Dolly Eloris Ralston Anderson
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Dolly Eloris Ralston Anderson , Age: 97
October 28, 1920 -- January 17, 2018

Dolly Eloris Ralston Anderson, of Mission Hills, Kansas, passed away Wednesday, January 17, 2018 in her daughter's home in Carmel, Indiana where she had been living since last year.

Dolly was born on October 28, 1920 to John Earl and Esther Jorgene Hanson Ralston in Phillipston, Pennsylvania, a small railroad town alongside the historic Allegheny River where she also grew up.

When 18 months old, she lost her father in an accident in the railroad yards where he worked. As the youngest of four children, she was raised primarily by her older brother Jesse and, like her all her siblings, helped her widowed mother run the town post office, bake pies for the nearby restaurant at the railroad terminal, clean the church, and board school teachers in their spare rooms.

Despite the hardships of the Depression era, Dolly often described her childhood as idyllic. In the wooded hillsides surrounding her home Dolly regularly followed her brother, learning how to check trap lines, tend a garden, tap a spring, and shoot a rifle. From her neighborhood boyfriend she learned how to play violin and piano, operate a short wave radio, and use Morse code. During summer Dolly and her friends swam and fished in the pristine waters of the then-undammed Allegheny and during winter skated on the thick ice.

In the local two-room schoolhouse Dolly studied avidly through 8th grade and memorized poetry that she would recite for the rest of her life. She attended high school in Kittanning, Pennsylvania, 25 miles down-river, to which she commuted by train before dawn each morning. She excelled academically, but also played violin in the school orchestra and, as her mother insisted, mastered practical skills such as shorthand, typing, and accounting. She was graduated salutatorian in 1937.

Following graduation Dolly worked as a bank teller in Kittanning and eventually bought her own automobile. After World War II broke out, Dolly moved to New York City to work as an executive secretary for the National War Production Board in the Empire State Building.

One day months later, returning from a lunch-hour interlude at St Patrick's Cathedral, Dolly passed a recruiting station and happened to notice a window poster showing a uniformed woman Marine. Impromptu she walked into the office and, with no prior notice to family or employer, enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. She was subsequently trained as a radio operator and eventually assigned to the Chaplains' Corps.

Shortly after the war's end while stationed at the Marine Corps Air Base at El Toro, California, Corporal Dolly Ralston met and several months later married Marine Staff Sergeant Emil C. Anderson, Jr. After their discharges, they entered the University of Kansas where they worked their way through college and law school. With modest savings they bought a 4-story house on campus, rented rooms to fellow students, and boarded dogs for a local veterinarian. Dolly kept house between classes while Emil worked night shifts as a railroad switchman. By the time they graduated with their law degrees in 1953, Dolly had borne three children.

Soon afterward Emil and Dolly loaded their possessions, including an upright piano, into an old Chevy truck and their 1938 Buick and caravanned to Santa Ana, California where Dolly was soon hired by a prominent law firm after passing the California bar.

Two years later Dolly and Emil moved their family back to Emil's hometown, Kansas City, Kansas, where they established their own law firm. They practiced together in Wyandotte and Johnson Counties for more than 40 years.After Emil’s death in 2008, Dolly continued her private practice until 2014.

During her long career she served as the first attorney for the newly formed Legal Aid Society of Wyandotte County and as municipal judge for Mission Hills, Kansas. For many years Dolly was also active in the Soroptimist International Club of Shawnee Mission, Kansas, a charitable organization of professional women. With her husband, Dolly shared many outdoor passions, including camping, trekking, fishing, hunting, water skiing, scuba diving, tennis, gardening and swimming.

Though she may not have regarded herself as such, her family remembers her as a true pioneer and a dauntless adventurer. She had many sides, but those close to her throughout her remarkable and productive life agree that in all her endeavors, whether personal or professional, she was principled, loyal, disciplined, stoic, duty-conscious, and achievement-oriented, pursuing foremost what she alone deemed best for the long-term welfare, not always aligned with the short-term wishes, of her family, clients, and community.

Dolly was preceded in death by her husband Emil Claus; and siblings Jesse Guerdon Ralston, Edith Arlene Ralston and Esther Lorraine Taylor. She is survived by her three children, Andrew Ralston (Donna) Anderson, Andra Dee (Philip) Cochran, Sandra Lee Snyder; grandchildren Andrew Mark Anderson, Adam Lance Snyder, Eloris Ann Snyder, and Jesse Andrew Cochran; and great grandchildren Lucas Seibert and Elyse Ybarbo-Hicks.

Services will be held on Thursday February 8, 2018 at the Porter Funeral Homes and Crematory, 8535 Monrovia, Lenexa, Kansas. Visitation will begin at 12:30 pm and memorial services at 1:00 pm. Burial services will begin at 2:30 pm in the Committal Shelter at the National Cemetery, Leavenworth, Kansas.

Additional Service: Funeral Service
Location: Porter Funeral Home
Address: 8535 Monrovia Street
City: Lenexa
State: Kansas
Zip Code: 66215
Date: February 08, 2018
Time: 1:00 PM
Additional Information: Visitation will be from 12:30 – 1:00 PM followed by Services at 1:00 PM, Thursday February 8, 2018 at the Porter Funeral Home, 8535 Monrovia Street, Lenexa, KS. Burial to follow at the National Cemetery, Leavenworth, KS.
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