Floral 07

Julia Alice Hensley Anderson

September 19, 2020

Obituary

Julia Alice Hensley Anderson

After a long and courageous battle with cancer and kidney failure, Julia Hensley Anderson of Rutherfordton gently passed away in her sleep September 19. Julia was born March 24, 1943, in Rutherford County to the late Ellen Hill Hensley and Robert Hensley.  She was a wonderful blend of two very strong and independent families.  She was also predeceased by a sister, Martha Hensley Heaton.

She is survived by her husband, James Anderson; a brother, Rob Hensley of Spindale; nieces Shellie Heaton of Rutherfordton and Lauren Hensley of Elmhurst, IL; and a nephew Jeff Hensley of Forest City. She is also survived by a special Aunt Mary Buchert (Frank) of South Haven, MI, and by many cousins.

Julia graduated from RS Central in 1961 and was very instrumental in keeping classmates connected. She was key in coordinating a 50th class reunion and coordinated a yearly fall gathering of classmates. She once shared with that group advice she remembered from their R-S principal, Mr. Womack. "Keep your eyes and ears open and your mouth shut." She took that advice to heart.

Julia graduated from Duke University in 1965 with a BA in History.  She had a successful career working mostly in association management and living in Durham, Philadelphia and Chicago. In the mid ‘80s she returned home to Rutherford County and became active with several local organizations including the Rutherfordton Kiwanis, where she served as its first female president, and for years she was active in planning the annual Relay for Life fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. She also served as president of the local Habitat for Humanity affiliate, as secretary of the Rutherford County Democratic Party, as a founding member of the local Democratic Women, on the board of Norris Public Library and as treasurer of Rutherford Housing Partnership until her health began to decline.

She was surprised to find how much she enjoyed the richness of her senior years, a richness that included finding the love of her life and marrying Jim Anderson June 23, 2019. Julia and Jim spent many happy hours exploring the flea markets and restaurants in the area.

Julia will be remembered for her astute mind and quick wit.  She was modest and able to laugh at herself. People naturally turned to her for advice and leadership. She was a progressive thinker who offered fresh ideas without alarming people who preferred the status quo. She balanced her intellect and wisdom with compassion and generosity. She will be missed.

The family suggests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Norris Public Library, 132 N. Main St., Rutherfordton; Rutherford Housing Partnership, PO Box 1525, Rutherfordton; or a charity of one’s choice. A memorial celebration will be private. McMahan’s Funeral Home & Cremation Services is in charge of arrangements.

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