Molly Joy Anderson, age 45, of Portland, Maine, passed away on April 20, 2020 from complications associated with cancer. She was at home and surrounded by loved ones as she commenced her journey to God.
Molly was born on November 26, 1974, in Manchester, Connecticut to Suzanne Marie and David Paul Hogan. She attended Ellington Elementary School, Canton Elementary School, Canton Middle School and King Phillip Middle School before graduating from Hall High School in West Hartford, Connecticut in 1992. Molly attended the University of Maine in Orono, Maine, where she graduated in 1996 with a B.A. in Political Science. During college, Molly traveled throughout Maine canvassing for the Maine People’s Alliance working on social issues near and dear to her heart, and these experiences helped convince her that this beautiful state was where she wanted to call home permanently.
Following her graduation from college, Molly moved to Portland, Maine and began a career as a media buyer. It was during this time that Molly met her husband, Michael Anderson, and the two would marry in 2004. The couple settled in their beloved home in the Libbytown neighborhood of Portland, where they would raise their family.
Although Molly’s professional career began as a media buyer, her ambition and curiosity knew no bounds, and she ultimately co-founded and ran a successful media buying agency. In addition, Molly saw very early on Portland’s potential as a truly special place to live and work, and with that insight she acquired and successfully managed multiple residential properties in the city. Always eager to learn, Molly later decided to apply her experience as a small business owner to new endeavors and enrolled at the University of Southern Maine School of Business, where she received a Certificate of Accounting in 2019. The progression of Molly’s illness prevented her from establishing a new career in accounting, but she enjoyed the pursuit and relished the opportunity to broaden her intellectual horizons.
In addition to Molly’s many professional experiences, she was a dedicated volunteer who became a model of loving service to those around her. She taught faith formation to young children at her church, Sacred Heart Saint Dominic Parish in Portland. She also served as a fundraiser and volunteer for the church’s ongoing efforts to provide food, clothing, and general resources to vulnerable populations, particularly newly arrived asylum-seeking individuals. Molly was heavily involved in the local school system as well, serving at various times as Vice President, Treasurer and Community Building Director for the Ocean Avenue Elementary School PTO. Molly also volunteered in elementary school classrooms teaching computer programming, and was passionate about providing enhanced learning opportunities in math, science and technology for girls and underserved populations. Molly took on these volunteer efforts (and others too numerous to include here) enthusiastically, always armed with her delightfully unique sense of humor and wearing her infectious, dimpled smile. Never one for the spotlight, her quiet confidence, faith and dedication inspired all around her to build a deeper sense of community. Put simply, Molly made everyone who knew her want to be a better person.
Molly had a passion for running that began in high school. It was her special, alone time and was something she treasured until the end of her life. Running highlights included the New York Marathon, numerous half-marathons and 10Ks, and twice completing the Tri for a Cure, surrounded by her friends and fellow cancer survivors.
Despite all of Molly’s varied interests and professional pursuits, she was a mother first and foremost. Nothing was more important to her than her three children, and her love for them was truly boundless. Molly epitomized all the characteristics associated with motherhood – compassion, strength, and selflessness – and her children have grown up bathed in her love. They will each continue to carry a large piece of Molly with them for the rest of their lives, her gift to them and to the rest of the world.
Molly is survived by her loving husband of fifteen years, Michael Anderson, and their three children Samuel, Alice, and Julia, all of Portland, Maine, as well as her mother, Suzanne Greening of Portland, Maine, her father and stepmother, David Hogan and Eileen Swenson of Jupiter, Florida, and her two sisters, Jill King (Wesley) of San Diego, California and Kelly Browning (Jeremy) of Glastonbury, Connecticut. Molly is also survived by twenty-four loving nieces and nephews who are missing their “Aunt Molly” dearly.
A funeral mass and celebration of Molly’s life will be scheduled at a later date. Expressions of sympathy can be made in the form of donations to Action Against Hunger and the Center for Grieving Children.