Alyson Evans Anderson, 78, a beautiful wife, mother, and grandmother, passed away in her sleep from complications of dementia on January 26, 2023. Alyson was born on December 28, 1944 at Randolph Field in San Antonio, Texas to parents Wilbur and Lillian Evans. While her father was stationed at Randolph, he wrote letters to his pregnant wife and referred to the baby as "Bitsy." Little did we know the nickname would stick and many cousins and family members still called Alyson "Bitsy" her entire life.
Alyson had a wonderful childhood growing up in Austin. Her father's occupation as the Sports Information Director and Assistant Athletic Director at the University of Texas gave Alyson the opportunity to attend many U. T. sporting events and games. She also enjoyed traveling West to Colorado and California as her dad covered sporting events there as a sportswriter. A fond childhood memory of Alyson's was time spent at Estes Park and a family trip to Disneyland the year it opened. Alyson's love of travel never waned. The Anderson family had great vacations to Durango, Colorado, a cruise in the Caribbean and Cancun, Mexico. Alyson and Rodney spent their twenty fifth anniversary in London England.
Alyson attended Maplewood Elementary, University Junior High, Austin High and Richardson High School. Although Wilbur's job required the family to relocate to Richardson, Texas, Alyson's loyalty to Austin High remained true. So, the spring semester of her senior year, Wilbur and Alyson returned to Austin and Wilbur became Governor John Connally's press secretary. They took up residence at the Driskill Hotel so Alyson could graduate from Austin High. Alyson graduated from the University of Dallas Nursing School, which included psychiatric training in New Orleans for several months. She soon became an I. C. U. nurse at Brackenridge Hospital and cared for some injured victims of the U. T. tower shooting. Alyson was also employed at Bailey Square for many years and the later part of her career was spent at St. David's Day Surgery.
In October of 1970, she met her soulmate and love of her life, Rodney Anderson. Shortly thereafter, at St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church, Monsignor Fred Bomar married Rodney and Alyson on March 19, 1971. They welcomed their first child, Alyson Nicole Anderson, on January 31, 1972 and their second child, Brian Christopher Anderson, on July 29, 1976. Alyson's faith in God and love of family was demonstrated in her everyday life. Upon moving to Western Oaks in 1979, she became a member of St. Catherine of Siena catholic church. She taught C. C. D. at St. Catherine's and volunteered at her children's schools. It was important to Alyson to always give back to the community and those less fortunate. Alyson's caring nature was first evidenced in her teen years when she began donating funds to an orphanage, continuing throughout her adult life supporting others in need. Close to her heart was a hospitalized infant girl named Victoria whose family was not able to visit often, so Alyson took it upon herself to provide her all the love and care she had within her.
One of Alyson's high points in life was babysitting and spoiling her grandchildren, Michaela Faith and Cash Austin Arenas. "Gran" referred to Cash as her "brown eyed handsome man" and Michaela was her best bud!!!
Alyson was preceded in death by her parents, her beloved sister, Mary Beth Evans Power, brother- in-law, David Power, and nephews, Chad Evans and Craig Anderson. Alyson is survived by her loving husband, Rodney, of Austin, daughter, Nicole Arenas (Laffit), grandchildren, Michaela and Cash Arenas, all of Buda, and son, Brian Anderson, of Austin. She is also survived by her brother, Terry Evans (Donna), and brother-in-law, Stephen Anderson (Lisa), plus many nieces, nephews and friends. Alyson was the strength and rock that held her family together. Her love will forever bind us together.
In March of 2022, Alyson was diagnosed with dementia. In December, her health declined rapidly. Alyson's love came full circle with her family attending to her care non-stop, most especially her granddaughter, Michaela, during the last three weeks she was with us and in conjunction with Beacon Hospice. We were blessed as Alyson shared her sense of humor and award winning smile until the very end. In lieu of flowers, please make a memorial contribution to dementia and Alzheimer's research at Alzheimer's Association at https://act.alz.org or a charity of your choice.
The family will receive friends from 6:00 to 8:00 PM on Monday, February 13, 2023, at Harrell Funeral Home of Austin, 4435 Frontier Trail, Austin, Texas.
A funeral mass will be celebrated at 10:00 AM Tuesday, February 14, 2023, at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church, 4800 Convict Hill Rd., Austin, Texas. A reception will be held following the service in Parish Hall. A private burial will be held at a later date.
Services under the direction of Harrell Funeral Home of Austin, 4435 Frontier Trail, Austin, Texas 78745. See more at www.harrellfuneralhomes.com .