A longtime resident of Durango, Colorado, Leona Elba Anderson, endeared mother and beloved friend, died Sunday, October 24, 2021, in Tonganoxie, Kansas. She was 82 years old. Leona was born to Dorothy Leon and Byron Wesley Hamilton on March 6, 1939, in Colorado. During one of her family's many trips to her father's hometown of Montrose, Colorado, Leona met the love of her life, Gerald "Andy" Edward Anderson. After a whirlwind romance, Leona wed Andy at Berkley Baptist Church in Denver on December 29, 1956. The two moved to Durango, Colorado in the early 1960s, where they built several successful businesses. Leona's heart for people only surpassed the joy her three son's brought to her. "She always opened her home and heart to anyone. She was always there for anyone that needed to talk or needed help," her son Kenny Anderson said. "She was a loving mother that constantly worried about her kids," said her son Keith Anderson. "I will miss her bright morning text messages most." Her greatest gift was the time she invested in others. She never met a stranger, and her supportive words poured out to anyone who would listen. "She was a special lady," said her son Eddie Anderson, "but her kindness truly shined with her extended family, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren." She naturally assumed the role of "Noma" to her grandchildren, engaging herself in every aspect of their lives. "I will forever be grateful for those long conversations she had with me when I was younger, but my heart fills when I think about how she engaged my son," said granddaughter Shonda Atwater. Mrs. Anderson is survived by her sons Eddie Anderson of Tonganoxie, KS, Keith Anderson of St. Louis, MO and Kenny Anderson of Creswell, Ore.; brother, Russ Hamilton, of Canyon City, CO; two grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews. A celebration of life will be held in Durango, Colorado in spring 2022. The date is to be determined. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to her favorite charity, The Gideons International at www.sendtheword.org
Published by The Durango Herald on Nov. 15, 2021.