By Naomi K. Bonman
Family members, extended family, friends, and community residents came together on Friday, May 29 to celebrate the life of Riverside community trailblazer, Dorella Anderson, better known as Dorie to most, or Mrs. And Sis. Anderson to others. The homegoing services were all that the late community leader would have wanted. The sanctuary of Park Avenue Baptist Church in Riverside was overflowing to capacity, filled with those that loved and cherished Dorella, Godmother Dorie (as I called her).
Mrs. Anderson, 79, served has a champion and advocate for families and youth on the Eastside of Riverside for the past 35 years at the Community Settlement House, just minutes away from Downtown Riverside. She played a pivotal role in assisting immigrants adapt and settle into life in the States by helping them obtain citizenship and addressing issues that assited them to remain in the country legally. Her work with families on the Eastside spans two generations.
“She led a life that supported the Eastside children for more than 50 years. She was talented, beautiful, athletic, and had a confidence that drew people towards her. The events at Lincoln Park and the Community Settlement Association continued the work of a prior generation of local families who truly made the area a community,” Dorella’s cousin, Craig Goodwin stated.
Anderson was the founder and lifetime member of the Riverside African American Historical Society and will be remembered for bringing “Toys for Tots” to Riverside, teaching crafts, dancing, and for her involvement in numerous community affairs.
As a personal extended family and church member of Anderson’s I will miss her gentle and sweet spirit and her willingness of speaking her mind to anyone and saying how she felt, and because she was not afraid to speak her mind and speak out you felt even more comfortable around her.
She will definitely be missed among Riverside and surrounding cities, but she lives on in our hearts forever until we all meet again.