• McGilley & Frye Funeral Home & Cremation Service
    Olathe, KS
In partnership with the Dignity Memorial® network
Dr. David Fulton Anderson 1945 - 2011

Dr. David Fulton Anderson

May 28, 2011
A story that could be true....I ain't sayin'......

I just found out about this today, it was in my KSU alumni magazine, and my
heart sunk to the floor. My old best friend and vet school classmate died in
January of this year. Dave Anderson.

Dave, our mutual friend Steve and I were sometimes referred to as the Three
Musketeers of vet school, and we were inseparable, on campus, in class, and
off. Steve and I were known stereotypically as the wild and dangerous duo (not
really), while Dave was always the rock solid he-man (really). In our youthful
arrogance, we all found most of the basic vet school classes pretty boring so we
rotated turns being the designated note-taker while the other two were off
either sleeping in or playing bridge and telling tall tales at the student
union. In truth, I believe Dave took about two thirds of the notes, but, oh
well, I got pretty good at union bridge. We developed a friendship with the vet
school librarian who let us xerox thousands of pages of notes so that by
semester end, we all three had identical notebooks filled with the most
excellent notes. We all wrote with fountain pens so we could write fast enough
to capture most lectures word-for-word, even though we were for the most part
not listening. I can still visualize Dave's perfect penmanship (and Steve's
scribble which we had to learn to "translate"). We weren't total louts though,
we had a couple of professors that we believed to be the "real deal" so we
honored them with our perfect attendance and attention, the rest we treated with
the respect we felt they deserved. I know for a fact that I missed most of my
education; years later, I'd be out on a call, get stumped, then utter the
classic words "I think I skipped class the day we talked about this...". And,
sadly, it was true, I missed that day and a lot of other ones..... if only we
knew then what we know now. But then, of course, I would have missed something
else. I think it's called "life".

Some of the stories of our adventures seem so wild and impossible that now I
don't even know to whom it's safe to tell them! Sometimes I can't even remember
if they really happened or if I just imagined them, but I'm pretty sure they
really did. Although I do wish Dave was still around to verify. Him, they would
believe. One time Dave and I were out in the back woods in my Jeep and stopped
for a late breakfast at a highway cafe north of Manhattan Kansas. On an
impulse, and as we were leaving, we grabbed two of the sacred Big Red red
cowboy hats from the cocky Nebraska U diners who filled the place, and who, like
Roman senators headed to the Coliseum, were on their way down to witness the Big
Red football monsters wipe up the earth with the lowly Wildcats. We could care
less about the game, but, just out of principle, we yelled out a loud insult to
the Cornhuskers very manhood as we dashed out the door for our truck with some
big bullies right behind us! This sea of Red, sputtering vengeance, chased us
out of the parking lot in big pickup trucks, but we eluded them bouncing across
pastures and through barbed wire fences, honking and hooting maniacally and
waving our stolen hats out the windows. Dave liked flirting on the edge of
trouble with us and we liked knowing he was there. We had a few late night close
calls as college pranksters, but some how or another, whenever you got in
trouble with Dave around, we got off the hook! Some people are like that. Dave
was blessed with pure good luck. One summer between our freshman and sophomore
years Dave was working cattle and a wild bucking steer caused the squeeze chute
handle to fly upwards striking Dave in the face, slicing his front lip upwards
and splitting his entire nose in half. Plastic surgeons in KC spliced him
together and by the time school started he was not only normal, he was even more
handsome! He never said a word about it, shrugging it off as in "aw, shucks, it
was nuthin'..."

Regrettably, after graduation (they both graduated on time, me three years later
with a new batch of fairly well-behaved kids as friends, kids who had only heard
the tales of our earlier wildness, for it was a "new era" of seriousness by then
(the '60s' were over, even in Kansas) and I was on "probation"), Dave, Steve and
I parted ways and I never saw him again. I think of him often. I always dreamed
about dropping in on him. I always wondered what he would look like. Would he
still be the same, still cool? One day a few years ago while visiting
Manhattan, they happened to be tearing down our old hangout, Kite's Tavern in
Aggieville. I was stunned. I went right in the rubble, past the guy with the
wrecking ball who was yelling at me, and grabbed myself a chunk of knotty pine
wood that had been there for decades of college students right behind the big
ol' bar. I was planning to sign and date it and give a third of it to Dave, a
third to Steve and keep a third. For it seems like we spent the very best part
of our college life in that bar and Dave was almost part of the furniture there.
I can still see him sitting at the first bar stool facing the door where you got
to watch the nightly parade of 3.2 partiers. Everyone knew that was his perch!
As with many good intentions, I still have that board. I think Dave would have
gotten a real kick out of seeing it.

