Pharmacist, Civic Leader Dies
DRESDEN — Patty Crawford Anderson, 89, died on July 4, 2020 in her home after a long illness. She was born on December 20, 1930 in McKenzie, Tennessee to William Gwin and Julia Crawford. She was preceded in death by the love of her life, Dr. William Joseph (Joe) Anderson. Joe and Patty raised their family in Dresden Tennessee where Joe worked as an optometrist and Patty as a pharmacist.
Patty is survived by her children, Gwin Anderson of Dresden Tenn., Gena Anderson Stallings of Dresden, and Gail Anderson Edmondson of Pulaski. She was blessed to have five grandchildren who brought her much joy: Martha Anderson of Union City, Anderson Stallings Brock of Chapmansboro, Tenn., Kathryne Edmondson Jensen of Memphis, Tenn., Mac Edmondson of Birmingham, AL and Deah Stallings of Dresden, Tenn. Patty was blessed with eight great-grandchildren whose pictures and funny videos would make her smile and laugh.
Patty was the oldest of three sisters and is survived by her two younger sisters, Sara Crawford Misner of Savannah, Tenn. and Nell Crawford Bacon of Franklin, Tenn. who were also pharmacists. Patty graduated from the University of Tennessee School of Pharmacy in Memphis in December, 1951 and was one of only three females in her graduating class. She has often told the story of taking the State Board of Pharmacy exam on her 21st birthday and everyone also taking the exam stood and sang happy birthday. Although Patty loved being a pharmacist and took great pride in her work, she was a dedicated wife and mother first and foremost. She treasured her children, her role as “Patty” to her grandchildren and embraced every moment together with her family.
Her hands were rarely still. Patty like her father Gwin “Grandaddy” was an accomplished painter and crafter. In fact, much of their work still decorates the Anderson Eye Care office as well as the lake cabin. She taught us all how to make southern fried chicken and served this most every Friday night because that is when the chicken was the “freshest”. Patty loved history and visiting historic houses. She had a keen eye for selecting the perfect piece of antique furniture or fixture. Patty was the family historian and traced her family roots back to the American Revolutionary time period and successfully met the qualifications and became a member of the Tennessee Society Colonial Dames XVII Century.
Patty became fond of boating from her relationship with her father who was an avid sailor. Growing up, she and “Grandaddy” both loved to sail. Patty brought her love of the water and boating to the Anderson family. This affinity for the water and lake life at times defined the family culture.
Patty loved family and she was the engine that took care of every detail around grand family gatherings like Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving or Christmas. What so many people often noticed on those summer gatherings was her presence on the shore watching her family enjoy the lake life as she did needlework, read a book or read the paper (Patty loved to read her paper). The shore under the cedar trees was the true station for the family matriarch. What most of us did not notice was all the work behind the scenes of how to get dinner or lunch or breakfast for 10-25 people and deliver the details. We only fully appreciated it when it came time to do the dishes.
When we have referred to the significance of our family’s Fourth of July get-togethers, we have sometimes explained to strangers that this holiday is perhaps the most significant in the Anderson family. It is not only fitting but likely divine that Patty went on to be with Joe on the Fourth of July and for that reason, this holiday now takes on even a greater, bittersweet significance.
Services were held in a private ceremony at the First United Methodist Church in Dresden on Saturday, July 11, 2020 with family and close friends visitation at 11 a.m. and a service at 12 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent to the First United Methodist Church of Dresden, TN Building Fund. Bowlin Funeral Home had charge.