GREENVILLE, Pa. - Dorotha Elder Anderson, 96, of the Heritage at St. Paul's, West Salem Township, formerly of West Windridge, died 3:38 p.m. Friday, April 19, 2013.
Dorotha was born March 12, 1917, to Ellesta McMillan and William Elder of Coolspring Township.
She graduated from Mercer High School at the age of 16, second in her class. In 1937, she graduated from Slippery Rock Normal School, the predecessor to Slippery Rock University, summa cum laude. Her first teaching position in the fall of 1937 was at the one-room Stone Pile School near Mercer, Pa., where she was the only teacher for first through eighth-grade students. It was on her first day of teaching that she met her future husband, Orville "O.D." DeWayne Anderson, who had obtained the first school bus contract for the newly consolidated district. When O.D. went in to check on dismissal time with the young teacher, he said he fell in love on his first bus trip.
Three years later on June 15, 1940, the young couple were married at Coolspring Presbyterian Church in Mercer. Dot was an equal partner with her husband in their transportation company, O.D. Anderson Inc., now known as Anderson Coach & Travel. She ran the daily company business and raised their four children while O.D. was driving and expanding the company. Dot was a unique businesswoman for her time and a tireless worker.
She was an avid bridge player and a talented pianist. Dot was a 50-year choir member at Zion's Reformed United Church of Christ in Greenville and enjoyed singing in the community Messiah presentation for many years. She was active in Rainbow Girls with her daughters and was an active lifetime member of both Eastern Star and White Shrine.
Dot served as a Thiel College trustee and was their Louis and Barbara Thiel Distinguished Service Award recipient in 1995. In 1996, she was honored by the Greenville Area Chamber as Business Person of the Year. The Boy Scouts of America honored her as a Distinguished Citizen in 1997 and in 2001 she was recognized as one of Pennsylvania's Best 50 Women in Business. In 2005, she was honored by the Mahoning-Shenango chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals as an Outstanding Philanthropist. Dot received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Slippery Rock University in 2009.
Dot and O.D. gave back to their community throughout their years of business success. The Andersons together established a scholarship at Thiel College, Allegheny College and Reynolds Area School District. Her children honored her in 2008 with a scholarship in her name at Slippery Rock University, which goes to a Linesville, Pa., area student as well as a Reynolds Area School District student attending her alma mater. Very recently, Dot received her 1937 belated Valedictorian Medallion personally from the president of Slippery Rock University.
Orville and Dorotha celebrated 50 years of marriage in 1990, the same year that O.D. passed away.
She was very proud of all of her family, including her grandchildren, their spouses and their children.
Dorotha leaves behind four children, Karen Lee Jones and her husband, David, of Phoenix, Ariz., Lyle Elder Anderson and his wife, Susan, of Jamestown, Pa., Sue Ann Nicklin and her husband, Darrell, of Greenville, and Douglas DeWayne Anderson and his wife, Lori, also of Greenville. Her grandchildren, Brian Jones of Connecticut, Scott Jones of Wisconsin, Derek Jones of Texas, Craig Jones of Massachusetts, Stuart Anderson of Greenville, Dallas Anderson of New Mexico, Ryan Nicklin of Nevada, Kristen Jennings of Mars, Pa., and Evan Anderson and Andrew Anderson, both of Greenville; 13 great-grandchildren; two nephews and nieces; and several grand-nephews and -nieces complete her family.
She was preceded in death by her husband; her parents; a sister, Martha Grace Fleming, and her brother-in-law, Paul of Clarion County, Pa.; and another sister, Mary Alice Brown and her brother-in-law, Kenneth of Salt Lake City, Utah.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations in her memory be made to Zion's United Church of Christ, 260 Main St., Greenville, or to St. Paul Homes, 339 E. Jamestown Road, Greenville.
Funeral services will be held 1 p.m. Friday at Zion's Reformed United Church of Christ, 260 Main St., Greenville, with the Rev. Philip J. Garner, Pastor of Zion's, officiating. Friends may call from 3 to 7 p.m. Thursday and from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday in Anderson Lounge of Zion's Church.
Private burial will be in Carpenter Cemetery, Springfield Township, Mercer.
Visitors may sign the online guestbook and view a video tribute at www.loutzenhiser-jordanfuneralhome.com.
Arrangements by Loutzenhiser-Jordan Funeral Home and Cremation Services Inc., 366-68 S. Main St., Greenville.