Gwendolyn Gwen Ruth Orsinger Anderson

May 31, 1912June 11, 2013


Gwendolyn Anderson, world-renowned artist and enamelist, passed away peacefully on June 11, 2013. She will be fondly remembered for her immense generosity, love, and devotion to her family and friends. Gwen was born on May 31, 1912, in Riverside, Illinois, daughter of Lee Vincent Orsinger and Hazel Jeannette Fader Orsinger. She graduated from the University of Illinois and went on to teach English in Pekin, Illinois. She was proud to be a charter member of Chapter U (VA) of P.E.O., an organization dedicated to the education of women. Gwen married John Anderson, and together they raised their two children Warren Earl and Lynne Jeanette Anderson, in Mclean, Virginia. Gwen began her artistic career in watercolors, inspired and encouraged by her parents. Combining her loves of art and travel, she made several trips to Europe, roaming the countryside in a Volkswagen Beetle painting landscapes. Her artwork was exhibited at the Corcoran Gallery of Art and other galleries, both public and private. Gwen was a partner at The Artists’ Mart in Georgetown. In the early 1950’s, Gwen discovered enameling and embarked on a lifelong journey of learning, creating, exploring and teaching this art form. She was a self-taught artist, experimenting and developing new and creative enameling techniques. Throughout her lifetime, Gwen held numerous one-woman shows and garnered multiple awards. She readily shared her passion with others, and in 1956 became the first craftswoman to teach enameling in the Washington, D.C. Metro area. While pursuing her career as an enamelist, Gwen continued to teach both throughout the United States and in multiple foreign countries, including China where she was honored by an invitation to teach her specialty, the Grisaille technique. In 1973, Gwen organized the first enamelist guild in the United States, the National Enamelists Society. Gwen always met challenges with creativity and determination so it was no surprise she found herself as part of the team of artist volunteers and city personnel in 1974, opening the doors of the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria, VA. She was a founding member of the Enamelists Gallery located in the art center, and continued to work at the gallery over the next 30 years. Gwen never grew tired of exploring new horizons. She continued traveling the world, visiting over 100 countries, drawing inspiration from the people and cultures. Gwen combined education and travel through participation in the Elder hostel program. Always eager for new adventures, at age 80 she joined Global Volunteers and traveled over the next several years teaching English and building schools for children in Viet Nam, Turkey, Greece and other countries.

Gwen is survived by her son Warren Earl of West Virginia, son-in-law, Tom Watson of Springfield, VA, beloved grandchildren, John (Beth) Watson of Castro Valley, CA, Shannon (Robbie) Winston of Los Angeles, CA, and cherished great grandchildren, Ryan and Zachary Watson. She is also survived by her adoring God-daughters Nancy Raum and Vicki Novak, dear friends and caregivers Jorjanne (Jorjii) Gausman & Chris Taube as well as numerous loved family members, friends, students, and colleagues. Gwen is predeceased by her daughter, Lynne J. Watson (2010), husband, John G. Anderson (1978), and brother, Keith Orsinger, who was killed in World War II.

In lieu of flowers, if you wish to donate, please choose any charity close to your heart. Gwen donated to every charity she knew and she would be honored to know the tradition lived on. ********************************************************************************************************************************************

Please join us as we celebrate Gwen’s remarkable life. On Sunday June 30, 2013 at 3:00pm at St. Andrews Episcopal Church 6509 Sydenstricker Road Burke, VA Phone: (703) 455-2500 The church is near the corner of Old Keene Mill Road and Sydenstricker Road. website: *********************************************************************************************************************************************

Reception to follow at Villa Bella Italian Restaurant 6050 C-Burke Commons RD Burke, VA 22015 Phone: (703) 239-3580 ********************************************************************************************************************************************* Please RSVP to Demaine's Please call Demaine's for an other needed information.703-549-0074. Thank you.


  • St. Andrews Episcopal Church Sunday, June 30, 2013
  • Reception:VILLA BELLA Italian Restaurant ~ Please RSVP Demaine's 703-549-0074. Thank you. Sunday, June 30, 2013

Gwendolyn Gwen Ruth Orsinger Anderson

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Laurie Ross

April 5, 2014

Dearest Gwen, What to say to such a beautiful soul, you touched my life in many ways. You will always be remembered as the spunky daring artist, happy and fun loving woman. I am so glad that your last few years were spent with Jorjii, you couldn't have been in better hands. I always felt as if you were there with me, Jorjii had a way of bridging the distance. You will be missed dearly and thought of often. Sincerely with Love, Laurie Ross


June 28, 2013

Gwen always....always lit candles for everyone she loved! I light one for you Gwen ...... I am loving you every single minute of every single day...
always & forever. xoxoxo

Matthew Gausman

June 28, 2013


When I go, thou shalt not fear.
Look into a sunset, a snow-capped mountain peak,
From these sights gain strength in my absence.
Gaze into the sparkling eyes of a young boy.
From this innocent child, gain courage in my absence.
Behold the mighty roar of thunder and torrent of rain,
the contented sigh of the earth after the storm.
For these are nature's mysteries.

Hear the cascade of waves, the sounds of unseen creatures,
Feel the rhythms of your surroundings,
For this is our earth eternal.
As you revel in God's beauty, listen to the wind,
for this is the wind that I now ride.
Listen to the wind, Listen close and think of me...
It will be then you will know I have not died.
As you listen to the wind,
you will see that I have been freed.

BY: Matthew Arnold Gausman

Ute Conrad

June 26, 2013

Gwen - as a fellow Enamelist Gallery member and friend, she was generous and helpful to me. I admired her independence and energy. In her enamel work she was always experimenting, never standing still. A great lady!

Barbara Karison

June 24, 2013

Oh my, I loved Gwen way back from my days in Arlington and hers with John in nearby McLean, Va. .Special friends we were, and even now, always will be, starting through our PEO Sisterhood--and never letting go. What a mom! what an ARTIST! What a friend. Lynne, Warren, families, and Jorjii, You know the treasure you had in her. Never will any of us forget. My heart, HALLELUJAH, and so much love are with you now as always, Barbara Karison

June 23, 2013

Gwen was a rare and wonderful person. I enjoyed her as a friend, teacher, fellow enamelist, and fellow gallery member. She was always kind and generous to me. I'm so grateful that I knew her. Dorothea Stover (Arlington, VA)

Ray Parisi

June 22, 2013

Gwen was my friend, my enamel teacher,and coworker in the Enamelists Gallery.She taught me enamelling for years at Glen Echo Maryland.. I was one of her 1,0000 and 1 boyfriends because she was a world class flirt!. I watched her great love of life expressed in her work . I was moved when I got a call from Jorjii to oversee and help distribute her wealth of enamels and related items. Gwen apparently placed great trust in me,

Ursula McKinney

June 22, 2013

Gwen was my first enameling teacher and my good friend. I admired Gwen greatly. Her energy and enthusiasm, her generosity and belief in the abilities of her students made her the ideal teacher. Gwen, I will never forget you. I miss you! Ursula