As the New Year chaos has settled down and many emotions are cleared up, I’d like to take a moment to reminisce my grandmother’s life. A fiercely independent, determined, vibrant, continuously learning, and presently strong life lived fully all the way to the age of 95. Marcia Anderson served the Bozeman area and community for 60 years as a philanthropist, physician, cattle rancher, and lover of animals and art (particularly western art). Without a doubt, she has inspired and will continue to inspire others with her selflessness and strength throughout the years. She had been extensively supportive of multiple projects of Bozeman, including projects currently in progress. She certainly was no ordinary lady. She had represented a growing area of Southwest Montana and the historic Gallatin Valley. Everyone who knew her knows that though she had always been petite in size, she lived large.
Born in Berkeley CA, August 25th, 1924, she had spent much time in Northern California with growing love and appreciation of the outdoors and all it has to offer- including fishing, hunting, and riding horses. She attended all-girls’ schools before going on to Stanford University. She specialized in internal medicine (dermatology and allergy focus) at Stanford. Marcia earned her BA degree in 1946; she practiced mainly in San Francisco. She first met Buck in 1949 in a little ski resort in the Sierra Mountains. She was an avid skier as well as a doctor, so when she saw the red cross flag pitched up on the pole at the base, she would ski down to assist. Buck, being an avid skier himself, had a bad shoulder. She married Buck in 1950, the same year she earned her MD in medicine, and practiced in San Francisco up until she and Buck decided to live their long-held dream and moved to Montana in 1960, having purchased the Climbing Arrow Ranch. Buck and Marcia were part of a group of the Gallatin Valley ski pioneers who expanded the early Bridger Bowl ski area.
Buck and Marcia made many friends and connections together through many world travels and ski trips, as well as through their love of the sport of tennis. Marcia also served as a cub scout den mother, 4H leader, advisory board member for Montana State University, Winter Fair board member, president of Bridger Bowl Ski Club, and president of the Montana Quarter Horse Association. She built the Bridger Canyon Stallion Station in 1980 and opened Bridger Feeds store in 1987. From 1985 to 1989, she served on the Federal Reserve Board of the 9th district Helena Branch and served as chairperson in her last year of her tenure. In 2005, she served a significant part in the establishment of the Heart of the Valley Animal Shelter at its current location on Cameron Bridge Road and the construction of Bozeman Public Library. She evidently valued Bozeman’s historical features and landmarks; therefore, she most recently contributed to the future repairs of the damage of Bogert Pavillion.
Marcia and Berrien Palmer “Buck” Anderson were married 62 years prior to Buck’s passing July 4th, 2012.
Marcia had officially retired to an assisted living center in Santa Barbara, CA, in 2011, while continuously socializing and laughing with old friends and family over the phone and in person. My last visit with her was Mother’s Day 2019, in her place of living in Santa Barbara. Prior to the visit, I had told her I would be there that weekend and would love to be able to see her; her response was reciprocated back just the same, but in her fashion, suggested we stay in and have burgers for dinner “instead of all that fancy stuff!” It was the only one-on-one visit I had the pleasure of having with her, and I will always be grateful for it.
I would like to remember my grandmother as the many positions and designations she had taken on in her lifetime as well as the formidable and individualistic distinctions to describe her personably. Nothing she ever did or gave was for attention, but her intentions were all for good causes in good places like the Gallatin Valley and the surrounding area she had her heart set in. Peacefully and painlessly, Marcia passed away the night of December 30th after health complications arose earlier in December. She is survived by her four children- Anita, Kathy, Page (Julie), and Frank (Meg); and her six grandchildren- Katie, Maria, Andrea, Jackson, Kristin, and Elizabeth Anderson of Bozeman.