Nadine A. Anderson

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On May 18,1952, in Jamestown, New York, the world welcomed the fifth child of C. Duane Anderson and Doris (Peterson) Anderson, when Nadine A. Anderson joined her siblings on the farm on Palm Road. She was unique from birth in many ways including a congenital heart condition that required pioneering repair surgery in 1962, when she was 10 years old. That surgery along with additional repairs in 2004 kept her heart beating until the early morning hours of August 24, 2018 in Saline, MI, when Nadine peacefully left this earthly plain. Her final days were filled with family and friends showering her with their love and admiration for an amazing life well lived and well loved by all.

Gentle, kind and always smiling and giggling, Nadine lived her life respecting each and every person she met with grace and love. That might explain how she remained married to the same guy for nearly 44 years.  She married her “gorgeous” husband Robert (Bob) Pierce on a lark on December 7, 1974 in their wedding chapel AKA their first apartment at 901 E. Second Street in Jamestown, New York.

One of greatest moments in her life was when she and Bob brought their son Michael R. Pierce of Ann Arbor, MI into their lives in 1980. She treasured each moment they spent together especially in her final days as he held her hand and comforted her at her bedside.

Nadine’s love of family was the center to her life. She cherished spending time with Clair and Lucinda (Peterson) Anderson of Hanover, PA; Linda (Rechnagel) Anderson of Reno, NV; Jean and Bob Rahr of Nampa, ID; Valerie Pierce of Falconer, NY; Richard Pierce of Sugar Grove, PA; and Rose Marie Digirolamo of Jamestown, NY.

She deeply loved her many unique and talented nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews including Ashley Digirolamo of Jamestown, NY, who followed her into the precious career of public educator, and Amber (Matt) Littlefield of Jamestown, NY, who always took special care of her Aunt Nadine. Amber and Matt’s beautiful daughter Madeline brought great joy to Aunt Nadine when she could finally hold and kiss her in July of this year.   Also, Dale (Ed) Pierce of Huntersville, NC, Paul (Michelle Green) Anderson of Potomac, MD; David (Maria) Anderson of Los Angeles, CA.; Jon (Brooke) Anderson of Salem, OR.; Todd (Dina) Rahr of Lolo, MT;  Craig (Lisa) Rahr of Monroe, WA.; and Jared Defigh of San Francisco, CA.

Nadine enjoyed her many cousins especially Charlane (Gary) Keziah of Charlotte, NC who was like a sister to her and her NASCAR buddies, Sandy (Doug) Kitts of North East, PA.

Nadine knew she would be reunited with the ones she loved who passed on during her time here. She joined her Father and Mother, her brother Bill Anderson and her beloved sister Sandra Anderson. Also waiting to greet her is her mischievous and loved brother-in-law Chuck Pierce and her wonderful sister-in-law Joann Pierce.

A lifelong educator, Nadine was an immensely proud graduate of the public education system in New York State. In 1970, she graduated from Falconer Central School. She received degrees from Jamestown Community College in 1972 and State University of New York College at Buffalo in 1979. She remained a tireless advocate for Public Schools throughout her life.

Alongside her lifelong partner Bob, she sought to take advantage of opportunities whenever and wherever they appeared. She began her teaching career in 1979 with Montgomery County Board of Mental Retardation in Dayton, OH. In 1982, she moved to Charlottesville, VA. There she taught special education at Jack Jouett Middle School for Albemarle County Schools. In 1989, she once again smiled and agreed to follow Bob to a new home in Vandalia, OH. There she taught special education at Troy City Schools. The next move in 1992 brought her to Chelsea, MI, where she taught special education and 3rd grade for Hanover Horton Schools.  Exasperated and disillusioned by the direction of public education in the state of Michigan, Nadine retired from teaching in 2008.

She began a new career with Manpower of SE Michigan. Here she put all of her education skills to work as a staffing specialist. She often commented that getting a job for someone was of equal value to society as educating young people. Her time with the Manpower family was one of the bright lights in her life.

She eased into final retirement as Patient Care Coordinator at Ascent Audiology in Chelsea.

Along the way, Nadine always wanting to learn and experience new things. She joined with Bob to open Pierce’s Pastries Plus in Chelsea in 1997 where the experience of serving coffee, donuts and fun was a launching pad for goodwill and love for the people and community of Chelsea. It was during this time that the family decided to make Chelsea their permanent home.

Nadine was the inspiration for the creation of The Saturday Morning Challengers bowling program for Intellectual and Developmentally Delayed individuals. The program began in 1995 and has grown into a trusted community asset.

Reading was a passion she shared with family, students and friends. Music followed closely behind her love of the written word. She found great inspiration in songs and books that explored the human conditions of peace, love and joy. A proud child of the 60’s, she was a feminist and activist who maintained that equality of the sexes is paramount in a caring society. She often shared her frustration that she would be gone before America would elect a woman President.

The rare genetic disease, Erythropoietic Protoporphyria (EPP) that extinguished her bright light of life cannot overshadow the love she expressed for all she met. Always the educator, her heroic decision to move from this life was followed by her decision to share her body with the medical community so they could learn more about her disease.

As directed by Nadine, there will be a party held on September 15, 2018 from 4-7 pm at the Village Conference Center in Chelsea to celebrate all the goodness she brought to this world.

It was Nadine’s wish to designate Faith in Action as her charity of choice. Donations in Nadine’s name can be made to Faith in Action, 603 S. Main Street, Chelsea, MI 48118

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Seth Kinker

Reporter/Digital Media for The Sun Times News

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