Portia Prettie Anderson passed away in her sleep on Tuesday, September 24th, with her beloved husband Dan by her side. Portia was born December 8, 1929 in Hillsdale, Michigan. She graduated magna cum laude in Architecture from the University of Michigan, as the first woman accepted to UM’s School of Architecture. She married her best friend, Daniel T. Anderson on May 31, 1952, then they moved to southern CA where they raised three sons, Scott, Loch, and Kyle. Portia wasn’t impressed by the quality of early education for her children, so she and Dan started the second Montessori school in the US, which is still educating students today. At the same time, she had a very successful architecture career designing award winning homes. In 1976, she and Dan moved to Issaquah, WA where they still reside. She built another very successful Architect practice, designing custom homes until she retired, and then consulting until she passed away.
Portia’s passion for helping others started early. She was given the Turner Cup service award during high school. After moving to Issaquah, she became a member of the Seattle Opera Guild, helped found the Issaquah branch of American Association of University Women, and was an ardent Village Theatre supporter. She and Issaquah Mayor Mary Lou Pauly created The Expanding Your Horizons program, exposing over 600 girls to careers in the STEM fields. She received the Issaquah Kiwanis Club Volunteer of the Year in 2007. She was the board president for Eastside Domestic Violence (LifeWire). In addition to the afore mentioned organizations, Portia and Dan enthusiastically supported Hillsdale College, UW Medicine, and Master Chorus.
Art, music, theatre, literature, and travel were also important facets of Portia’s life. There was always a book to be read, a play to see, an opera to hear, and a country to explore. Portia was always up for the next experience.
But her family was the most important part of Portia’s life. Portia is survived by her best friend for 74 years-husband Dan, her sons Scott, Loch (Allyn), and Kyle (Carole), granddaughters Rhyan, Keysa, and Kaitie, grandsons Taylor, Quinn, Max, and Drew, and many nieces and nephews.
Portia was an amazing woman. We will miss her principled resilience, her open mind, her “progressively” conservative thinking, her unparalleled competence in every regard, her passion for equity and intolerance of mediocrity, her ability to be lovingly involved, and at the same time, thoughtfully removed from her families lives, her consistent pragmatism, and her laugh and quick wit. Quality, honesty, and discipline were important criteria in Portia’s existence. She touched countless peoples’ lives, and her passing leaves a hole that won’t be easily filled. At Portia’s request, there will be no memorial service, so please raise a glass in her honor.