Mary Jo Anderson
January 1, 1970 - March 14, 2017

MARY JO ANDERSON, Age 73, of Oakton, VA passed away peacefully at the Lower Cape Fear Hospice in Wilmington, N.C., on Tuesday, March 14, 2017. She and her husband, John, had been visiting close friends in Wilmington when she suffered a fatal cerebral hemorrhage.

Born April 12, 1943, in Washington, DC, and raised in Arlington, VA, she was an alumna of Washington-Lee High School (’61). She earned a BA in psychology from North Carolina Wesleyan College (’65) in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, a special place for Mary Jo as it was her mother’s home town.

Mary Jo had a natural gift for bringing people together and guiding them through difficult times. She used this gift as a Juvenile Probation Officer and later a Supervisor of Probation Officers for the 31st Judicial District of the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court of Virginia. After her first career she volunteered for more than twenty years as a grief counselor, primarily with Haven of Northern Virginia, a nonprofit, nonsectarian community organization of trained volunteers that offers emotional support to the bereaved, the seriously ill, the dying and to their families and friends. She also devoted nearly a decade volunteering at iNova Fair Oaks hospital. Mary Jo lived her life to help others and support her family, friends and the community, and she was a friend to everyone she met.

Mary Jo had a great love of life, as well as for sharing the things she loved with others. She enjoyed cooking, especially enjoying the results with friends and family. She loved traveling and learning about different cultures and environments. Some of her favorite travels included trips to Japan to visit daughter Terri, Italy several times with friends and her siblings, and a recent chance to visit Normandy France for the 50th anniversary commemoration. Many trips included close friends, and many more were in concert with John’s various speaking engagements. Perhaps most of all, Mary Jo treasured time with family, including summers spent at Wrightsville Beach in North Carolina, and two three-generation trips to England with her mother and children. She also enjoyed museums and the theater, particularly Arena Stage, where Mary Jo and John were season ticket holders. She never lost her enthusiasm for the highlights of her hometown, whether the Tidal Basin cherry blossoms in the spring, the National Symphony Orchestra at the 4th of July fireworks, or any Presidential Inauguration regardless of the administration, she was in attendance.

Mary Jo deeply treasured her family. She dedicated her heart and her time to staying in touch with family members far and wide, serving as a link between siblings, aunts and uncles, cousins, and nieces and nephews everywhere. She loved being a grandmother to her 5 grandchilden ages 20-4. They affectionately called her “Nana Jo” and knew her to be kind, sweet, gentle, funny and helpful. She was a huge enthusiast at their various sporting and school events, or just at the local playground.

Preceded in death by her parents, Paul H., Sr., and Mary Brewer Barkley of Arlington, she is survived by her loving and devoted husband of 36 years, John A. Anderson; three daughters, Kelley Somerville (Steve) of Powhatan, VA; Terri Anderson (John Hitchingham) of Seattle, WA, Wendy Sherbert (Greg) of Haymarket, VA; and five grandchildren (who knew her as “Nana Jo”), Ethan, Jared and Hayden Somerville; Nathaniel and Hannah Hitchingham; two brothers, Paul H. Barkley, Jr. (Jeanette) of Falls Church, VA, and William Emmett Barkley of McLean, VA. Two nieces, Wendy Henninger (Jim) of Falls Church, and Tara Barkley (Reza Ghanadan); and 5 great nephews: Louis and Paul Henninger; Julien, Gabriel and Linus Ghanadan; and a loving extended family.

A celebration of life will be held at Mount Olivet United Methodist Church, 1500 N. Glebe Road, Arlington, VA 22207 at 11:00 am on Thursday, April 6, 2017.

If you wish to make a contribution in her memory, the family suggests that gifts be made to the Lower Cape Fear Hospice Foundation, 1414 Physicians Drive, Wilmington, NC 28401-7335; The National Capital Area Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, PO Box 96011, Washington, DC, 20090; or a charity of one’s choosing.

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