Obituaries » William D. Anderson

William D. Anderson

January 1, 1931 - May 18, 2019

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William Dewaine Anderson, 88, of Rutland, Vermont, died on May 18, 2019, at Wayne Memorial Hospital in Honesdale, Pennsylvania. He was 88. Anderson was born Jan. 1,1931, in Wakefield, Nebraska, a town of 1,000, to Robert E. Anderson and Alma Hagglund. His father owned a farm and was a bank officer — a prominent position in the small town. His mother was a gifted singer and pianist. In Wakefield, Anderson was a standout high school athlete in football, baseball, basketball and track, plus his senior class valedictorian. He still holds the Nebraska record in Class C 11-man football for best pass completion record for a season, in 1947 — .782 (61 for 78). Anderson went on to attend Northwestern University, majoring in psychology. He also studied there with the same voice coach as his mother — who had been “sponsored” by a family of means to attend the university. He served in the Army of Occupation as a military policeman (MP) in Germany, and then at headquarters in France, where he translated articles and handled official correspondence and newsletters. Back in the States, he attended law school at the University of Nebraska for two years, before transferring to New York University School of Law, earning his law degree. Living in Greenwich Village at the time, he met June Anderson, a New York City native and textile stylist, at a party. The two soon wed, settling on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. They had a son, Lincoln, followed by a daughter, Odile. Bill Anderson worked in corporate law, for Cravath Swaine & Moore; then Hall, Casey, Dickler & Howley; and Western Union. In the mid-1980s, he moved to Rutland to attend the therapeutic program at Spring Lake Ranch, going on to live in Rutland, where he would remain the rest of his life. Anderson enjoyed his life in Rutland. He volunteered as a teacher’s aide at the local high school — earning the nickname “Mr. Webster,” for looking up words in the dictionary whenever students had a question about a definition. He also volunteered with the district attorney’s office. He particularly enjoyed participating in musicals (“Little Shop of Horrors,” Noel Coward) with local theater troupes, in which he could display his singing ability. He enjoyed all the area’s cultural offerings. Showing some dramatic flair, when he lived in New York, Anderson would walk the family’s Dalmatian, Sparky — whom he loved — while wearing a matching black-and-white cowhide Western jacket. He liked hitting the links at the mountainous Rutland Country Club golf course — and did not take it personally when he was hit in the eye by a golf ball once. He loved sitting in his recliner and reading, especially nonfiction books and newspapers, including The New York Times, New York Post and Rutland Herald, the latter to which he wrote more than a few letters. He also enjoyed reading The Villager, a Manhattan newspaper edited by his son, Lincoln. Bill Anderson was active in the Rutland Free Library and sang at several of the churches in town. Not particularly religious, he said he went to church, “for the coffee, donuts and conversation.”  About two months ago, his wife of 56 years, June, who had been suffering from dementia, had a serious fall. Her family moved her to Honesdale, to be near her daughter, Odile Oddo, a nurse anesthetist. Anderson’s health began to fail right about the same time. After years of resisting, he soon relented to moving to Honesdale and leaving Rutland, where he had hoped to live out his days. Survivors include his wife, June Anderson; children Lincoln Anderson and Odile Oddo; granddaughter, Ashley; and nephew, Bradley Anderson. Burial will be in Honesdale. A memorial service will be held in New York City at a later date. The family would like to thank Barbara Hamel, of Rutland’s Thrifty Shuttle Service, for helping Bill and June so much over the years — particularly after Bill was no longer able to drive — and for being a good friend.

Arrangements by Hessling Funeral Home, Inc., 428 Main St. Honesdale,PA.