mrs. Anderson graduated from River Rouge High School in Michigan in 1938, a time when only 50 percent of 18-year-olds did so.

Dating the love of her life from the time she was 15, Mrs. Anderson married Merle “Deacon” Anderson a few weeks after her 18th birthday on December 30, 1938 in Napoleon, Ohio. After Mr. Anderson’s service in the Army during WWII, they settled in Claremont, California in 1947 with their two children where she resided until his passing in December 1998.

Mrs. Anderson was the quintessential wife, mother and homemaker in the era of the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s, keeping a warm and well-managed home. She prepared excellent traditional American meals for the family and spiced up many a holiday meal with gourmet dishes. She served as a Girl Scout troop leader and a Cub Scout den leader.

Mrs. Anderson had an artistic flair as well, starting with painted ceramic figures and decorative plates and graduating to oil paintings of landscapes and flowers. She also enjoyed a rich social life with the women’s golf club, 30 years of monthly canasta parties and scores of backyard barbecues.

After Mr. Anderson’s death in December 1998, she lived with her son and daughter in-law, John Anderson and Terri Ensell, in Solana Beach, California with a great view of the Pacific Ocean. It was Terri who cared for her as dementia and osteoarthritis took their tolls over the next 15 years.

Mrs. Anderson will be interred at Oak Park Cemetery in Claremont, next to her mother and husband.

In addition to her husband of 60 years, she was preceded in death by her step-mother Mabel (McBride), brother Carl O. Miller and sister Janet Rose. She is survived by her son John (Terri Ensell) of Solana Beach; daughter Diane Crow (Sandy Roistacher) of Spokane, Washington; grandson Dean Crow (Karen) of Costa Mesa; grandson Evan Anderson of Solana Beach; granddaughter Kate Anderson of Livermore; great-grandchildren Brendan, Michael and Alexandra Crow of Costa Mesa; and brother-in-law Ralph Anderson (Mary Smith) of Vista.

She also leaves nieces Sally Rose Durocher of Austin, Texas; Terry Lou McDaniel (Dana) of Lakeside; Donna Bautista (Lynn) of La Quinta; nephews Tom Rose (Kathie) of Celebration, Florida, Jim Logan of Rancho Cucamonga, Dick Logan of La Verne and Tom Anderson (Lynn) of Lake Forest; as well as numerous nieces and nephews scattered around the country, descendants of her Anderson in-laws.

 

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