ANJIN MEBANE ENSHER, age 94, of Kennett Square, PA, died December 6, 2018 at Kendal at Longwood. She had resided at Kendal since 1997; formerly she was a resident of Westport, Connecticut.
She was born Anna Virginia Mebane on May 5, 1924 in New York, New York to parents Daniel Mebane and Daphne Hoffman Mebane, their second child. The young couple had moved to New York City to join an intellectual community of progressive thinkers who challenged the status quo. They had come to New York City from Bloomington, Indiana, where Mrs. Mebane’s father was a Greek scholar and Dean of Indiana University. Daniel Mebane became the treasurer of The New Republic magazine, and later publisher, as well as the publisher of Antiques magazine. Daphne Hoffman Mebane, Anjin’s mother, worked for 51 years doing art historical research at the Frick Art Reference Library in New York City.
Anjin and her older brother Alexander grew up in New York City, attending the Birch Wathen School. Upon graduation in 1941 she went to Swarthmore College on a scholarship but left after two years to take a war job in the Panama Canal Zone as a junior draftsman. She returned home while the war was still on and was hired to do drilling maps by an oil and gas company. After the bombing of Hiroshima, she was inspired to apply for a job with the Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists headed by Dr. Albert Einstein which group lobbied for civilian control of the Bomb. The Committee was formed in New York City where she served as secretary to the director of the office but the Committee moved to the University of Chicago, taking Anjin with them, and there she worked for Harold Urey, Leo Szilard and Harrison Brown. Her name appears in the archives of the Committee as she corresponded on behalf of the eminent scientists who were working to ensure that the bomb would never be used in war again. The committee suspended operations in 1949. Upon returning to New York City, she worked for ten years in fundraising for the public relations firm of Harold Oram where she continued to do work related to the cause of control of nuclear proliferation and for various progressive and Democratic political campaigns and causes.
In 1957 she married Robert Ensher, a young partner with the Skadden Arps law firm. He died in 1967 at age 40 and Anjin left the city and moved to their summer home in Westport, Connecticut. She worked with the Audubon Society, the Democratic Party and ultimately with the Community Council and Chamber of Commerce of Westport. She was the co-chair of the campaign of Joseph Duffey, prominent national anti-war activist, for U.S. Senate from Connecticut. She was very involved with the Westport Symphony, the Westport Garden Club and the Westport Unitarian Church.
She moved to Kendal of Longwood in 1997. She met Rudolf (“Rudi”) Steinberger of Kennett Square through local civic involvement in 2005 and they shared a special friendship until his death in March 2017.
Anjin was a voluminous reader and particularly appreciated poetry. Her favorite author was Ralph Waldo Emerson. She remained a critical thinker and engaged world citizen until late in her life.
Anjin is survived by nieces Dina (Sam) DiLisio of Lansdale, PA and Nanette Zakian of Newtown Square, PA and their families. She is also survived by her cousins Daniel Johnson Mebane and his daughter Racheal Johnson Jans of Portland, OR, Virginia Johnson Worley, Chris Nixon of Rehoboth, DE, Sally Murray Grishaw of Nokomis, FL, Letitia Grishaw of Falls Church, VA, Ben Murray of Laguna Woods, CA, and Leland Nance of Masonic Home, KY and their families.
A Celebration of Life service will be held at Kendal at Longwood on Saturday, April 27, 2019 at 2 p.m. The family has designated the Reserve Fund at Kendal of Longwood for memorial contributions as well as Doctors Without Borders, Anjin’s favorite charity in her later years.
Reserve Fund at Kendal of Longwood
Doctors Without Borders
Celebration of LifeApril 27, 2019 2 PM Kendal at Longwood
1109 East Baltimore Pike
Kennett Square, PA 19348
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