Anderson—Holly Sue Anderson, 68, on January 14, 2021, after a brief hospitalization for cardiopulmonary complications, in Santa Monica, Calif. Holly was born on November 22, 1952, the fourth of eight siblings born to Robert and Patricia (Carr) Anderson, in Beaverville, Ill. Her parents couldn’t get to the hospital in time, so Holly was delivered by her father.
Holly graduated from Watseka Community High School in 1970. She attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she received her bachelor’s in elementary education in 1976. Holly earned her master’s in special education at California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo. Her first teaching positions were in Australia, including in a one-room schoolhouse.
Holly returned to the United States and, in 1985, married Jerry Fahey. Their daughter, Laura, was born in 1986. Not long after Laura was born, Holly began attending the Atascadero (Calif.) Worship Group. She eventually joined Central Coast Meeting in San Luis Obispo, Calif. In 1991, Holly’s second child, Joseph, was born. Around 2003, the family moved from Paso Robles to Morro Bay, Calif. During this time Holly and Jerry separated. Joseph struggled with emotional difficulties and depression. He died on March 15, 2007, from an accidental overdose of prescription medications.
Holly taught elementary school but worked primarily as a resource specialist for the California Youth Authority in Paso Robles, Chino, and Camarillo. She was named Teacher of the Year in 2014.
While in Morro Bay, Holly met Rick Paley, who became her partner and a sustaining presence for the remainder of Holly’s life. After losing Joseph, Holly and Rick took up residence on their sailboat, Sunny Joy, in Ventura, Calif. This allowed Holly to live closer to her mother. Holly was her mother’s primary caregiver for five years, devoting herself completely and lovingly to this task. Holly and Rick often visited the Channel Islands and Catalina, where they hiked and scuba-dived.
Holly was a gourmet cook and a gourmand. She traveled all over the world, always ordering the most exotic dish on the menu. She was an avid hiker, kayaker, scuba-diver, and skier. Holly regularly attended yoga classes. She enjoyed foreign films and read voraciously. She and Rick went dancing at least once a week. Holly was a bundle of energy at the core of every family party.
After moving to Ventura, Holly maintained her membership in Central Coast Meeting and remained in touch with Friends there. In Ventura, she became active in Santa Barbara (Calif.) Meeting, the Ojai Worship Group under the care of Santa Barbara Meeting, Southern California Quarterly Meeting, and Pacific Yearly Meeting. She served on numerous committees.
Holly was deeply passionate about social justice, racial equality, education, and providing assistance to impoverished and disenfranchised people. She became involved with the Alternatives to Violence Project in the 1990s and remained active with that program until her death. She was active with a racial justice group along with other Southern California Friends. Holly was instrumental in organizing a trip taken by several members and attenders of Southern California Quarterly Meeting to witness at the border wall near Tijuana, Mexico.
Holly was predeceased by her parents, Robert and Patricia Anderson; her husband, Jerry Fahey; her son, Joseph Fahey; a brother, Maury Barnlund; and a nephew, Dylan Barnlund. She is survived by her partner, Rick Paley; one child, Laura A. Fahey (Joe Achman); six siblings, Christine Anderson, Peggy Anderson (Stefan Kazmierski), Judith Anderson (Rick Larriva), Robert Anderson (Rachel), David Anderson (Jane Moylan), and Jack Anderson (Michele); seven nieces and nephews; and four grand-nephews.