Sarah "Sally" M. Anderson
June 6, 1907 - March 27, 2016
Sarah Anderson, a resident at Capital Manor for 32 years, died March 27, 2016 at the age of 108 years. Sally was born June 6, 1907 at Cornacrum, Co. Cavan, Ireland to Blayney Whyte and Mary Eleanor Scott Whyte.
At five years of age, Sally immigrated to the United States. Sally and a relative who accompanied her were booked to sail on the Titanic, however shortly before sailing their tickets were returned to the family. Six months later Sally arrived at Ellis Island via the SS California to live with her Aunt Alicia and Uncle George Cartwright who were immigrating from Canada to Ohio. In 1920 the family settled in Modesto where Sally graduated from high school. After graduation, the family moved to San Francisco so that Sally could attend business school. Sally preferred to attend a college but her uncle believed business school a better choice for women. Sally worked for seven years in what she described as uninteresting jobs to her. In 1933 Sally married Niel Meadowcroft, “the neighborhood boy who lived down the road in Modesto”. Niel had graduated from Stanford University, it was the middle of the Depression and Sally’s saved earnings, at what she described as “dull” jobs, gave them a good start.
Sally and Niel lived in Mill Valley, CA for 21 years before moving to Walla Walla, WA in 1954. Together they had three children; Warren, Robert and Joan. Upon Niel’s retirement, the couple travelled for one year visiting their families in Ireland, New Zealand and Australia. On their return, they moved from Walla Walla to Salem Town where they lived until Niel’s death in 1980. In October 1983, Sally moved to Capital Manor and in March 1984, the family gathered in the 10th Floor Lounge for the wedding of Sally and Arlie Anderson, another resident at Capital Manor. Arlie and Sally had met at the regular pinochle game in the Manor basement. When Arlie was queried as to what was his attraction to Sally he responded, “She is a great pinochle partner”.
Volunteerism was important to Sally. She was active in the Women’s Fellowship of the Congregational Church in Walla Walla and Salem and while in Walla Walla was Social Action chairman of the Washington state delegation to the General Synod in the United Church of Christ. In Salem, Sally was on the Polk County Mental Health advisory committee, a member of the Congregational Church, the Audubon Society, Great Books discussion groups and the League of Women Voters. She once said “My true love is the League”. She was politically active, studied issues and voted; however in 2012 she returned her ballot with a notation that it would be her last time to vote. She felt she could no longer properly study ballot issues. Wherever she lived, she joined a choral group and was a member of the Capital Manor Choral Group for many years.
The Irish government has a special department whose job is to keep track of centenarians born in Ireland no matter where they reside. According to their records, at the time of her death, Sally was the oldest living Irish person in the world.
Surviving Sally are children Bob (Ginny) Meadowcroft of Orinda, CA and Joan (Al) Councilman of Tacoma, WA. Five grandchildren Dan Shelton, Carol Meadowcroft Garrett, Jim Shelton, Keith Meadowcroft and Laurie Meadowcroft Diekman and Arlie Anderson’s daughter, Sonja Irish, a resident at Capital Manor. Also, surviving are many nieces and nephews in the United States, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, England, Australia and New Zealand. In addition to Sally’s husbands, Niel and Arlie, her son Warren Meadowcroft, his wife Trude, and son Dean predeceased Sally.
At Sally’s request, there will be no memorial service. The family is appreciative of the loving quality care Sally received by caregivers and staff at Capital Manor and, in particular, Judy West.