Changemaker June 2019

Anne Anderson (nee Wotowic)

Written and Submitted by Terri-Viola Wilson

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There are people who go where life seems to lead them and then there are people who take control and create the life they believe they should be living. Anne Anderson was of the latter group. If you were lucky enough to meet her, you knew Anne was a determined, resilient woman for whom Home Hospice Association’s raison d’etre was the driving force that gave her a sense of purpose when she was dying of brain cancer.

Born in 1963 in Chicopee, Massachusetts, Anne graduated from her university, sum cum laude in Neurobiology. After graduating, she was elected into Sigma Xi which is a Scientific Research Honour Society of North America. This society elects to membership graduate students who have shown noteworthy achievement as original investigators in Science and is bestowed on individuals by their peers.

Working at a bank through her university years, Anne met Larry Anderson who became her husband and with whom she had three children: Melanie, now 28 years old; Kyle, 25 years old; and Anneliese, 24 years old. Due to her husband’s job transfers, the family moved to Georgia before landing in Toronto in 1996 where they have remained since. In 2001, the couple separated. After her husband passed away in 2007, Anne, who had been a stay-at-home wife and mother, was left to raise her three children, entirely dependent on her own income.

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It wasn’t easy to get back into the working world. Despite the odds, at age 38, Anne became an account representative, running events like the Toronto National Women’s Show which was launched in 2002 and is still going strong. That she helped break new ground isn’t surprising to those who knew her. Her daughter, Melanie, remembers that her mother, while always very busy, also took great care of her three children. Anne was a person of many passions. She loved to cook, and her perogies were very well known in family and friendship circles as the “hit” of any gatherings. She was a huge Science Fiction fan, a devoted “Trekkie”, and passionate about reading. A championship tennis player, she continued her physical fitness throughout her life through walking and hiking trails.