Mary “Betty” Bates Anderson 1920 - 2020

Most often known as Betty (or Grama Betty to many), Mary Bates Anderson peacefully bid us farewell in the early morning hours of June 20, 2020, at her home in McMinnville, Oregon.

Born 100 years ago in Thedford, Nebraska, to Austin and Flora Bates, Betty spent her formative years working the family’s extensive cattle ranch, surviving the Great Depression, and diligently tending to her education.

While attending the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, she met Carl M. Anderson, and after their marriage in 1939 and Carl’s honorable service to the U.S. Navy, their mutual passion for education and adventure would lead them to settle in McMinnville. Not long afterward, Betty achieved a Bachelor of Science in home economics from Oregon State University (1942) as well as a Master of Arts in education from Linfield College (1970), both rare and unique accomplishments for women of her generation.

Carl’s passing and her desire to help others achieve their dreams inspired her to create the Carl M. Anderson Scholarship at Linfield College, which has provided invaluable financial support to chemistry majors for over 20 years.

Throughout their adventures between Oregon, California and the rest of the world, Betty and Carl would spend many summers in their RV as Park Hosts, often turning the splendor of nature into cherished memories with their children and grandchildren. Betty is well-known for her deep love and commitment to the community, whether as a teacher at Perrydale schools here in Oregon, Burroughs High School in Ridgecrest, California, or as the creator of thousands of layettes she then donated to the hospitals here in McMinnville. Her spirit and commitment also shows in her generous service to all of her HAM Radio, Coast Guard Auxiliary, United Methodist Church, and Friends of the Library families, as well as the countless friends, neighbors and strangers who have been fed, clothed or housed by her loving kindness. Many positive traits can be ascribed to Betty: kind, funny, so wise, charming, talented, organized, whip-smart, progressive and more; she made sure these traits live on in her family.

She is treasured in memory by her wise and loving children, Carl E. Anderson (Carolyn) of Gearhart, AnnaKay Silver of Redmond, and Susan (Jeffrey) Cutting of Los Gatos, California; her seven passionate grandchildren; 14 brilliant great-grandchildren; and four adventurous great-great-grandchildren.

Memorial services will be held at 10:00 a.m. July 11, 2020, at the United Methodist Church Cooperative Ministries Parkview and
Labyrinth. Face masks will be required. You are encouraged to bring your own chair if possible. For those unable to attend, a livestream will be available at the “Betty Anderson Memorial” YouTube channel. For questions regarding watching online, please contact Katie at

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Carl M. Anderson Scholarship Fund at Linfield College or the McMinnville United Methodist Church Cooperative Ministries. To leave condolences, visit




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