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Memorials: Berkeley Monthly Meeting

Mary Anderson

Date of birth

Feb. 21, 1944

Date of death

June 3, 2023


Berkeley Monthly Meeting

Memorial minute

Mary Frances Anderson was born on February 21, 1944, in Berkeley, California, where her mother, Anne (Dowden) Anderson was studying nursing. Her father, Victor Charles Anderson, was doing research in Southern California on underwater sound for military use in World War II. She grew up in the San Diego area and led a many-faceted life. She obtained a Ph.D. in mathematics from New York University in 1970, taught math at Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA for two years, at Wayne State University, Detroit, MI for another two; then at the University Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for four years.

She then studied computer science, taking courses at U.C. Berkeley. Mary held a series of programming jobs with the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at Berkeley, Bank of America, Hewlett Packard, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. During that time she also did programming as an independent contractor, "Toyon Solutions."

Mary, who married H. Lee Watson in 1963, had a son, Jeffrey Elam Watson, born on April 10, 1966. In 1973, she married Lim Mah Hui from Malaysia and moved there. After returning to the Bay area she met George M. Bergman, who was with her when Michael Lim Yong Ping was born on October 11, 1977. In 1981 Mary and George were married at Berkeley Friends Meeting. On August 8, 1982 they had twins, Clifford Isaac Anderson-Bergman and Rebecca Nadia Anderson-Bergman.

After her return from Malaysia, Mary attended Berkeley Friends Meeting and became a member in early 1978. She transferred her membership to Strawberry Creek Meeting and in 2020 asked for transfer back to Berkeley Friends. Her membership was renewed at Berkeley Friends on March 14, 2021. Starting in 2015, she also attended Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church, where she enjoyed singing in the choir.

Mary was an avid gardener, and took courses in agriculture at U.C. Davis and elsewhere. She also was a passionate singer. She did volunteer work with the Alternatives to Violence Project, a group which runs workshops where participants find ways to resolve conflicts without violence or coercion.

She began to suffer falls in the early 2010's, culminating in one in which she broke an arm. Then other disabilities gradually developed: a loss of coordination, which made it impossible for her to stand or write, and, toward the end, to speak, or to swallow food safely. Her condition was eventually diagnosed as a rare Parkinson's-like syndrome, Corticobasal Degeneration. In May 2023, her swallowing problem led to pneumonia. She died on June 3, 2023.

She is survived by her husband George Bergman, ex-husband Lim Mah Hui, her younger sister Judy Myers (their brother Victor Charles Anderson, Jr. pre-deceased them), her four children, Jeffrey Watson, his daughter Morgan, Michael Lim Yong Ping Anderson, his daughter Elise and son Lucas, Rebecca Anderson-Bergman and Clifford Anderson-Bergman, his son Oliver and daughter Isabel. A memorial service was held at Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church on June 24, 2023.