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Many families feeling loss of young woman

Amy Anderson 'was like an extra daughter'

Amy Anderson 'was like an extra daughter'

December 09, 2007|By MARLO BARNHART

Editor's note: Each Sunday, The Herald-Mail publishes A Life Remembered. This continuing series takes a look back - through the eyes of family, friends, co-workers and others - at a member of the community who died recently. Today's A Life Remembered is about Amy Kay Anderson, who died Nov. 29 at the age of 23. Her obituary was published in The Herald-Mail on Dec. 1.

TOMAHAWK, W.Va. - Donny Anderson Sr. and his family are trying to cope with the sudden and unexpected death of his daughter, Amy Kay Anderson, who succumbed to a blood clot on Nov. 29.

But other families also are mourning, including Amy's Wal-Mart family in Hagerstown.

Just 23 when she died, Amy had reached the five-year mark in her work at the Wal-Mart off U.S. 40 west of Hagerstown.

Mike Martin came to the Hagerstown Wal-Mart as manager this past summer.

"Amy was very special to all of us," he said. "When we found out (she had died), we went to work."

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Stepmother Sharon Anderson said Wal-Mart provided all the food for after the Dec. 3 funeral service.

"Two Wal-Mart associates ran the kitchen for us, too. That was a surprise," she said.

Joyce Hose was Amy's supervisor in the jewelry department at Wal-Mart. Joyce had known Amy since she started working there at the age of 18.

"I first got to know her when she worked in layaway," Joyce said.

Amy would transfer to the jewelry department with Joyce during holidays when jewelry sales are brisk.

"It was her personality ... she was very funny," Joyce said. "Amy always kept us smiling."

Amy talked a lot about her family with Joyce and others. She was nice to the customers and they liked her, too, Joyce said.

Janet Varnum often worked near Amy as a cashier and they sometimes talked as friends and fellow Christians.

"She would give you the shirt off her back," Janet said.

Betty Carbaugh, Wal-Mart personnel manager, remembered Amy as a pleasant person who never said anything bad about anyone.

"We'll all miss her," Joyce said.

Born in Washington, D.C., Amy and her twin brother, Donny Anderson Jr., grew up in Falling Waters, W.Va., and both graduated from Hedgesville High School in 2002.

Their mother, Jeaneen, died when Amy and her brother were 17. Her father, Donny Anderson Sr., remarried in 2003 and the family moved to Tomahawk, W.Va.

A family friend since the children were little, stepmother Sharon Anderson said Amy's leading characteristic from her earliest years was that she was a very giving person.

"And she never lost that quality," Sharon said.

Donny Sr. said he knew Amy was well liked, but he was amazed when more than 200 people came to his daughter's funeral.

"We bought this property three years ago," said Sharon Anderson.

She and Amy's father live in one house, Donny Jr. is next door and Amy's house is just beyond that.

Cradling Amy's cat, Bleach Face, in her arms, Sharon said they just brought the feline to their home so she could get used to her new surroundings.

The first picture the family has of Amy is actually a sonogram, showing the presence of two distinct babies, although there was no way to tell which was Amy and which was Donny.

That sonogram was at the center of a large picture display of Amy, her family and friends at the Dec. 3 services at Osborne Funeral Home in Williamsport.

Many of the other pictures were of Donny Jr. and Amy when they were young. When they got older, they stayed close.

"We often played pool together with a whole lot of other people," Donny Jr. said, obviously struggling with the loss of his twin.

When Amy began feeling ill at the home of her boyfriend's grandmother the day she died, it was her brother that she called. Amy passed out and later died at City Hospital.

One of Amy's best friends was Crystal Myers.

"I knew Amy for 10 years," Crystal said. "Amy was a bridesmaid at my wedding and is godmother to my son."

Crystal said Amy will be missed by everyone who knew her.

"She was like an extra daughter to a lot of families," she said.

And that included the Wal-Mart family.

"I went over there and they gave me Amy's five-year plaque," Sharon said. That plaque was still on display on the family's dining room table.

It mentioned Amy's effort and hard work and concluded with the pledge that Wal-Mart was happy to have Amy as "a member of our family."

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