Lorraine Marie Muir Anderson peacefully passed away at her daughter’s house on August 10, 2021. Lorrie was born on July 11, 1933, in Blue Island, IL, to August Wilhelm Muir and Viola Marie Wicherts Muir. Lorrie had her mother’s strong, capable hands, brilliant blue-green eyes and a radiant smile. She became a skilled pianist at an early age and went on to study classical piano at Northwestern University. Known for her talkative, extroverted personality, she became Northwestern’s “Hello Girl” and President of the Kappa Delta Sorority. Her sorority sister set Lorrie up on a blind date with a childhood friend, Richard Charles Anderson, who was serving at Navy Pier. During their ten-week courtship, Lorrie’s extended Muir family hosted a big volleyball game with Dick, telling Lorrie that he was a keeper. Soon thereafter she was engaged.
The newly married couple moved to Patuxent River Naval Air Station. Lorrie had her first child in a Quonset hut while Dick was on the DEW line in Newfoundland. They moved to Champaign, IL, so Dick could attend the university, then to Niskayuna, NY, where her husband, now Dr. Anderson, worked as a ceramic engineer at the GE Research Center. Lorrie taught piano lessons, gardened, and raised three children. She played Chopin on the piano as they fell asleep, her perfectly manicured nails softly clicking on the ivory keys. She was a member of the Newcomers’ Club and Music for Performers, and began her tradition of hosting lovely dinner parties. A talented seamstress, she regularly would sew a new outfit in an afternoon, always prepared for any special occasion.
The family moved to Chagrin Falls, OH in the early 1970s when Dick went to work at GE’s Nela Park, and they joined Valley Lutheran Church. One year Lorrie marched in the Blossom Time Parade dressed as a suffragette, carrying a sign urging passage of the ERA. Lorrie taught music in the Kenston schools, worked at a jewelry shop, and prepped students for the SAT. Lorrie earned her Master’s Degree in School Administration from John Carroll University and served as President of the Chagrin Falls School Board. She fought to maintain upkeep on Gurney School when it closed, thus enabling it to be reopened when student numbers increased.
In retirement, Lorrie kept active. She worked in a bridal salon, an artist's frame shop, and she volunteered at the Chagrin Valley Herb Society garden. At her student piano recital parties, the Half Notes and Whole Notes would play for each other and invite their siblings to play any other instrument they brought over. She excelled at making people feeling welcome and every party special. Lorrie loved socializing with friends, playing tennis and bridge, book clubs, walking in the woods behind her house, going to hear the Cleveland Orchestra, volunteering at the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art, and volunteering for Meals on Wheels. She derived great pleasure from being with people of all ages, keeping in touch with lifelong friends with cards, letters, and phone calls.
Lorrie and Dick moved to Missoula, MT to live close to their adult children. They always made good friends everywhere they lived, and Missoula was no exception. Lorrie volunteered as a docent at the Missoula Museum of Art and as a reading tutor to young children. She and Dick enjoyed attending Molli Classes together at the University of Montana and hearing live music at their son’s Daly Jazz gatherings.
Lorrie was preceded in death by her parents, her brother, David Muir of Blue Island, IL, and husband Dick. She is survived by her three children, Kristin Anderson, of Washington, DC; Susan Anderson and Bruce Anderson (Catie) and grandson Ben all of Missoula, MT; cousin Marilyn Nelson (Leo) of Geneva, IL and cousin Joanne Haymaker (Bob) of Greencastle, IN; brother-in-law Martin Anderson of Portland, OR and niece Diana Lomeli of Santa Barbara, CA.
The Anderson family would like to thank mom’s in-home caregivers for their loving assistance during her final years and Hospice of Missoula. Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to all of Lorrie’s friends, relatives and students who gave her such great joy throughout her life. She was delighted to be your friend and loved each one of you dearly. No services are planned at this time. To honor Lorrie’s memory, take some time to treat yourself and those you love to good music, books and art, and a quiet walk in the woods or a stroll through a garden.