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Oct 07, 1951 - Sep 25, 2020


October 07, 1951 - September 25, 2020


Dr. Mary Lynn Anderson, Ed.D., 68, of Marquette, passed away Friday evening, September 25, 2020 at home, with loved ones at her side and under the care of Lake Superior Life Care & Hospice following a courageous 4-year battle with cancer. Special thanks to Debbie Maynard and Eileen Smit, both RN's and good friends, for their wonderful care of Lynn over the last few months.

Lynn was born on October 7, 1951, in Grosse Pointe, MI, the daughter of Harry and Mary Irene (Littlefair) Pennington. She graduated from Lake Shore High School in St. Clair Shores, MI, class of 1969. Lynn earned her Nursing Degree along with a Master's Degree in Counseling from NMU in 1974. Shortly after receiving these degrees she joined the Nursing Department at NMU. While working full time at NMU, Lynn would go on to complete a Master's in Nursing along with her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Western Michigan University. She had a passion for teaching and helping her community, leaving a lasting impact on all the nurses she taught and the countless lives they have cared for. As a nursing professor she published and lectured around the world on psychiatric issues, HIV and other health issues while visiting China, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and Italy. As a lifelong proponent of education, she devoted her life to nursing and educating others. She retired as a Professor Emeritus from NMU's School of Nursing in 2013, after 39 years of teaching.

Lynn married Dale J. Anderson on March 6, 1977 at St. Michael Catholic Church in Marquette. On October 4, 1982 the couple welcomed identical twin girls, Emily and Katherine. The arrival of twin girls thrilled Lynn, as she too was an identical twin with her beloved sister, Laura Shudra. Lynn always sought to put her girls first while stressing the importance of education in their lives. She was very proud that they both were able to attend college on full scholarships. Lynn was an important force in the lives of Emily and Katherine, she was always there to listen and provide advice, a true confidant, a trait she would share not only with family, but her friends as well.

Lynn had many hobbies that she enjoyed in life, however traveling with friends and family was one of her most enjoyed. Camping was a favorite of Lynn's, along with kayaking and hiking to waterfalls. Trips to the Porcupine Mountains were a must when the girls were young. One of her favorite trips every summer was with a group of her women friends to Door County, WI. As a member of St. Michael Catholic Church, Lynn sang in the choir for many years. Walking with friends also brought much joy to Lynn's life. Generous with her time and affection, Lynn always made people feel welcome. She had a knack for making occasions fun. Later in life she loved surprising grandchildren with gifts and trips, and was helpful in these early developments.

Lynn read extensively throughout life, not only medical textbooks and research papers, but also novels for pleasure. The last few years were focused on research articles on clinical therapies for her type of cancer. She was brilliant and assertive when on a mission.

For nearly four years Lynn bravely fought cancer. As her own champion, she was able to get herself into clinical trials at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX. Traveling back and forth between Marquette and Houston was difficult but provided Lynn the opportunity to spend time with Emily and her family. The trials not only prolonged her life, which allowed her to meet her fourth and only granddaughter, but will help researchers improve their treatment of cancer in patients for years to come.

Lynn was preceded in death by her parents; and twin sister, Laura Shudra. She is survived by her husband of 43 years, Dale Anderson of Marquette; two children, Emily (Jared) Summers of Spring, TX and Katherine (Joseph) Fair of Lexington, KY; four grandchildren, Landon and Carson Fair and Anderson and Savannah Summers; and her many loving friends, in-laws, nieces and nephews.

A memorial service in celebration of Lynn's life will be held in late spring or early summer of 2021 at a place and date yet to be determined.

Those wishing to make an expression of sympathy are kindly asked to consider the National Association for Mental Illness (NAMI) Alger-Marquette, send to Cindy Bertucci, 129 W. Baraga Ave., Marquette, MI 49855 or MD Anderson Cancer Center, PO Box 4464, Houston, TX 77210-4464.

Canale-Tonella Funeral Home and Cremation Services is assisting Lynn's family where memories and condolences may be shared at canalefuneral.com.


To be held at a later date.

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