Elizabeth Regina Dempsey “Libby” Anderson, a retired teacher and Hannah More Academy administrator, died of heart failure Sept. 30 at the Broadmead Retirement Community. The former Ruxton resident was 96.
Born in Baltimore and raised on Collington Avenue and on Park Avenue in Towson, she was the daughter of Edwin A. Dempsey and his wife, Mary.
She attended Immaculate Conception School and was a 1939 graduate of Towson Catholic High School. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at what is now Notre Dame of Maryland University.
“When she was a child, she was hit by a streetcar and suffered a fractured skull,” said her daughter, Mary Kane Anderson Sholtz. “Her survival was credited to a visiting professor at Hopkins who insisted on giving her a spinal tap, which was believed to have saved her life.”
Her daughter also said Mrs. Anderson talked about the Depression years when she and her friends would work on their Clark Gable scrapbooks and chase the ice delivery man down the street, hoping to get a free chunk.
“Her father did not want his children to know he had lost his job, so he dressed for work every morning," said her daughter. "The children of fathers with jobs were asked to bring an extra sandwich to school to give to a child whose father had no job. My mother would take two sandwiches [to school], never suspecting the difficulty her family was experiencing to keep any food on the table.”
After leaving college, Mrs. Anderson became a teacher at Towson Catholic High School.
“She taught English, and one our favorite family stories involved her punishing her future brother-in-law, Bernie Anderson, the president of his class, for chewing bubble gum, then an egregious offense,” said her daughter.
Mrs. Anderson married J. Lyman Anderson Jr., a Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone executive, on June 7, 1947. The family resided in Wiltondale on Trafalgar Road and on Boyce Avenue in Ruxton.
The Morning Sun Newsletter
Get your morning news in your e-mail inbox. Get all the top news and sports from the baltimoresun.com.