Elizabeth "Pinney" Anderson Monteiro, 97, formerly of West Philadelphia, a retired educator, died Saturday, May 14, at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center in Bradenton, Fla. She had been living with her son, the Rev. Jesse Anderson Jr., and his wife in Sarasota, Fla.

Growing up in New York City, Mrs. Monteiro was nicknamed "Pinney" by her father, John Jackson, who said "she was no bigger than a pin." She and her mother, Frances, earned bachelor's degrees together in 1935 from Hunter College.

That year, she married Jesse F. Anderson. They met when he was a student at General Theological Seminary in New York.

In 1944, they moved to Philadelphia after he was appointed rector of the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas in West Philadelphia. After their three sons were born in the late 1940s, she went to work for the Philadelphia School District. She previously taught in public schools in Baltimore.

Mrs. Monteiro later told her family that although she was qualified to teach Latin, Greek, and other languages, African Americans were not hired for those positions, and she was assigned to an elementary school in Philadelphia.

While teaching, she earned a master's degree from Temple University and eventually became a district reading specialist. After school and in the evenings, she tutored students in Latin and math. She retired in the late 1970s.

For 31 years, she assisted her husband at his church, founded in 1794 by freed slaves.

She participated in women's groups and helped develop the church's tutorial project. When her husband died in 1975, she helped establish the Jesse F. Anderson Sr. Scholarship fund. She continued to be active at St. Thomas when her son was rector there from 1991 until 2001.

Mrs. Monteiro worked on political campaigns for another son, John C. Anderson. He successfully ran for City Council in 1979 and was running for reelection when he died in 1983. She continued to be involved in politics and attended Michael Nutter's inauguration as mayor in 2008.

She was married to John Monteiro for several years in the 1980s before they divorced.

Mrs. Monteiro enjoyed bridge and travel, and sailed on a cruise as recently as 2003.

In addition to her son, Mrs. Monteiro is survived by son Louis; eight grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandsons; and her former husband.

A Funeral Mass will be said at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 21, at the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas, 6361 Lancaster Ave., Philadelphia 19151. Friends may call from 9. Burial will be in Rolling Green Memorial Park, West Chester.

Donations may be made to the Jesse F. Anderson Sr. Scholarship Fund at the church.

Contact staff writer Sally A. Downey at 215-854-2913 or sdowney@phillynews.com.