Obituary: Terry Anderson
February 15, 1924 – March 22, 2021
Thelma Marie (Terry) Anderson was born on February 15, 1924, in Paia, Maui, Hawaii, to Leslie James and Thelma Boyum Watson. She died at Holladay Park Plaza in Portland, Oregon, on March 22, 2021.
Terry grew up mostly in Honolulu, graduating from Punahou School in 1941. When her parents divorced in 1934, she spent every opportunity on Maui where her mother lived. She always considered herself a “Maui Girl.” Terry entered the University of Hawaii at the age of 17, but her freshman year was interrupted by the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. She attended a dance at the Pearl Harbor Officer’s Club the night before the bombing. And the morning of the bombing, her father drove her to the Moana Hotel to go on a picnic with visiting students from Willamette University. Her dad, a retired Navy officer, was flagged down at the hotel and told to report to Pearl Harbor immediately. Shortly thereafter, World War II sent Terry and her sister Jean on a Navy convoy to the Mainland. Terry continued her education at the University of Oregon. There she met Les Anderson. The War interrupted their romance and his education, as Les was in Army ROTC and served as a lieutenant in the infantry in Europe.
Upon Les’ return to the U.S. in 1946, Terry traveled to San Francisco where they married on February 15, 1946. They settled back in Eugene, initially in the tiny university-owned ‘pre-fabs’ across from Hayward Field. Les finished his UO degree while Terry worked in the bookstore in the basement of Chapman Hall.
A family of four children followed and Terry focused on raising them, while supporting Les’ local business and political career. She joined a book club of 12 women who stayed connected throughout their lives. In 1972, Terry was among four women in the small book club who “produced” US Olympians. Terry’s son Jon was a member of the U.S. track and field team at the Munich games.
Terry loved to travel. The first overseas trip she and Les took was to Europe in 1960. On that trip, they bought a VW bug and drove around the continent. Trips over the years included England, Scotland, France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Russia, India, Japan, Hong Kong, and the South Pacific.
Trips to Bend, Oregon, were regular family outings in the 1960s. They were a “skiing family,” so the 1968 purchase of a Polehouse in Sunriver allowed the family of six comfortable surroundings near Mt. Bachelor and a year-round second home.
A move to Aspen, Colorado, in the late 1970s brought new opportunities and new friends. Terry enjoyed the annual music festival scene during the summer months, and rode horses regularly. On Terry’s 65th birthday, Les bought her a horse of her own, Danny-Boy. She and Les hosted friends from around the country at the home they built in the early 1980s.
After Les’ death in 2000, Terry moved to Portland and found support for the remaining years at Holladay Park Plaza, where her sister Jean also lived.
Terry is survived by her sons, Rik (Holly) Anderson and Jon (Terri) Anderson, and her daughters Leslie Anderson and Elizabeth (Craig Potter) Anderson as well as her five grandchildren, Vanessa, Hillary, Clark, Erica, and Drew, and three great-grandchildren.
In lieu of other gifts, donations can be made to the Terry and Les Anderson Scholarship Fund, Aspen Music Festival and School, 225 Music School Road, Aspen, CO 81611.
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