Evelyn was born in Birmingham, Alabama, the eldest daughter of James Harwell Scott and Ollie Belle Rogers Scott. She was nine years older than her beloved sister, Ann, who passed away in 2013.
A lifelong professional musician and member of SAG-AFTRA, Evelyn’s career began at age 8 when she had her own weekly radio show and began regular performances at the historic Alabama Theater, joined later by her sister. She studied voice and organ at Judson College and then proceeded to New York City to study at Julliard. When America entered World War II, Evelyn began singing for USO shows where she met Joe, her husband of 66 years, who was then in basic training at Ft. Benning, GA. Joe & Evelyn maintained a correspondence throughout the war with Joe stationed in Alaska and Evelyn in NYC. Living history, Evelyn was in Times Square on V-J Day during the celebration of the end of the war. She and Joe were married later that year, and their only child, Ginger, was born in 1953.
Evelyn toured the country as the wife of a thoroughbred racehorse trainer, singing at countless concert halls, churches, and theatres across America. A Mozart coloratura, her favorite arias included “O zittre nicht” from Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, “Vissi d’Arte” from Puccini’s Tosca, and “Hymn to the Sun” from Rimsky-Korsakov’s Le Coq d’Or. The Andersons settled in Miami in the early 1960s and Evelyn began a long career as one of South Florida’s most in-demand sopranos. She was a soloist for the Greater Miami Choral Society, Florida Philharmonic, and “Evenings with Rogers & Hammerstein” at the Miami Marine Stadium. In 1966, she began a regular gig providing vocals for the June Taylor Dancers on The Jackie Gleason Show, with which she earned her AFTRA card. Evelyn’s voice was also in demand at local churches including Church by the Sea, St. Thomas Episcopal, St. Philip’s Episcopal, Miami Lakes Congregational, Miami Springs Methodist, and she spent 30 years as soprano section leader/soloist at both Miami Shores Presbyterian and Sunrise Presbyterian Church, the latter of which she called her church home. Her career as a singer was enhanced by her talents as a choir director, accompanist, music/voice teacher, and handbell director. Well into her 90s, she continued to sing and ring handbells in a choir, under the direction of her granddaughter, Maryann. Evelyn, Ginger, and Maryann formed The Three Generations, a soprano trio that sang at several local venues including mayoral inaugurations and Florida Marlins games.
Her “day job” (as she called it) was executive assistant for the Department of Anesthesiology at Mount Sinai Medical Center, where she worked for many years and supported some of the nation’s top doctors. Evelyn also had a passion for animals and kept several pets, as well as assisting her husband in their horse breeding and owning operation. She instilled in her family a love of all God’s creatures. Evelyn was also an avid world traveler (particularly to Europe), a lover of jewelry and crystal, and a diehard Disney fan. As a teenager, she was president of what was then the world’s largest Mickey Mouse Club, which was even visited by Mr. Disney himself. During her frequent visits to Disney World, she never hesitated to tell Mickey that she was his biggest fan (Donald Duck, too!) and made her last trip March 2021 to the Grand Floridian for her 96th birthday, thanks to her COVID vaccine.
Her faith and family were of the upmost importance to her. Her favorite saying was “service is the rent you pay for your space on Earth” and she served her Lord fervently with her glorious voice and as a children’s choir, handbell choir, and youth bell/chime choir director, as well as a private voice and piano teacher.
Evelyn was pre-deceased by her husband of 66 years, Joseph L. Anderson of Washington D.C., sister Mildred Ann Tatum of Birmingham, AL, and son-in-law Harvey J. “Buddy” Tatum of Miami, FL. She is survived by her daughter Mary Virginia “Ginger” Tatum, granddaughter Maryann Elizabeth Tobin and grandson-in-law Nathaniel David Tobin, great-granddaughters Genevieve Mary Tobin and Eleanor Jeanne Tobin of Miami, FL, brother-in-law James Robert Tatum, Sr. of Birmingham, AL, several cousins, nieces and nephews in Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas, and friends all over the country.
In lieu of flowers, Evelyn’s family asks that you consider a donation to Friends of South Florida Music https://friendsofsfm.org/ which provides early childhood music education to underserved communities in South Florida. (Click "Donate" and please note "For Evelyn Anderson" in the comments). Your gift will help continue Evelyn’s mission of bringing music to future generations.
A memorial service will be held in the future, once choral and congregational singing can be safely allowed.