MARJORIE BETH ANDERSON, 96, passed away peacefully at her Newport Beach home on January 7, 2011, with her family at her bedside. She was born in Chicago, Illinois, where she lived until age 11, when her family came to California for a “visit” and never left.
“Marj” was a doer. She founded the Hoag Hospital Auxiliary (and the candy stripers), as well as the first Panhellenic group in Orange County. She served as a charter member of the Nightingales, the Children’s Theater Guild, the Lido Isle Players, and Las Almas de Mardan. Additionally, Marj was a PTA committee member, a Cotillion and a sponsor for the Junior Board of Control on idyllic Lido Isle, where she lived for almost 70 years.
Her kind spirit was evident in the support of American Field Service (AFS), the international scholarship program. She hosted two AFS “sons” in her home, Tony Khoury from Syria and David Fanning from South Africa, and organized the local chapter. Her love of travel took her to all of the continents.
She was an enthusiastic benefactor and longtime student of Orange Coast College (OCC), where she pursued many of her interests -- from art to marine biology, photography to orchid growing, economics to international relations. In 1987, in honor of her many accomplishments and “outstanding character,” she was inducted into the OCC Alumni Hall of Fame.
At the age of 57, she returned to UCLA to finish a bachelor’s degree, and went on to earn a master’s degree in clinical psychology. Still in her prime at 70, she became a licensed marriage, family, and child counselor, and she also developed the first classes in retirement preparation for the Coast Community College District.
In addition to her own counseling practice, she generously volunteered her professional services as a grief support group leader with the Oasis Senior Center in Corona del Mar. Marjorie continued to counsel individual clients well into her 90s.
Her heartfelt contributions as a beloved wife, mother and friend to the community stirred everyone in her orbit to live and enjoy life with the same passion and vitality she did. Marj leaves a legacy of grace and courage that inspires us all, regardless of age.
She is survived by daughter Sherry Anderson, of Anchorage, Alaska, and son Craig Anderson of Menlo Park, California.
The family requests that memorial donations be made to the Orange Coast College Foundation – Kent Stuart Anderson Fund.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 26, 2011, from 2 – 4 p.m., at the Lido Island Community Association Clubhouse, 701 via Lido Soud, Newport Beach, CA.