In Memoriam Ron Anderson

Ron AndersonIt is with great sadness that we announce the recent passing of our long-time Board Member and Treasurer, Ron Anderson. Ron served on the Waluga Neighborhood Association Board for many years and was always a source of sage advice and level-headed thinking.

Ron was always ready to jump in and volunteer to pull ivy anywhere at a moments notice. He helped with picnic and meeting tasks and he served as Treasurer for many years, taking good care of our neighborhood funds. He also took great interest in community affairs. He regularly attended the Lake Grove Village Center Advisory meetings, trying to keep abreast of plans that would impact Waluga Neighborhood. His faithful attendance at monthly LO Neighborhood Action Coalition meetings left many LONAC members saddened by his loss.   

The Board has decided to honor Ron’s years of service with a plaque somewhere in our neighborhood. Details are still being worked out.

Fellow Board Member and Ron’s partner, Gene Parks, wrote the following tribute:

Who was Ron Anderson? He was a good and gentle man. He was born in Spokane, July 12, 1930 at Sacred Heart Hospital and was an only child. His father Wilfred, apparently a distant and hardworking man, was a WWI veteran. He worked for Washington Water Power, maintaining the generators, etc. He left the raising of his son to his wife.

Ron’s mother would have been better suited to having been a part of the late 20th and 21st century. She would have shattered corporate glass ceilings. As it was, she knew the IBM card sorters, a predecessor of the computer. During the war she traveled wherever her expertise was needed. She outranked generals and admirals and could bump them for travel.

Ron loved to relate the story of how his mother needed to get back to Spokane from Portland and got a ride in the back of the cockpit of a P38 fighter.

I met his mother shortly after Ron and I met and we became fast friends. She thoroughly vetted me one day when I had taken her to a doctor’s appointment.

Ron needed to go to Seattle on business, so we decided to bundle his mother into the 1953 Packard with us. We’d first go over to see my mother and sister at Shelton and then Ron and I would go on to Seattle. We returned to my mom’s to find my sister thoroughly disgruntled. She said those two hadn’t shut up one minute and she couldn’t get a word in edgewise. I wonder if they were even aware that we had gone to Seattle.

She had sold her house and was living in an apartment on the South Hill. Shortly after that she called us saying she thought she was having a heart attack. We rushed to her and got her into hospital. Then more medical problems required surgery and it was found that she had cancer.

When I met Ron, he had just gotten his divorce. He had three daughters, who I met when the youngest was getting ready to be married. I had come into Spokane from the ranch to continue my flight training. A few months prior, I had ended a bad relationship in San Francisco. When Ron and I met, we started talking and never did shut up.

Ron was an executive with the People to People World Exchange Program, which Eisenhower had set up to allow students to go to other countries and for foreign students to come and stay with American host families. This meant that he traveled a lot. He used to brag that the only continent that had never set foot on was Antarctica.

During our 43 years together, we became well off, went broke, and got back on our feet. We had a good life together but it ended all too soon.

-Gene Park