Richard Albert “Dick” Anderson, 96, left this life on Friday, Sept. 21, 2012, at his residence, to meet his Lord and Master, Jesus, and to join his wife, Majel, parents, siblings and daughter, Nancy. Dick was a son, brother, husband, father, friend, advisor, Catholic, taxidermist, hard worker, Paratrooper, teacher, mentor, federal worker, joiner, organizer, Toastmaster, Knight of Columbus, member of the Blue Gavel, team member/leader, a tinkerer and jack-of-all-trades.
Dick was born to Otto C. and Mary E. (Wagener) Anderson on June 9, 1916 in a sod house on the prairie in South Dakota, now known as Lightcap, S.D. In 1934, the family moved to Hayden Lake, Idaho where he graduated from Coeur d’ Alene High School. Dick joined the Civilian Conservation Corps (3C’s). He married Marianne (Marion) Donart and they lived in Coquille, OR; they had two girls, Karen and Nancy but unfortunately there was a divorce.
He worked for the Southern Pacific Railroad as a Lumber and Railroad Ties Inspector. Dick joined the U.S. Army at Ft. Lewis, WA in 1943. Completed Basic Training and Paratrooper’s Jump School “Geronimo!” at Ft. Benning, GA and Advanced Training at Camp McCall, NC. In 1945, he departed on a Troop Ship, S.S. Johnson, with 5,000 troops for the Philippines. He was assigned to the 8th Army in the 11th Airborne Div. On to Japan and Okinawa in the belly of B-24’s for the signing of the Peace Treaty in 1945. He was an advisor on General MacArthur’s Peace/Security Team; took part in the initiation of Army Installations; mobile vehicles that sold hot lunches (Fast Food) to the Ryukians in Okinawa also. He worked in J-5 of the Army of Occupation of Japan Military Government & Army of Occupation of Okinawa. Discharged in 1946; employed in the Civil Service part of the above. Dick received a Degree from Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan. During this time met and married the love of his life, Majel Strough. They worked, played, served, & relaxed together 63-1/2 yrs. until her death Jan. 2011. Dick worked for Dept. of Army Personnel Evaluation in Okinawa; was a Personnel Officer in Umatilla, OR & San Francisco, CA and in Atlanta, GA, where he retired in 1974. Dick joined Toastmasters and eventually organized a Chapter of young people. He was awarded the President’s Distinguished Award and became District Governor of the State of Georgia 1973-75. When Majel retired, they moved to Punta Gorda in 1976. They joined the Sacred Heart Catholic Church congregation and he eventually became a Knight of Columbus Third Degree. Golfing and Boating and travelling encompassed their lives as well as Joining, Volunteering, and Working for the betterment of every organization he/they joined. He was a Charter Member of the Isles Yacht Club and became Commodore 1980-81, and President 1986; he has been the oldest living member of the International Order of the Blue Gavel at IYC; Charter member of Burnt Store Golf & Country Club 1985 (now Twin Isles CC), President 1986-87, all the while taking trips that covered 56 countries. Everywhere they were assigned, he and Majel either finished and landscaped a home they had built or modified one.
Left to remember him are daughter, Karen (Billy) McPike; grandson, Rickey (Sheri) McPike; granddaughter, Theresa (David) Wheeler; great-grandsons, Cody McPike and Kenneth Wheeler; great-granddaughters, Kristee (Glen) Desposito and Kayla McPike; great-great grandson, Maddux Desposito; nephews, nieces, and many longtime, good friends.
The family thanks the Nursing Staff and Aides, Dining Staff, Tami and Geri and Housekeeping personnel at Harbour Terrace of South Port Square for their gentle, loving care; the residents who liked, respected and shared their friendship with Dick; the Tidewell Hospice personnel who came and cared for him in his home; Constance Robison, Nancy McClary and the rest of the Rio Tibor Gang for their assistance and friendship after Hurricane Charley to this day; the men from Church, Twin Isles, and IYC who called or visited.
The family will receive friends from 4:00 till 6:00 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28, 2012, at the Kays-Ponger & Uselton Funeral Home, 635 E. Marion Ave., Punta Gorda, FL. Rosary will be recited at 5:30 p.m. The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012, at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Punta Gorda, FL, with a graveside service with military honors to follow at Royal Palm Memorial Gardens. Pallbearers will be; Robert Ashley, Richard Condon, George Eichman, Glenn Frazee, E. Scott Glover, Alan Grossman, Charles Martoglio and David Thomas. Piper - Larry Stewart. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Tidewell Hospice at www.tidewell.org or 5955 Rand Blvd., Sarasota, FL 34238; Sacred Heart Catholic Church Bldg. Fund, 211 W. Charlotte Ave., Punta Gorda, FL. Please visit www.kays-ponger.com to leave the family condolences and to sign the online guestbook.
Arrangements are by Kays-Ponger & Uselton Funeral Home and Cremation Services.