Alice (Padova) Anderson

Alice (Padova) Anderson was born March 14, 1936, to Antonios Padovas and Maria (Argyropoulou) Padovas and grew up on the island of Corfu, Greece.

As a child, she helped her family raise sheep for milk, meat and wool for clothing. They also used their livestock to provide clothes for Greek soldiers during World War II.

During the war, Ms. Anderson's homemade sheep's wool mattress caught a bomb that blasted through her centuries-old home, but the thick wool kept it from detonating.

Ms. Anderson died Tuesday, July 19, 2011. She was 75.

“I will always remember the good old times playing, swimming and going with our bicycles,” her cousin Lia Papaikonomou said. “All my youth was full of Aliki (the Greek name for Alice).”

Ms. Anderson first moved to the U.S. in 1958 and became a dual citizen in 1970. She married but divorced and kept her married name.

Ms. Anderson always called Greece her second home and returned often to visit her mother and friends.

She graduated from Purdue University in 1960 with a bachelor’s degree in home economics education. She earned four master's degrees in extension education, home economics education, community development and social work between 1963 and 1992 at MU. She was also fluent in English, Greek and French.

Ms. Anderson used her education in social work to establish the Randolph County Resource Council in 1976 and started a home health care business called Companion Care Inc. in 1988.

Her friends attribute Ms. Anderson's achievements to her formidable character. She was also passionate about the arts and had countless hobbies.

Ms. Anderson was an international folk dance instructor for more than 30 years and a ballroom dance instructor for more than 20.

Ms. Anderson traveled to countries on four continents but was especially fond of Bulgaria for its folk singers and dancers, and gypsy musicians.

"She was adventuresome, joyful,” said friend and former dance student Robin Remington. “She lived life moment to moment.”

Ms. Anderson also sang in a choir at the Unity Center of Columbia, wrote short fiction stories and could swim a mile in less than an hour.

She apprenticed at a patisserie in Corfu in 1988 and later wrote a cookbook using recipes from her mother. Each year around Christmas and New Year's, Ms. Anderson cooked Greek pastries for friends and guests.

"She baked for days," said friend Helen Baker of Ms. Anderson's holiday tradition.

Ms. Anderson also tended to a variety of plants and irises, day lilies and tulips — her favorite flowers — in her own gardens.

“She rarely visited friends in spring and summer without bringing a bouquet of flowers from her yard,” friend Nina Johnson said. “Generosity was one of her hallmarks.”

Ms. Anderson also adored her house cats and even adopted feral cats, Baker said.

“She was a Renaissance woman,” Johnson said. “Alice's personality was as colorful as the island of her birth."

Unitarian Universalist Church will hold a Blessing of the Animals dedicated to Alice’s memory at 10:30 a.m. Aug. 14. There will be no funeral services. Friends will hold a celebration of Ms. Anderson’s life at a place and date yet to be determined.

Memorial contributions may be made to animal welfare groups.