Dorotha Elder Anderson, of The Heritage at St. Paul’s, West Salem Township, formerly of W. Windridge, Greenville, died at 3:38 p.m. Friday (4-19-13) She was 96.
Dorotha was born to Ellesa (McMillan) and William Elder of Coolspring Township on March 12, 1917.
She graduated from Mercer High School at the age of 16, second in her class. In 1937 she graduated summa cum laude from Slippery Rock Normal School, the predecessor to Slippery Rock University.
Her first teaching position in the fall of 1937 was at the one-room Stone Pile School near Mercer, 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 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, 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 Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce as Business Person of the Year.
The Boy Scouts of America honored Dot 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 established scholarships at Thiel College, Allegheny College and Reynolds Area School District.
Her children honored Dot 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 student attending her alma mater. Very recently Dot received her belated 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.
Dorotha leaves behind four children, Karen Lee Jones, and her husband, David, Phoenix, Ariz.; Lyle Elder Anderson and his wife, Susan, Jamestown; Sue Ann Nicklin and her husband, Darrell, Greenville and Douglas DeWayne Anderson and his wife, Lori, Greenville.
She was very proud of all of her family, including her grandchildren, their spouses and their children. Grandchildren: Brian Jones, of Connecticut; Scott Jones, Wisconsin; Derek Jones, Texas; Craig Jones, Massachusetts; Stuart Anderson, Greenville; Dallas Anderson, New Mexico; Ryan Nicklin, Nevada; Kristen Jennings, Mars, Pa.; Evan Anderson and Andrew Anderson, both Greenville; thirteen 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 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 Rd., Greenville.
Dorotha Elder, 96, of West Salem Township.
Calling hours: 3 to 7 p.m. Thursday (4-25-13) and from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday (4-26-13) in Anderson’s Lounge of Zion’s Reformed United Church of Christ, 260 Main St., Greenville. Arrangements handled by LOUTZENHISER-JORDAN FUNERAL HOME and CREMATION SERVICES Inc., 366-368 Main St., Greenville. Visitors may sign the online guestbook and view a video tribute at www.loutzenhiser-jordanfuneralhome.com
Service: 1 p.m. Friday (4-26-13) in the church with Rev. Philip J. Garner, pastor, officiating.
Burial: Carpenter Cemetery, Springfield Township.