Katherine Elizabeth (Betty) Anderson

Date of Birth

May 12, 1918

Date of Death

April 30, 2018

Katherine Elizabeth (Betty) Anderson of Santa Barbara, California died peacefully on April 30, 2018. She departed this world twelve days shy of her 100th birthday.

Born May 12, 1918 in Randall, Iowa, Betty was the fourth of five children born to Myrtle and Edwin Erickson, all of whom were raised on the family’s 600 acre mixed farm (dairy and crops). The values instilled on the farm, along with her family’s service to others during the Great Depression, shaped Betty’s character and she will long be remembered as a woman whose life revolved around faith, family and hard work. Betty was graduated from Randall High School in 1936 and continued her education at the Norwegian American Hospital School of Nursing in Chicago, IL. Shortly thereafter, she returned to Iowa where she accepted employment as a medical receptionist in Des Moines.

On May 12, 1943 Betty married Dorrance Ivan (Andy) Anderson. They had been next door neighbors for 15 years. The early years of their marriage were defined by World War II and Andy’s service as a Naval Aviator. Betty accompanied Andy to training assignments in Florida, Virginia and Rhode Island, ultimately returning to the family farm in Iowa while Andy served in the Atlantic and Pacific theaters. Following the war, Betty and Andy moved to Minnesota where they started a family while Andy attended the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry. In 1953, now living in Kentucky with two sons (Michael and Thomas) the family made the decision to move to California where they opened a dental office in Carpinteria. For decades Betty balanced raising a family with her career as a Dental Assistant and Office Manager. In an era where few women worked outside the home, Betty consistently demonstrated that these two pursuits could be accomplished both simultaneously and well. Andy viewed Betty’s partnership as critical to the smooth operation of their dental practice and often declared that whenever she decided to retire, he would too. Together, after 52 years of practice, they retired from dentistry. Betty was 87 years old.

Betty’s greatest joys came from spending time with family, friends and helping those in need. At home in Montecito she could be found climbing avocado trees in search of the perfect fruit, hiking the nearby canyons or baking “Betty’s Brown Bread” with her grandchildren. Her compassion for others, combined with Andy’s desire to share his dental skills, resulted in multiple trips abroad and at home, providing free dental care to underserved populations.

For 59 years Betty was an active member of Trinity Lutheran Church where she served as a Sunday School teacher and participated in Altar Guild. A memorial service will be celebrated at Trinity Lutheran (909 N. La Cumbre Rd, Santa Barbara) on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. Betty will be interred alongside Andy in Arlington National Cemetery at a date to be determined.

Betty was predeceased by Andy, her husband of 74 years; her parents; brothers Robert, James, Quentin and sister Florence. She will be greatly missed by her sons Michael (Sheryl) and Thomas (Patricia), along with her five grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and extended family. The family wishes to express their deepest appreciation to those who cared for and visited with Betty over the years, remembering especially her most dedicated physician, Dr. Robert Kershaw, and the staffs at Wood Glen Hall and Serenity House.


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