Deeside woman Heather was honorary Texan

Heather Anderson lived in Banchory for more than 70 years
Heather Anderson lived in Banchory for more than 70 years

A Deeside woman who was made an honorary citizen of Texas by President George W Bush has died at the age of 85.

Miss Heather M Anderson, of Deeview Road, was a Banchory resident for more than 70 years before being moving into a care home in Aberdeen last November.

She had a 43-year career in local government working for Aberdeen County Council and Grampian Regional Council.

When Grampian Region was officially twinned with the City of Houston in 1979 Heather was appointed secretary of the Grampian-Houston Association, established to foster links with America’s energy capital.

On her retirement after 19 years in the post she was awarded honorary citizenship of Texas by the then Governor George W Bush in recognition of her significant contribution to the Sister City relationship.

Born in Cardiff, she moved north when her father took over a newsagent’s business in Banchory.

She was educated at Banchory Academy and Webster’s College in Aberdeen before working at Aberdeen County Council’s headquarters in Union Terrace. She went on to become secretary to the depute county clerk.

On local government reorganisation in 1975, she joined Grampian Regional Council as secretary to the director of law and administration, later becoming personal assistant to the regional convener.I

In this capacity she worked for the first four conveners - Councillors Sandy Mutch, John Sorrie, Geoffrey Hadley and Robert Middleton.

Councillor Mutch was responsible for securing the twinning relationship with Houston and Heather was his choice as organiser of the Grampian-Houston Association, a post in which she made many friends on both sides of the Atlantic.

Heather was an elder at Banchory Ternan West Church and outside work her interests included ballroom dancing, at which she gained bronze, silver and gold medals, travel and gardening.

Her retirement years were dogged by a series of health problems but she retained her cheerful disposition and continued to life independently until a few months ago. She is survived by her elder sister Maureen in Edinburgh and two nephews.