If you go through the series of photos of him in his latter years (see obituary
below), some look a little shaky, but in most of them he looks great. Dave was
the most popular man on campus, a total class act and taught us all style. At
one time he was a campus model for Ralph Lauren for the exquisite campus store
Woody's Menswear, a pure natural since it seemed as if he had been born to model
Ralph! Every day, shades, a sporty blazer, crisply-ironed shirt and always,
always, the exact right tie. He always drove brand new cars, Chevrolets, the
exact right ones, and once let Steve and me borrow his beloved fawn-colored, red
leather, convertible (classic) 1962 Vette. He washed his big black Impala down
at the campus carwash almost every morning, almost a ritual, and we always
teased him about. However, none of could even possibly imagine Dave in a car
with a speck of dirt or a flaw in any way. When he sold his still
better-than-new cars after a year or two, people fought to buy them because they
were so cool, even though about 90% of the paint must have been washed and waxed
away. Legend has it, and we believed it, that Dave drove his John Deere tractor
to the HS prom in his home town way out in western Kansas. It's possible.

Even though the three of us were different in our own ways, we did a lot of
things together. We all played a lot of outdoor handball in those days, dark
tans and sun-bleached hair, worn-down Jack Purcells, cut-offs and no shirts. We
became quite good, always looking for the perfect roll-out shot off the bottom
board that made the most satisfying thud in the world. The three of us rode
motorcycles together, often on our dirt bikes in an old dry lake bed just
outside of town with lots of jumps. It was our stress-buster, one of them
anyway. And then there was Kite's. One day, after they had sprung me from the
hospital following an accident they hung my IV drip bottle on the Bud sign over
the bar while we sipped cold ones. It was 11 am in the morning and life was
good. Dave must have bought Steve and I (who were perpetually broke), and
many, many other random fellow scalawags, a thousand beers at Kite's. Probably
more. One day I was sitting there next to Dave when my wife-to-be Mary (R.I.P.)
walked in, looking very nice. I knew what to do, because some of Dave must have
rubbed off on me. To this very day, and to be honest, I hope and pray that a
little bit of Dave's mojo is still visible in me. For what it's worth, I still
know how to put a shirt and tie together in a good way that Dave would like.

Maybe Dave had the perfect life! While I knew him, he never had a bad day. I
wasn't there at the end, but I'm sure he looked like a million bucks there in
the box. It was probably pretty snazzy, and hopefully he was fully decked out in
Ralph, a new pair of tortoiseshell Wayfarers and the exact right tie. If Steve
or I had been there, we would have put a single malt scotch in one hand and a
Marlboro in his other. That would be Dave, and we would be together again for
one last time, standing there wearing the same smug smiles, toasting Dave, and
agreeing that once upon a time in a far away place that no longer exists, we
were the coolest guys on earth. And maybe, for a while anyway, we were.

Thank you, David Anderson.
May 17, 2011
I just learned of Dr. Anderson's passing & my heart goes out to you. He will be missed by so many.
March 13, 2011
Roberta---I have no words that will help in the passing of Dr Dave. You both have been a part of our family for over 30 years and I cannot imagine anyone replacing or surpassing his calm and caring help for all our family. He will be greatly missed. You both have helped our four-legged family live long and healthy lives. All you have done is so very appreciated. Many prayers are sent to you and your family.
March 07, 2011
Roberta, I just found out about Doctor today. I am so sorry for your loss. I am sending my prayers, that you will be strong through this difficult time. He was a great man and an excellent caretaker for my fur-babies. He will be greatly missed!
March 03, 2011
Roberta - There really is nothing more that I can add to what has already been said in all these tributes to your husband. I agree with everyone, Dr. Anderson was a true "Dr. Doolittle" and his gentle, loving care will be missed by all his furry friends. I always bragged to my friends that I had the perfect set-up for my dogs, a wonderful vet and his magnificent wife - one to keep them healthy and the other to keep them beautiful - all in one place! I am devastated that I will never find another vet that I will totally trust as much as I did your husband. He was so compassionate and kind throughout the almost 20 years that I have known you both. But he is now where he is needed most, and I thank God that my little Katie has someone to watch over her. And I am also thankful that I still have you to care for Harry and Lola! We love you so much and will pray for your healing.
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