Edis Juel Orr Anderson, age 91, passed away peacefully on Saturday, February 4, 2017 in Vermillion, SD.
Edis was born March 26, 1925 near Corsica, SD to Solon D. and Jennie (nee Christiansen) Orr, she graduated from the University of South Dakota in 1948 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. She later earned a Master of Science degree in Elementary Curriculum from Drake University and completed post-graduate studies at the Quad Cities Graduate Center to earn certification in seven discrete areas: Elementary, Special Music K-12, High School General, General Administrative, Learning Disability, Behavior Disordered and Educable Mentally Handicapped education.
At the age of 19, Edis began her 25-year teaching career as a seventh grade teacher in Gregory, South Dakota. The following year, she taught fourth grade in Vermillion and then returned to the University to complete her undergraduate studies. Over the ensuing years, Edis held a variety of teaching positions, including vocal music in Lawton, IA; grades 9 & 10 in Burbank, SD; grade 7 at Woodside Jr High in Des Moines, IA; grade 5 in Ankeny, IA; grades 4 – 6 in Coal Valley, IL and Special Education classes in several elementary schools in Rock Island, Illinois. In addition to these teaching positions, Edis served as Principal of the Briar Bluff elementary school from 1971-1972, where she wrote several applications for federal funding, appeared before the Illinois State Commission on Education, and stimulated efforts to develop a quality educational program for the most impoverished school district in the State of Illinois.
Following her retirement in 1985, Edis spent three years as a full-time volunteer, serving first with the International Executive Services Corp in Alexandria, Egypt; then at the Red Bird Mission School in Beverly, Kentucky; and finally, at the Rice Depot in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Edis was a devout Christian and a life-long member of the United Methodist Church, where she taught Sunday school and directed the youth choirs for many years. More recently, Edis volunteered at Jolley School in Vermillion and was an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary, where she helped to establish the Adelaide Wallace care packages program. In addition to these volunteer efforts, Edis enjoyed singing, playing the piano and gardening. She compiled two family cookbooks, and was a prolific writer, with several of her poems and short stories winning literary awards and prizes.
Edis was united in marriage to Sidney Elmer Anderson on June 12, 1949. She was the beloved mother of Dr. Lucinda Juel (Anderson) Dittmer, Dr. Susan Elizabeth (Anderson) Swedo, Sidney Edison Anderson and Dr. Shawn David Anderson. She was the proud grandmother of Elizabeth, Kirsten, Emily, Susan, Katie, Ariel, Sarah, Lauren, Karen, Ryan and Eric and great-grandmother to Paul, William and Leo.
Edis was preceded in death by her husband Sidney, her daughter Lucinda, and her parents and siblings. A private interment service was held at Bluffview Cemetery on February 6, 2017 and a service to memorialize and celebrate her life will be held later in the spring.