Catherine Louise Anderson

AndersonCatherine Louise Anderson, 65, on June 21, 2021, peacefully, in the presence of her brother, Allen Anderson, at Bruns House inpatient hospice in Alamo, Calif. Catherine was born on October 21, 1955, to Andrien Ely Anderson and Mary E. Epler Anderson in Palo Alto, Calif. She was the youngest of three children. Catherine was a sensitive, loyal person who had great respect for her father. Like him, Catherine was committed to doing things the right way. He built their home, completing it when he was ill and nearing the end of his life.

Catherine was raised Catholic, attending Mass regularly through high school. When she was 17, she attended meeting for worship at Palo Alto (Calif.) Meeting and became curious about Quakers. She disagreed with the timing of First-day school during worship, believing that children should be in the meetinghouse then.

From a young age, Catherine loved having her hands in dirt, and later became an avid gardener and fruit tree grower. She served as a chapter president of the nonprofit California Rare Fruit Growers, Inc., the largest amateur fruit growing organization in the world. She shared her bounty in the delicious jams and jellies that she made. Her dream was to become a conservationist, but life led her in other directions.

Catherine began her college education at the University of California, Davis, where she studied geology. She attended Davis (Calif.) Meeting, serving as recording clerk while a junior in college. After graduating from UC Davis, she moved to Oakland, Calif., to take a position at a geotech firm in nearby Emeryville.

Catherine attended Berkeley (Calif.) Meeting for more than 40 years, becoming a member by convincement on January 30, 1980. She was on the Adult Education Committee, and in 1998, began teaching “Introduction to Quakerism.” She traveled to meetings throughout California to teach this class, including for College Park Quarterly Meeting. She served as clerk of Berkeley Meeting in 2000 and 2001. Catherine was one of the organizers of the Long Range Planning Committee for remodeling the meetinghouse and educational building. She devoted countless hours to this committee.

In 1988, Catherine enrolled in a master’s degree program in environment management at the University of San Francisco. She worked for East Bay Municipal Utility District, where she was the only female working in the field. In 2006, she was promoted, supervising six men who previously worked alongside her.

Catherine collected baskets much of her life. She began making baskets as a way to deal with stress and the migraine headaches that she experienced beginning in childhood. Catherine loved folk music, playing her guitar, and sharing time with music friends. She was a skilled seamstress who made many of her clothes. She refurbished the pillows in the meetinghouse and made several new ones. She was an avid birder who loved to travel, including trips to Zimbabwe, Puerto Rico, and England.

Catherine was diagnosed with metastatic ovarian cancer. Members of Berkeley Meeting took her to appointments and helped her with many needs during her illness.

Catherine is survived by a brother, Allen Anderson (Tama Hochbaum); a sister, Susan Lopez (Armando); five nieces and nephews; and six grandnieces and grandnephews.

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