Anson, Sally Ankeny died peacefully Thursday, April 30th at age 89.

Sally was born January 1, 1931 in Minneapolis, Minnesota to Dewalt Hosmer and Marie Hamm Ankeny. She attended Northrop Collegiate School, The Ethel Walker School and then Bryn Mawr College, graduating in 1952 with a major in Political Science with honors.

Following college, Sally spent several wonderful years working in New York City, living with Minnesota friends. It was there she met Peter Waller Anson, who hailed from St. Paul. They married July 21, 1955.

After six years in NYC and New Jersey, Sally and Peter returned "home" in 1961 with children Cathy, Michael and David in tow. Leslie followed soon thereafter.

Sally described her herself as "singularly blessed" by her parents, siblings, children and her marriage to Peter, which she saw as a firm base from which to pursue her own interests and a door to life-enriching experiences she might not have undertaken on her own but which greatly enhanced her life.

Sally was an extraordinary, supportive, open-minded mother who encouraged her children to pursue their dreams. She and a cadre of neighborhood mothers created a warm and vibrant community for each other and their children, whose great luck it was to grow up under their caring watch.

Minneapolis, with its lakes, parks and people formed the core of Sally's lifelong engagement. She was active in local politics and civic issues. She helped organize opposition to high rises in Lowry Hill and around Lake Calhoun. She organized a celebration of the opening of the Lowry Hill Tunnel in 1971. She was generous in sharing her talents and was a formidable but admired and respected opponent. The friendships she developed through her community involvement endured until her death with regular meetings of social and political groups.

Sally also played leadership roles in a number of nonprofits dedicated to issues beyond the local community. Through various organizations, she defended the right of women to create and control their destiny. She was a trustee of Bryn Mawr College and a board member of both Population Communication International and Planned Parenthood of Minnesota. She also served on the boards of the Communication Center, the Hamm Clinic and The Minnesota Council on Foundations, among others.

Above all, Sally was a beloved friend, an admired partner in philanthropy, projects and local politics. She was smart, organized, notoriously unassuming, down to earth and approachable. She possessed a strong sense of fairness, tolerance and responsibility to others. She was positive, fun, patient and kind and possessed an understated, unfussy elegance.

Sally is predeceased by Peter, her husband of 64 years, by her parents and her sister Kendall A. Mix.

She is survived by her children Catherine (Peter Vaughan), Michael (Nancy), David (Nancy) and Leslie von Wangenheim (Detlev), 9 wonderful grandchildren (Elliot, Angus, and Carl Vaughan, Paul and Nora Anson, Colin (Leigh) and Trevor Anson, Theresa and Constantin von Wangenheim) and one great-granddaughter (Molly Anson). She is survived also by her brothers Pete (Dewalt H.) Ankeny and Michael Ankeny.

Our heartfelt thanks to her friends and the staff at Jones-Harrison Residence.

Memorials preferred to:

Planned Parenthood North Central States 612-821-6190 or email:

Communication Center/ State Services for the Blind 651-539-2274 or email:

Jones-Harrison Residence 612-920-2030 or

Published on May 10, 2020