In Memory of Mary “Midge” Avery Anderson

03.21.2023 By CC4G
In Memory of Mary “Midge” Avery Anderson
Last Portage

Mary “Midge” Avery Anderson

June 17, 1945 – January 27, 2023


In our banquet books from 1957 through 1967, Mary Madge Avery was listed as the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Avery. Her mother, Isabel “Tinker” Forbes Avery was listed as a counselor for a few of those years too. Mary Madge was soon to be known as Midge who loved all the activities at Clearwater and continued her family tradition that now spans four generations of campers and staff.

Midge, cabin counselor of Dory

Midge married Dan Anderson in 1967, and together, they worked with Wendy Miller Davis and her husband, Scott to begin Family Camp in 1977.

Dan and Midge at Family Camp

Midge, Christy, Thomas, and Kat at Family Camp

Their daughter, Christy became a camper and counselor the following year through the 1980s followed by their granddaughter, Kat who was a camper in the 2000’s. In 2018, Dan and Midge were the generous benefactors that established Clearwater’s endowment fund to “create and share happiness for generations to come.”

Midge passed away peacefully on January 27, 2023, in Glen Ellyn, Illinois at the age of 77. Midge secured her BA degree in English from Northwestern University and most of her master’s degree in social work from the University of Michigan. As a lifelong resident, she volunteered her time in several Glyn Ellyn organizations. In particular, she was very active in the Glen Ellyn Historical Society where she authored several articles on the history of Glen Ellyn. In addition, she was an artist and a member of the DuPage Art League. Midge loved to travel with Dan, her husband of 55 years before her struggles with Alzheimer’s disease kept her from traveling.

Along with her family, Midge developed a loyal connection to Clearwater attending family camp, reunions, and other events. They continued to visit and support camp at every opportunity. As a Clearwater daughter and through her many other projects and interests, Midge collected many friends who were deeply appreciative of her kindness, knowledge, and wit. In her memory, we honor her last portage and will miss her so.

Midge is survived by her husband, Dan; children Winthrop Anderson and Christy Anderson Stott (Bradley); her two grandchildren, Katherine Stott and Thomas Stott; and her sister-in-law, Judith Winchell.

Midge’s Celebration of Life will be Saturday, April 8 from 3 to 5pm at the Glen Ellyn Historical Society, 800 N. Main St in Glen Ellyn. All are welcome.

Midge’s full obituary can be found at:


Remembering Midge, a note from Midge’s camp friend, Debby Gray

January 27 brought the sad news from Dan Anderson that his wife, Midge Avery Anderson, had died. Midge and Dan and their daughter Christy and granddaughter Katie and her mother Tinker are all part of the Clearwater story.

Midge’s first camp summer was in 1957. She was a Cape camper, and her mother Tinker was Head of Cape. I was on the Point but that didn’t mean that I didn’t get to know Midge. For just a small, slight girl (just a Midge!) she had an irrepressible personality. She was friendly and curious and had a humorous take on almost everything.

The next summer we were both on the Point. Two of Midge’s cabin mates were Connie White and Francie Green. Francie, Connie, and I thought it was funny that we all had “colorful” last names. One of the two painted a flag with a stripe of green a stripe of white and a stripe of gray. We three marched around with our flag calling out, “Gray, Green, White!” as we marched around. Midge was our friend and didn’t want to be left out as we marched, giving our “Gray, Green and White!” call Midge marched adding “Avery” to our call. “Yes, you are our friend, but Avery is not a  color,” we said.

Shortly after that, Midge presents us with a new flag. Now there were four stripes. The last stripe was a little muddy, the color you get if you mix gray, green, and white together. That color Midge informed us was the color “Avery”…Yes irrepressible and solving her inclusion problem with humor!

After our active camp years, I kept in touch with Midge when I would visit Chicago, I would sometimes go out to Glen Ellyn to visit with Midge as she wrangled two toddlers, Christy and Win, and enjoyed her humorous comments on their antics.

I enjoyed Family Camp as part of the Anderson family which now included Midge and Dan’s Granddaughter, Katie.

Later still Midge received a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and she faced this with her unique style of humor and bravery. She and Dan traveled and continued to come to Clearwater reunions. Midge just asked that her friends sit with her at meals because they would understand if she asked them the same question twice.

And through it all, Dan was her mainstay, keeping in touch with friends and giving reports about Midge.

Also, through it all, their daughter Christy confirmed that Midge’s humor did not wane.

Thank you, Midge, for the abundance of memories you provided.


Those Who Have Taken Their Last Portage: Clearwater Camp works to remember and honor those alumnae who have passed away. We learn about alumnae through the Clearwater network of family and friends, who may let us know or make gifts in their memories. For these tributes, we use materials including their published obituaries and other remembrances from family and friends. Please contact Clearwater if there is an alumna you would like remembered by the camp community.

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