Barbara Anderson Danly

Barbara Anderson Danly, 97, of Traverse City, Mich., passed away Jan. 6, 2024.

Barbara was born in Elmhurst to Virginia Wolfe Anderson and John Bernard Anderson. In the late 1930s, her family moved to Hinsdale, where she attended high school and met her future husband, John Richard Danly. After graduation she went to nursing school in Middletown, Conn., while John studied engineering at Yale University and served in the United States Navy during World War II.

The couple married in June of 1947 and settled in Hinsdale. Over the next decade they raised six children before moving their family to Weybridge, England, where John worked for Danly Machine Corp. in London and on the Continent. Between 1960 and 1964, Barbara and John traveled widely with their children - introducing them to English schools, the dramatic coast of Cornwall and skiing adventures in the Alps. A seventh child arrived before the family returned to Hinsdale in the summer of 1964.

While raising her children in Hinsdale, Barbara developed an interest in handcrafts when she volunteered at the Graue Mill in Oak Brook and later held workshops for hand-spinning yarn and weaving at her home on Washington Street. She also contributed to several Chicago-area nonprofit and social organizations, with commitments to Chicago Commons, The Fortnightly Club and King-Bruwaert House. Throughout the years, Barbara reveled in her role as a warm and supportive mother to many kids and high schoolers in the neighborhood, and, later, to young family friends relocating to the Chicago area.

When John retired in 1985, the couple moved to northern Michigan and renovated the family summer cottage into a small, year-round farm. They embarked on a joint project to raise llamas, both for the wool and for the opportunity to explore new horizons. Their llama adventures took them all across the upper Midwest to meet other breeders, on llama treks to the Rockies and to local schools and nursing homes to share their love of llamas with the local community. It was an unusual hobby that grew from their lifelong love of rural Michigan and delighted their grandchildren, who visited each summer.

When John was diagnosed with dementia in his 80s, they moved to in Topsham, Maine, to live near their daughter Susan. After John passed away in 2015, Barbara returned to Michigan to live at Cordia, the senior living facility in Traverse City, close to her sons, Bill and Peter. In her later years, Barbara remained passionate about her many interests, which included wooden jigsaw puzzles, an art collection that reflected her many travels, the Chicago Symphony, the Cubs and her unending search for the best vanilla ice cream (we think it was Moomers).

She was a woman of great spirit and infinite energy - devoted to family, friends and community.

Barbara was preceded in death by her husband of 68 years, John; her daughter, Carrie; her brothers, Bob and Roger; and her sister, Mary Ann.

She is survived by her daughters, Susan (Jim) and Martha (Calvin); her sons, John Jr. (partner Holly), Peter (Carol), Bill (Dea) and Patrick (Michelle); and her grandchildren, Abbie, Jack, Emma and Ally.

A memorial service will be held at Christ Episcopal Church in Charlevoix, Mich., in the summer of 2024.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made online to the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy at or the Lake Charlevoix Association at

Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home in Traverse City, Mich., handled the arrangements.