Gretta J. Anderson, 94, of Elk City passed away on April 13, 2017 at Grangeville Health and Rehabilitation Center.
She was the first of five children born to L.G. and Margaret (Reed) Morris. Gretta was born on Aug. 30, 1922 in Kamiah. After graduating from Kamiah High School she went to the St. Joseph School of Nursing and earned the title of RN upon graduation in 1943. She married Andy Anderson, also from Kamiah, on Aug. 27, 1943 in Warren, Ariz. while he was serving in the Air Corps. They had five children: Bud, Joe, Jim, Dee and Jerry.
Mom worked as a nurse in Kamiah, Orofino, Cottonwood, Grangeville and the Selway River Job Corps. She was not only a nurse at work, but also a nurse to many others in need and was often called on to assist in medical emergencies and delivered babies on demand within her communities. One of her first jobs was working in a maternity home in Kamiah caring for moms and babies. Our mom was a hard worker and wore many hats.
In the 1970’s, with the help of family and friends, Mom and Dad built a log home in Elk City. After retiring as the Director of Nurses at Grangeville General Hospital, she cooked for the Elk City School. Many students remember the extra-large cookie she made and decorated for each of them on their birthday.
She was an active and lifetime member of the VFW Auxiliary, wrote a weekly column about Elk City news for the Idaho County Free Press, and traveled many miles collecting and distributing commodities for her community. Gretta was always available to care for children while their parents were at hunting camp, ill, or working. Many kids, in addition to her own, called her Grandma. Her home was always open and filled with love.
The antics of the hummingbirds she fed were a source of great joy every summer. It seems like even hungry cats knew their way to Mom’s house.
She was actively involved in her children’s, and later her grandchildren’s activities, attending as many music and sports events as possible.
Gretta enjoyed flowers and gardening and played the piano. Her family was her life and there was no such thing as too many for dinner. The Anderson family reunions at Riggins enjoying the family at the Salmon River were a highlight of every summer for over 20 years and the more the merrier. She loved having her kids and grandkids around and especially enjoyed them playing their musical instruments and having sing-a-longs.
Gretta was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, her brothers Jud, Ray, and Clarence, her sister Lenore, and her son-in-law, Larry Weeks. She is survived by her sons Bud, Joe (Carolyn), Jim (Sheryl), Jerry (Joyce), and daughter Dee Weeks, 12 grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren and six great-great-grandchildren. Other special survivors are her sisters-in-law, Penny Titus and Kathy Morris.
A graveside service will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, July 14 at the Kamiah Cemetery. Trenary Funeral Home of Kooskia is in charge of arrangements.
The family extends sincere thanks to the staff at the Grangeville Rehabilitation Center for their exceptional care and kindness during Mom’s years there.