Eric Anderson, 77, died of cancer at his home near Sparta on July 3, 2008.
Eric was born Dec. 1, 1930, at Holland, Mich., to Carter Henry Anderson and Mildred Melodie Bunnell. He grew up mostly at Mauston, Wis., moving to Mount Vernon, Iowa, where he graduated from high school. He maintained close friendships from his high school days all his life.
He joined the U.S. Marines during the Korean conflict, later attending the University of Iowa at Ames. He later worked for Boeing Co., where he met his wife, Barbara K. Webb.
While with Boeing Co., they worked at New Orleans, Seattle, Wash., and Alamagordo, N.M. Not wishing to transfer to Florida, they returned to college to acquire their teaching certificates.
This led them to Alaska where Eric was a teacher at Hooper Bay, Chevak, and Marshall, Eskimo villages in the Alaskan Bush. Eric also served as principal at Marshall for a period of time.
During the summer, Eric worked as a commercial fisherman, fishing the Lower Yukon for salmon. He enjoyed the many friends he made during his 19 years on the Lower Yukon, especially the students.
Eric loved to fly and acquired his pilot’s license and the first of two airplanes during this time. He flew from Oregon to Alaska twice, and to many of the villages around Marshall.
He and Barbara retired to Anchorage, Alaska, in 1990, where they lived for 10 years. Eric, growing tired of the long winter dark, traveled to Oregon and vacationed in Eastern Oregon, chancing on the small town of Richland.
It was love at first sight – Eagle Valley and its people.
“It’s just like the town I grew up in,” Eric said.
The family moved from Anchorage to Richland in April of 1999. They later found a place above Sparta that suited Barbara’s yen for a wilderness place in the trees.
Eric’s love for Richland and his “coffee crowd” friends had him doing a daily commute to enjoy them.
Eric had an interest and curiosity about nearly everything, his family said. He loved “solving the world’s problems, flying, guns and his many adventures while in Alaska. He enjoyed listening to the rich adventures of his many friends.
Survivors include his wife, Barbara, of 45 years; and his sister, Virginia King of Ashland.
He wishes no memorial and no donations in this time of economic hardship. He just wants people to get on with their lives and enjoy them as much as he enjoyed his, his family said.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, July 8, 2008
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor