Mary Emily Symes Anderson

Mary Emily Symes Anderson quietly passed away on July 3, at her Woody Creek home surrounded by her children. She was one month shy of turning 97. She had a long and full life.

Mary’s mother, Esther, traveled from their home in Cuba, to Andersonville, Indiana, where Mary was born on August 3, 1922. Mary spent her childhood in Cuba and Florida, and graduated from Emerson high school in Gary, Indiana.

She worked at the steel mills during World War II, and after graduating from Sweet Briar College, went to work at the American Embassy in Rio de Janeiro.

In the early days of commercial air flight, Mary became a flight attendant for Chicago and Southern Airlines, flying the New Orleans – Caracas, Venezuela and New Orleans – Cuba routes. The Flight Attendant Museum at Hobby Airport in Houston, TX houses some of her memorabilia.

She married Angus Adams Anderson in 1950, and they had 5 children. The family moved to Aspen in June of 1966. She didn’t know anything about living in Aspen before she moved here but once she got here she never wanted to leave.

However, when her youngest child left for college, Mary went to Baton Rouge, LA and received her Masters of Library Science degree in 1978 from LSU. She volunteered and worked at the Pitkin County Library for many years in several capacities and served on the Board that conceived and built the present day Library.

She is survived by her brother Roger (Francis) Symes of Richmond, Texas; her children, Dr. Mary (Bill) Reeves of Salida, Colorado , Sara (Eric) Richelson of Armonk, New York, Herman (Anne) Anderson of El Jebel, Jack (Eileen Gielow) Anderson of Carbondale, Anne (Philip Strauss) Anderson of Flores, Azores, Portugal; her grandchildren, Sarah (John) Moyer, Amos Underwood, Leah (Aaron Mandelkorn) Underwood, Silas (Natalia Tchemodanov) Richelson, Caleb Richelson, Julia (Alex) Smith, Steve Anderson, Anneleize Strauss, Jabez Strauss; and great grandchildren Amara Underwood, Miles & Stella Moyer, Zev & Vida Mandelkorn.

A gathering of remembrance for family and friends will be held at the Hotel Jerome Satuday, July 13 from 10 – 12 in the morning. Please drop by, we’d love to see you!

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Mary’s name to the Pitkin County Library.