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Asenath Anderson of Roslyn Heights: Dedicated to community, church

Asenath Anderson of Roslyn Heights, a community activist

Asenath Anderson of Roslyn Heights, a community activist and former Roslyn school board member, died from the coronavirus on April 20. She was 71. Credit: Anderson family

Not many things slowed down Asenath Anderson.

The Roslyn Heights community activist was a one-woman whirlwind, holding positions on the Roslyn school board and with organizations such as the Girl Scouts, Little League, the Roslyn Heights Civic Association and Friendship Baptist Church of Roslyn while raising four children.

“Whatever she did, she was good at,” said her daughter Jairite Anderson-Cole of Mount Vernon. “She was caring and sharing. She was a motivator.”

Anderson, called Sena by family and friends, died from the coronavirus on April 20 at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset. She was 71 and would have turned 72 on May 12.

She was elected to the school board in 1986 and served for almost 20 years, helping to form a committee to hire more minority teachers to serve as role models for African American and Hispanic students, her family said. She joined Bridging the Gap, dedicated to linking underprivileged students with professional mentors, and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Fund to support minority college students.

Anderson worked for about 50 years, holding positions at Grumman Aerospace Corp., Pall Corp. and the Nassau County Board of Elections. In recent years she worked with Anderson-Cole in a home- care training business.

She was born on May 12, 1948, in Brooklyn to Virginia and James Dunn. The family, including three brothers, later moved to Roslyn.

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Anderson graduated from Roslyn High School in 1965 and two years later married Horace William Anderson in Baltimore.   

Known at Faith Baptist as "Deaconess Anderson," she was a Sunday school teacher and superintendent who visited ill and shut-in members, remembered parishioners' birthdays and baked sweet potato pies for special events, her family said.

“I was blessed to have her as a mother," Anderson-Cole said. "Whatever you wanted to do, she was there for you to figure out what you wanted to do. … She sacrificed herself for her children.”

Most of all, Anderson was a woman of strong faith. "That's Number One," her daughter said.

She is survived by her husband; her brother, Peter Mann of Central Islip; her daughter; three sons, Chante Anderson of College Station, Texas, Kasaung Anderson of Roslyn and Tyrus Anderson of Marion, Massachusetts; three grandchildren; and six nieces and nephews. 

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