Where Food, Drinks & Stories Are Shared

Allamay Anderson

July 18, 1933 - November 6, 2023
Kalamazoo, MI


Celebration of Life Service

Saturday, January 6, 2024
1:00 PM EST
Live Stream
Voyage Church
6339 Atlantic Ave.
Kalamazoo, MI 49009

Visitation will begin at 12:30 PM.

For out of town guests, a bereavement rate is available at The Hampton Inn and Suites located at 5059 S. 9th Street, Kalamazoo.

Web Site


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
Driving Directions
Web Site

Taylor's Florist and Gifts
215 E. Michigan Ave.
Paw Paw, MI 49079
(269) 657-6256
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


When reflecting on the life of Allamay Anderson, it is easy to see both her unwavering strength and unconditional love for her family. She was a shining example of kindness and generosity in ways both great and small. Nothing brought Allamay greater joy than spending time with her loved ones, even in the simplest of moments. Her faith formed the unshakeable foundation of her life, and she faced challenges head-on with a spirit of determination. Deeply loved, Allamay will be forever missed by those who knew her best.

Life during the 1930s was anything but easy as the entire decade was cloaked in the hardship of the Great Depression. Though times were challenging to be sure, cities, communities, and families came together to weather the storm however they could. In New York City, the newly built Empire State Building was enjoying its stature as the world’s tallest skyscraper. The streets below were bustling with automobiles and trollies, while horse drawn carriages continued delivering daily goods like ice or milk. It was during this eventful time that Allamay Anderson was born on July 18, 1933.

Growing up, Allamay was a typical young girl of her generation in many ways. She was raised alongside her three brothers, Samuel, Oswell, and Daniel. Allamay’s father worked in construction and real estate, and her mother was a domestic worker. Both worked hard to provide for their family. After the loss of Allamay’s mother, her father remarried, and Allamay’s stepmother was an excellent cook and taught Allamay how to prepare Caribbean cuisine. Allamay’s early years were spent living in Anguilla in the British West Indies before returning to New York City.

Throughout her childhood, Allamay attended local public schools in New York City. She had a natural talent for singing and nurtured a growing interest in fashion. Allamay was a skilled seamstress, and she enjoyed making her own clothing as a teenager and young adult. Following high school, she went on to pursue higher education and attended Queensborough Community College, where she earned her associate’s degree in 1975. Allamay also earned her bachelor’s degree from Queens College in 1979 and her master’s degree from Fordham University in 1983. She knew her parents worked hard to come to the United States, and she was determined to seize the opportunities ahead of her and achieve the “American Dream.”

New and exciting changes were on the horizon for Allamay as she met Edgar Anderson, the man who would soon become her husband. The two first met at a social event for the Penn relays in Philadelphia in 1955, and they were there to support their friends competing in the race. There was an instant spark between them, and they soon discovered a mutual love for jazz. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together they were married in 1957 in the presence of friends and family.

All who knew Allamay can surely agree that, of all the things she loved in life, she treasured her family above all else. Together she and her husband were overjoyed to welcome their son, David, into their hearts and home. Though Allamay’s marriage would come to an end soon after, she was always grateful for the time and child they shared together.

In everything she did, she was devoted to raising her son and loved immersing David in the wonders of New York City. They enjoyed seeing movies and Broadway shows, and they visited the World’s Fair in Montreal. Allamay brought David to the Caribbean to show him the beauty of his heritage. She instilled in him the importance of kindness and charity. Allamay always considered herself blessed to share her life with her loved ones.

Allamay was never afraid to work hard when it came to providing for herself and her family. Over the years she worked in various industries, including retail, healthcare, food service, fundraising, and community organizing, but her true passion was found in education. Allamay always believed in searching for the “why” of any situation or event. She recognized that second only to her Christian journey, education defined that search for truth. Allamay also poured her heart and soul into her community both during and after her career.

Never one to sit still for long, Allamay pursued many hobbies to stay busy in her free time. Thanksgiving was her favorite holiday, and she enjoyed cooking for her family. Allamay loved traveling the world and visited several countries throughout her retirement, including South Africa, Israel, Egypt, Greece, England, and Hong Kong. She liked to enter her accomplishments into “Who’s Who in America.” Allamay had a lifelong love for fashion, and she enjoyed staying active in her community through her church and various community organizations. She was an avid reader of the New York Times, especially on Sundays after Church. Allamay’s favorite book was the Bible, and she remained involved in Bible Study Fellowship and other church activities and small groups. She loved Christmas hymns such as “Silent Night” and “O Come All Ye Faithful,” and enjoyed listening to these songs and more throughout each holiday season.

She was known for saying, “The world does not revolve around you,” when a firm yet lighthearted response was needed. As a dietitian and nutritionist, Allamay was usually mindful of what she ate, but she had a voracious appetite and a diverse palate. She loved exploring the world through food.

As her family and friends can certainly attest, Allamay Anderson truly understood the secret to a life well lived. She was a constant source of strength, even in the most difficult of times, and she always had an encouraging word to say. Allamay firmly believed that knowledge and love were the keys to lifelong success and happiness. Her contagious smile brought light to every room she walked into. Though she will be deeply missed, Allamay leaves behind a priceless legacy that her loved ones will be proud to carry on in her footsteps.

Please join us for a Celebration of Life Service on Saturday, January 6, at 1:00 PM (visitation starting at 12:30 PM) at Voyage Church, 6339 Atlantic Ave, Kalamazoo, Michigan. A luncheon reflecting Allamay’s love of Jazz and food will follow in the church hall. For those who cannot attend in person, Allamay’s Celebration of Life Service will be streamed live at https://voyagechurch-mi.subspla.sh/gmdyyqs. For out-of-town guests a bereavement rate is available at The Hampton Inn and Suites located at 5059 S. 9th Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49009 (269) 372-1010.

Visit Allamay’s webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories, photos, and sign her guestbook. Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900.