Frederica “Freddie” Anderson, legendary local ski instructor and longtime director of the Schenectady Ski School, passed away earlier this week. She was 101 years old.
Born in 1921, Anderson started skiing at age 3 with her parents on the gentle hills of the Mohawk Golf Club. As a 12 year old, she rode the first ski train from Schenectady to North Creek. After graduating from Smith College in 1942, she came back home and began teaching friends how to ski on “a bumpy little hill” at Schenectady Municipal Golf Course. Her mentor was legendary Schenectady skier Dot Hoyt Nebel.
Starting out as a volunteer instructor with the Schenectady Wintersports Club, Anderson became a certified ski instructor in 1946 and a member in what would become the Professional Ski Instructors of America in 1948.
In 1950, at age 29, she established the Schenectady Ski School, which would be her home for a teaching career that would carry her into her 90s. She did teach part time at Gore when the New York State area opened in 1964, but she is best known for her almost 50 years at Maple Ski Ridge in Rotterdam. Starting in 1966, when the area opened, her staff and program had as many as 2,200 students in a single season, from adults to some as young as four years old. By the time she left Maple Ridge in 2014, her students had included children, then their children, and in some instances, their children, too.
Anderson met GE engineer Henry Anderson and married her “ski buddy” in the 1940s. The couple settled in Niskayuna, where they raised three daughters, all skiers, Christina, who would become her partner in the ski school, Carla and Karen. Henry died in 2000.
Anderson continued to ski until age 95, and she lived independently in Niskayuna until 2019, when she moved to Kingsway Manor Assisted Living in Schenectady.
Andersons long career and teaching accomplishments were not unrecognized. She was awarded a lifetime honorary membership in PSIA, the national organization of ski instructors she helped organize in the 1960s, and in 2006, Ski Magazine named her one of “10 great instructors [in the country] to bring out your best.”
A memorial service for Anderson will be held in the spring “after the snow has melted,” according to daughter Christina.