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Arta Lucille Anderson, 81, of Rio Rancho, New Mexico, formerly of Washington, IL went home to be with her Lord on May 30, 2019. She was born on August 8, 1937 to Arthur Carl and Hazel Lucille (Barrow) Heilman in Peoria, IL. Raised in Washington, IL Arta graduated from Washington Community High School in 1955. On July 5, 1959 she married William Daniel Anderson at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Washington, IL. He preceded her in death in 1982.
Surviving are their three daughters Juanita Taylor, Bonnie (Ralph) Davis, and Molly (Bruce) Harcey; five grandchildren Jamie (Matt) Koranda, Ryan “Nick” (Jaime) Taylor, Josiah Harcey, Peter Harcey, and William Davis; three great-grandchildren Emily, Parker, and Avery Koranda; and sister Lela Smith. Arta was also preceded in death by her parents and brother Milton Heilman.
Arta lived the first sixty-five years of her life in Illinois until she relocated to Rio Rancho, New Mexico in 2002. She left behind a loving church family at Grace Bible Church in Washington, Illinois and built a new one at Faith Church in Rio Rancho. She left classmates and friends whose friendships spanned her lifetime and made new, deep, and lasting friendships in New Mexico. A talented seamstress, she left many sewing customers who were friends as much as they were customers. In New Mexico, she soon rebuilt her business and continued to sew until December of 2018. Sewing was her livelihood, but it was also her ministry as she listened to the problems and concerns of her many customers, shared her faith, and lifted them up in prayer.
Even after moving to New Mexico, Arta continued to serve as a counselor at Land O’ Lincoln Camp Cedarbrook. Her ministry to the girls who attended this camp spanned 27 years. When she could not walk three miles everyday, she joined a gym and developed another group of friends who not only met at the gym but also gathered to play games and to eat out. Arta taught a Bible study at the Fairwinds retirement home in Rio Rancho, made quilts with a group of ladies from Faith Church, and was involved with many other activities in the life of the church. Throughout her five-year battle with lung cancer, she continued all her many activities including one last trip to Ecuador in 2016 to work at an orphanage that she had been helping for many years.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Thursday, August 8, 2019 at Grace Bible Church in Washington, IL. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Land O’ Lincoln Camp Cedarbrook, 3809 South Deer Run, Peoria, IL 61607 or at www.lolcampcedarbrook.org. Online condolences may be sent at www.masonfuneralhomes.com.