It is with deep sadness that the family of Anita Andrés Sleeman announces her peaceful passing on the morning of October 18, 2011, at her home in North Vancouver.
The uniquely creative Anita was born December 12, 1930, in San Jose, CA, to Alejandro Andrés from Salamanca Spain and Anita Dolgoff from Stavropol, Russia. Her exceptional musical abilities were evident as early as age three and by the age of eight she began composing. While attending Placer College as a music student in 1948, Anita met her future husband, Evan Sleeman. They married in 1951 and purchased a ranch in Nevada with Evan’s parents, Louis and Alice. Together they had six children and lived in Nevada until they immigrated to Canada in 1963, where they lived on a remote Chilcotin ranch. In 1967, they relocated to the Vancouver area.
Anita resumed her studies at UBC earning a bachelor’s degree in music in 1971, followed by a master’s degree three years later. She was co-founder of the Delta Youth Orchestra and helped establish the music program at Capilano College in North Vancouver as a member of its music faculty. In 1982, she returned to California to complete her doctorate at the University of Southern California (USC) while also attending the famous Dick Grove School of Jazz. At USC she was a member of Pi Kappa Lambda National Honor Society for Music Students.
For 17 years Anita acted as musical director and conductor of West Vancouver’s Ambleside Orchestra, until her retirement in 2010. Her compositions have been premiered in London, England, and Fiuggi, Italy, as well as in Ottawa, Winsor and Vancouver; commissions include CBC Radio, Vancouver Community College, the Delta Youth Orchestra, the Galiano Trio, and others.
Anita was also a pilot, avid knitter and seamstress, builder of dollhouses, and gracious host. She had an offbeat sense of humour and loved to write satirical limericks. She was the mentor and friend of many. Anita is survived by her husband, their children, Julie Andres, Kathy Kyler, Grant, Kevin, Cindy and Bryan Sleeman, and their families.