Faces of Atherton

Mary Margaret “Moo” Ransford Anderson, born on November 1, 1926 in Boston, MA., died peacefully at her Atherton home on October 22, 2019, surrounded by her loved ones. The family has planned a private memorial Mass in her honor.

Originally an East Coast gal, Moo (then nicknamed “Murma”) attended D’Youville College in Buffalo, NY and met her future husband Harry W. “Hunk” Anderson at the Seneca Yacht Club in the summer of 1948.

The couple was married on July 1, 1950, in Geneva, NY, and spent the early years of their marriage growing Hunk’s business, Saga Corporation. In the late 50s, they lived happily in Oberlin, OH, where their first and only daughter Mary Patricia “Putter” was born.

In 1964, the Anderson’s moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, where Moo embraced her love of philanthropy and golf (she had three hole-in-ones!). She liked to say she was a professional volunteer, becoming a champion of Sacred Heart Schools, St Francis Center, and Stanford Hospital for many years. Later in life, she enjoyed teaching kids through Art in Action in Menlo Park.

Moo was also an entrepreneur and part owner of 3EP LTD, an art publishing workshop in Palo Alto, with Paula Kirkeby and Joseph Goldyne. 3EP was a place where many artists gathered to produce graphic works with Moo’s help.

Moo’s passion for art started in galleries, artist studios and at home, where she would “talk” to the works and listen as they “talked” back to her. She was an equal partner in building one of the most important modern and contemporary art collections in the U.S. Like Hunk, Moo always believed art was meant to be shared, and they had the generosity and conviction to give a significant portion of their collection away. These gifts included a group of pop artworks and Frank Stella paintings to SF MOMA and 655 prints to the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

In 2011, Moo and “Hunk”and their daughter, “Putter,”  pledged the core of the family’s 20th-century American art collection to Stanford University. The original collection of 121 works by 86 artists, housed in an award-winning building designed by Ennead Architects, opened to the public in 2014 as the Anderson Collection at Stanford University.

The collection is anchored in New York School and Bay Area Figuration and incorporates key modern and contemporary artists. Major movements represented include Abstract Expressionism, Color Field Painting, Post-Minimalism, California Funk Art, and Light and Space. Artists represented include Helen Frankenthaler, Franz Kline, Morris Louis, Agnes Martin, Joan Mitchell, Robert Motherwell, David Park, Mark Rothko, Frank Stella and Wayne Thiebaud. Key individual works include Jackson Pollock’s Lucifer, Willem de Kooning’s Woman Standing – Pink, Richard Diebenkorn’s Ocean Park #60, Sam Francis’ Red in Red, Philip Guston’s The Coat II, Ellsworth Kelly’s Black Ripe and Clyfford Still’s 1957-J No. 1.

For Moo, nothing compared to seeing artwork in person. “It’s good to study art in books but something happens in the presence of the original – it affects the brain, taste, feelings and more,” she commented at the opening of the Anderson Collection. When asked if she would miss having the art in her home, she replied, “I think in order to enjoy art, you have to share it.”

Amid all her accomplishments, Moo’s roles as a mother and grandmother were her favorite. She went to every one of Putter’s swim meets and horse shows and even helped her with her art business, teaching Putter how to identify and promote great, young artists. Moo was also the best grandmother to Devin Pence, taking train trips across the country, teaching her how to drive the ’79 bug in Glenbrook, and sharing her love of golf in Borrego Springs.

The family remembers Moo as an incredibly strong woman, one who voiced her opinions, ensured she had equality in her marriage, and earned the respect and admiration of people from all walks of life. She was savvy, thoughtful, curious, and energetic, bringing 150% to everything she did.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Moo’s honor to St Francis Center. Checks can  be mailed to 151 Buckingham Avenue, Redwood City, California 94063.

{ Be the first to comment }

7th annual Michele Swim held this past weekend in memory of Michele Daschbach Fast

This past Sunday nearly $6000 was raised for the Seal Beach Animal Care Center at the 7th Michele Swim. The annual swim is organized by Rooney Daschbach in memory of his sister, Michele Daschbach Fast who died on October 12, 2011, in a shooting at a Seal Beach hair salon. The Swim was held at […]

Click to read more →

Retired SLAC physicist Gregory Loew writes a book about The Human Condition

We arrived at Gregory Loew’s home in Atherton to talk about his new book, The Human Condition: Reality, Science and History, but our conversation was initially derailed by the news that Steph Curry had purchased a home a couple of houses away for $31 million. “It’s crazy because I paid $67,000,” Gregory chuckled, admitting that was a […]

Click to read more →

Michele Daschbach Fast’s 7th annual memorial swim & paddle scheduled for Oct. 13

In October 2011, Michele Daschbach Fast, who grew up in Atherton, was one of the victims of a shooting that took place in a Seal Beach, CA, beauty salon. Here is the link to the post that signaled the start of what would become an annual memorial swim and paddle. This year’s memorial swim and […]

Click to read more →

Bill Peterson makes Zinfandel wine from his home-based operation

Bill Peterson, who’s lived in the same house in Atherton for 60 years, is a celebrity of sorts. It has nothing to do with his 30 years of service with the Menlo Park Fire Protection District. Instead, it has to do with the day he broke the law. “I’d had trouble finding a red wine […]

Click to read more →

Longtime Filoli volunteer Suzanne Legallet champions expanded internship program

Suzanne Legallet, a longtime volunteer at Filoli Historic House and Garden, is serving as honorary host of its annual gala and auction taking place on Friday, September 13. While the gala raises funds for all programs, projects and events, the proceeds from this year’s Fund-a-Need will benefit the nonprofit’s internship program — which Suzanne has […]

Click to read more →

Atherton teen meets high fashion to fight arthritis

If you’re looking for high school sophomore Noah Van Horne, you might look on a basketball court, in front of a chess board, or playing with his family’s dog – probably not at an exclusive fashion show for the San Francisco’s glittering high society. But that is just where Noah will be on Friday, May […]

Click to read more →

Atherton’s Andrew Daschbach receives accolades for break out performances on the baseball field

Thanks to stellar performances over a week’s span Stanford first baseman Andrew Daschbach was the recipient of numerous accolades, including Pac-12 Player of the Week. He also was given performance of the week awards from PBR Tournaments and the Golden Spikes. Daschbach, who grew up in  Atherton and attended Sacred Heart Prep, went 4-for-4 with […]

Click to read more →

Tod Spieker inducted into the Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame for his swimming accomplishments

Atherton resident Tod Spieker was one of six inducted into the Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame last night at a ceremony at the the San Mateo County History Museum. An outstanding swimmer at Menlo-Atherton High School and UCLA, and later in masters’ age-group competition, Tod has had a major impact philanthropically on aquatics locally and […]

Click to read more →

Gamble Garden Spring Tour 2019 invites visitors to “Enter the Garden”

That Joan Sanders is President of the Board of Directors of the Elizabeth F. Gamble Garden in Palo Alto should surprise no one who knows her — particularly those who have admired the garden at her Atherton home. She fancies herself a kind of garden whisperer, or more accurately, a person who believes gardens should […]

Click to read more →

“Atherton Treasure” Louis Matas passes away at 105

We received word that 105-year old “Atherton Treasure” Louis Matas, passed away at his home in Atherton on April 3. Wrote his neighbor and good friend Doug Anderson: “His friendly attitude and smile will always be remembered by all who knew him.” As has been the tradition, Lou celebrated turning 105 in January at Harry’s […]

Click to read more →