Anderson, Anna James Heath

Anna James Heath Anderson CHILHOWIE, Va. Anna James Heath Anderson, beloved matriarch of her family, passed away on Friday, June 19, 2020. Her 96 years of life were a gift to everyone who knew her. Growing up as the oldest daughter in a family of nine children, Anna James learned early how to get things done. She was a natural-born leader, and from a young age she helped to care for her younger siblings and others. As a girl she learned to play guitar and would sing in local churches with her two younger sisters; they were even featured in the newspaper for their talent. She sang in her church choir and served as its treasurer for decades until she was no longer physically able to do so. She passed on this strength, resilience, and incredibly strong work ethic to her children and their children. Anna James spent most of her life devoted to her family as a homemaker. Strong in faith, generous in spirit, and simple in living, she helped manage a family farm, raise children, serve her church and community of St. Clair's Creek, and provide support and food for many, leading by example that we should make the most of what we have without waste and constantly strive to help others who may not have as much. She had a bountiful garden that fed her family and many more as it grew, and a steady trickle of returned canning jars represented shared green beans, preserves, or apple butter. More than her own family claimed her chicken and dumplings as the best, and the many dishes in her kitchen labeled with her name marked how frequently she cooked for someone who was sick or in bereavement. After raising her own children, she did the same for her grandchildren, who genuinely consider her home their own. She would nurture them and the next generations with love and high expectations. Her numerous nieces and nephews lovingly called her "Auntie," a nickname that extended beyond just her family. She was also a skilled and respected seamstress, her attention to detail sewn into every stitch. A hook in her kitchen often held the alterations she was doing for someone, one of many symbols that her concept of family extended far into the community. Her community returned these many gifts in her last years with food, support, and love; and in her passing this community mourns together one of its mothers. In her later years, she and her husband were avid bird watchers and enjoyed discussing the daily habits in the nature around them. Her life is not characterized by major achievements, but by a culmination of all the small moments and gatherings filled with joy, love, laughter, and good food. She gave us the gift of appreciating the everyday joys of life. Words cannot capture the love she brought into this world and the depth that she will be missed. Waiting to welcome her to her eternal home is her loving husband of 72 years, Carson Anderson; her daughter, Phyllis Anderson Blevins; son-in-law Carter Owens; six brothers and one sister. She is survived by her sons, Jerry Anderson and wife, Wanda of Sugartown, Louisiana and Jimmy Anderson and wife, Diane; daughter, Gaile Anderson Owens and son-in-law, Dwight Blevins, all of Chilhowie. She is also survived by her best friend and sister, Hazel Heath of Chilhowie. She leaves behind to carry on her legacy ten grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren, four great-great-grandchildren, and many loving nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. Graveside services will be conducted at 1 p.m. on Monday, June 22, 2020, in the Macedonia Cemetery. Friends and family may visit with the family after the graveside service. Due to current public health conditions facemasks are recommended. Condolences can be made to the family online at www.williamsfuneralhomeofchilhowie.com. Williams Funeral Home of Chilhowie is serving the Anderson Family.

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