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Walthourville's first mayor dies

Lyndol Anderson led then rare all-woman council

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POSTED: June 11, 2014 12:49 p.m.
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Lyndol Anderson died Saturday at the age of 91.

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Liberty County political pioneer and well-known resident Lyndol Anderson died Saturday after dealing with mounting medical problems.
Though Anderson made national headlines in 1974 when she became the first mayor of then-newly incorporated Walthourville, those who knew her personally say she will be remembered as a caring, down-to-earth woman with an insatiable appetite for life and helping others.
“She was just a worker,” said Lyndol’s oldest daughter, Liberty County Chief Magistrate Melinda Anderson. “She worked long and hard for many, many years.”
By all accounts, hard work was a theme of Lyndol Anderson’s life. From running the family farm in Evans County while her husband, “Sweetie” Hollis Anderson, worked long days on Fort Stewart, to managing the general store in Walthourville that was connected to her home and even handcrafting her children’s clothes, Lyndol did it all without complaint, according to her daughter.
Melinda Anderson described her mother as a modest woman — someone who never sought fame or fortune, but rather just tried to lend a helping hand wherever she saw a need.
“She just did things she thought needed to be done, and she helped people she knew needed help,” she said.
Her sense of service led Lyndol Anderson to run for mayor of Walthourville after its incorporation. Thanks to its all-female city council, Walthourville became the first municipal government to be run exclusively by women — an accomplishment, given the era in which it occurred.  
Current Walthourville Mayor Daisy Pray said Lyndol Anderson set quite an example.
“The city is at a great loss, knowing that Mrs. Anderson is no longer here,” she said. “She was determined to do what she had to do no matter what gender — it was all about the city.”
Growing up in Walthourville, Pray said she remembers shopping at Anderson’s Grocery Store as a young girl and the kindness displayed by Lyndol Anderson, which left a lasting impression upon her.
“She was a kind and loving person,” Pray said. “If you didn’t have money, it didn’t matter to Mrs. Anderson. You could still get what you needed there and pay later.
“And I remember her famous words, that ‘boys will be boys,’” she added with a chuckle.
Lyndol Anderson’s compassionate heart made her a well-loved member of the community, according to Melinda Anderson, who recalled the countless cards, phone calls and visits her mother received from her numerous “bonus children,” as she called them.
“We’d be in the store or something, or she’d get a card or a letter from someone who lived here years ago and then moved away, but they kept in touch and called her ‘second mama,’” Anderson said. “She made huge impressions. People would see me and the first thing they’d ask was not ‘How are you?’ but ‘How’s your mama?’”
Though always ready with kind words or friendly advice, Anderson said her mother was never the type to lecture her children on how to be a good person.
“She always taught us honesty and hard work, and you help other people, though she never mentioned it to us,” Anderson said. “We learned by example that you do those things. She never had to speak those words because we saw it lived all our life. If I could be half the woman she was, I’d be happy.”

 

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