Nancy (“Nan”) Anderson died peacefully at home, with hospice, surrounded by her very dear friends on Oct. 9.
Nan was born in Jackson, Michigan, in 1935. She earned a degree in social work from the University of Michigan. From there she went to work for the Girl Scouts, first in Indiana and then in Chicago as executive director. She moved on to serving in the same capacity at the YWCA in Evanston. Following that she became the executive director of SASI, a nonprofit caregiver agency.
Following her retirement, she continued her advocacy for seniors. This included volunteering with the Evanston Commission on Aging and Age Friendly Evanston, presentations at annual conferences of the American Society on Aging and involvement in and chairmanship of the AgeOptions advisory board. She also donated to many local causes about which she was passionate.
She communicated regularly with elected officials in her advocacy for older people. This resulted in her name being read into the Congressional Record by Rep. Jan Schakowsky. She also received the Governor’s Award for Unique Achievement in recognition of her dedicated community service and exceptional concern for Illinois seniors. In addition she was given a Harmony-CommUnity award for her commitment to helping the aging population.
Nan had a lifelong dedication to social justice, political awareness and equality. She loved all forms of art: music, theater and visual arts. Her love of music led to her many close friendships with other people who appreciate folk music. She discovered and befriended many brilliant and genuine people as she supported contemporary singer-songwriters and WFMT’s live-concert series Folkstage.
She enjoyed photographing the beauty of nature and her environment. In recent years she took up glass fusion classes and produced many lovely creations.
Nan is survived by her siblings Susan Ryan of Newark, Ohio; Julie (Joe) Sayers of Rochester, Michigan; Jeff (Cherrine) Anderson of Jackson, Michigan; and many nieces, nephews, greatnieces and greatnephews. She also leaves behind many wonderful friends who meant the world to her.
Nan felt very strongly about the good work that AgeOptions does. Any memorial tributes in Nan’s name should be directed there. AgeOptions is at 1048 Lake St., Suite 300, Oak Park, IL 6030l or can be contacted at ageoptions.org. A celebration of her life will be planned for next summer.