Lydia Hodges Anderson, age one hundred, passed away on Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023 in Lake Charles, LA.
Lydia was born in Ragley, LA, on December 23rd, 1922 to parents F.A. and Beulah Hodges. She is preceded in death by husband Joe M. Anderson, her parents, one infant brother, one sister and two brothers. Lydia is survived by her children, Sondra G. “Sunny” Bendfeldt and her husband Juan, and son J. Russell Anderson and his wife, Paula. She is also survived by five grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, numerous nieces, nephews and extended family members.
After graduating from Ragley High School, Lydia went to work as a secretary at the Army Air Corp Training Base in Lake Charles during World War II. She often recounted the sobering memory of watching young men train with their squadrons. Young and full of life, they boarded planes headed for far off battle fields. The planes rose, circling the field, and those at the base were left with the knowledge not all these young men would make it back home. This image stayed vivid throughout her life.
In the post war years, Lydia was a secretary contracted to do work with PPG. This led her to meet Joe Anderson, her future husband. Within a few months, they were married, and Lydia became Joe’s “Lyda Mae” for seventy-four years. They reared their children in Lake Charles, spending many precious days at her parents’ farm in Ragley. Life and work took them to Pittsburg, PA for the last fourteen years of Joe’s career. They returned to Lake Charles to build their home, where they would live together for thirty-five years until forced to leave by Hurricane Laura’s catastrophic damage.
Lydia’s life was focused on her family and friends. She spent countless hours sewing costumes, first for “Sunny” and then her granddaughters. Lydia loved to entertain, cooking for friends and family, with her table and home beautifully decorated for every season and occasion. Christened “Nonnie” by her grandchildren, she loved to have them visit during summers and holidays, welcoming their friends for sleepovers and playdates. Her breakfast nook was always ready for coffee with friends. She was a collector of recipe books, and member of Pittsburg’s “Southern Ladies Club.” She attended Apostolic Temple Church for over 35 years. She and Joe enjoyed traveling together, especially to their condo in Gatlinburg, TN.
Joe and Lydia’s final travels together were from their home to Houston, Tx after Hurricane Laura. And then to Sage Oaks Assisted Care in Lake Charles, LA, where Joe passed away in 2022. During this time, Lydia’s children faithfully saw to her care and comfort. The family extends heartfelt thanks to the caregivers of Sage Oaks, Amedisys Home Health Care, and her special friends- Ms. Judy Conley, Ms. Brenda Ardoin, and Ricky and Kyle of Indulgence Salon.
Lydia’s story took one hundred years to unfold, and God’s timing is perfect. Visitation will be held at 10 am, Saturday, May 6th, followed by a memorial service at 11 am at Apostolic Temple, 2711 W. Prien Lake Rd, Lake Charles, LA 70605. Interment will follow at Magnolia Cemetery in Ragley, LA, under the direction of Johnson Funeral home.