Dorothy J. Anderson obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Dorothy J. Anderson

January 31, 1948 - August 6, 2017

Obituary


Dorothy Jeanne Anderson believed in angels. She wasn't always sure about religion, but she definitely had faith in the existence of the cherubic beings. She collected them, had them throughout her house and even gave new drivers guardian angel pins to help keep them safe. To her children and grandchildren and especially to those she "adopted" over the years, she was an angel on earth, and on Sunday, Aug. 6, 2017, she became an angel in spirit as well. She was 69 and had lived in Middleburg for 36 years.
Dot, or Dottie,...

Dorothy Jeanne Anderson believed in angels. She wasn't always sure about religion, but she definitely had faith in the existence of the cherubic beings. She collected them, had them throughout her house and even gave new drivers guardian angel pins to help keep them safe. To her children and grandchildren and especially to those she "adopted" over the years, she was an angel on earth, and on Sunday, Aug. 6, 2017, she became an angel in spirit as well. She was 69 and had lived in Middleburg for 36 years.
Dot, or Dottie, both names she preferred to Dorothy, was born Jan. 31, 1948, at home in National Park, N.J., the fifth of Ann and Walter Hunsberger's eight children. Life wasn't always easy, and money was scarce when Dot was a child, factors that influenced how she lived her adult life. She developed a soft spot for the underdog and for those who needed a helping hand or simply a mother or a grandmother's love. Christmas was her favorite holiday, and she insisted on doing it up big every year, for the children especially, because she said she knew what it was like to not have many presents.
At age 16, Dottie dropped out of the 10th grade to marry her first husband. She was determined that her children not make that same mistake, though, and when her daughter started high school, Dot bet her that she would finish before her. And she did, earning her GED and becoming a proud member - 20 years later -- of the Woodbury (N.J.) High School Class of 1966. Throughout her life, she worked in a factory and as a waitress. She went to hairdressing school and cut hair for family and friends for free, and she was a longtime bartender at Fleet Reserve Association Branch 91 in Jacksonville.
Dot left New Jersey for good when she met and married her second husband, Navy veteran Andy Anderson. She wasn't overly excited to move to Middleburg in 1981, but they did so for the good schools and inexpensive land. Over the years, though, Clay County became her home so much that her grandchildren would jokingly ask if Mommom took a Clay County sign with her whenever she would travel to Jacksonville or beyond. She was a member of the Ladies Auxiliaries of FRA Branch 91, as well as American Legion Post 250 and VFW Post 8255, both in Middleburg.
After retirement, Dot became a (sometimes overly) doting Mommom, watching the kids, bragging about them and plying them with cookies, McDonald's and toys. She adored babies and would drop everything in restaurants and stores to go make faces and "talk" to them. She also loved her daily hot tea (no coffee!); newspaper crossword puzzles; the ID channel, crime shows, "The Walking Dead" and "Game of Thrones" on TV; and bargain-hunting shopping ("I only buy quality junk" was her motto about her weekly "senior day half price" trips to the Salvation Army store). She disliked cooking, even though she was known for her dishes like potato salad, lasagna and butternut squash, and was a regular at several local restaurants. She was also an excellent seamstress, a skill she put to use in many ways, from hemming pants to creating lap blankets for veterans at the VA hospital.
All this is not to say that she wasn't feisty, hard-headed and opinionated. Especially in her later years, she had no problem telling you whatever was on her mind, whether you wanted to hear it or not. But if she "adopted" you, you knew you were loved beyond measure. She helped many people financially, with a place to stay and just by being there for them. Her house and her heart were always open if you needed them.
As for that heart, Dottie was proud to have survived two open heart and two carotid artery surgeries, the first of which she had at age 50. But in the end, the heart that enveloped so many people simply wasn't strong enough to keep going for her. She passed away peacefully in her sleep after several up and down months with congestive heart failure.
Besides her parents, Dot was predeceased by her husband, E.H. "Animal" Andy Anderson; her sisters Sally Palmer, Jo Ann Kersting and Judy Ponter; and her brothers Ralph Hunsberger, Dean Hunsberger and Wayne Hunsberger.
She is survived by her daughter, Melissa (Michael) Cummings of Fleming Island; son Dean Alexander of Fleming Island; son John (Amy) Aldhous-Evans of Keystone Heights; brother Robert (Blanche DiPaul) Hunsberger of Thorofare, N.J.; sisters-in-law Connie Waaramaa Kinney, Karen Hunsberger, Janet Hunsberger and Anne Hunsberger; brother-in-law Dennis Dudley; the real lights of her life, grandchildren Alex Cummings, Sara Cummings, Kris Hicks, Shannon Aldhous-Evans, Nathan Aldhous-Evans, Hailey Moreno, Emily Aldhous-Evans, Chayan Nichols and Caleb Aldhous-Evans; several nieces, nephews, "adopted" children and grandchildren; and friends.
Funeral services will be at 1 p.m. Friday, Aug. 11, at HARDAGE-GIDDENS HOLLY HILL FUNERAL HOME, 3601 Old Jennings Road, Middleburg. Interment will be at a later date. Please leave words of comfort at www.hollyhillfunerals.com.