J. ERIC ANDERSON, 91 STOCKTON - J. Eric Anderson, 91, of Stockton, Illinois, died peacefully Tuesday, April 23, at Freeport Memorial Hospital, with his wife Lee, son Paul, and loving friends at his side. Born in Lindsey, Ontario, Canada on September 1, 1921 to Albert and Amy (Wik) Anderson, he was raised and attended schools in Chicago from age 6, graduating in 1939 from Austin High School. He studied architecture and art at the University of Illinois until the Army called. He served in AACS (Army Airways Communication System) in the CBI Theater (China-Burma-India) from 1942 until his discharge in 1946. His marriage to Leone (Lee) Castell followed on August 17th of that year. Eric practiced the profession of architecture, establishing his own firm in Chicago, and raising his family in Elmhurst, Illinois. In 1975 he moved his business to Stockton, Illinois. He designed many banks, churches, and homes in the region until his retirement in 1990. He was a member of the American Institute of Architects and a past president of the Northern Illinois chapter of the AIA. Since his retirement, he focused his talents full-time on his watercolor painting. His work was shown in a one man show at the Freeport Art Museum, The Clinton Art Museum, The Elmhurst Art Museum, and the State of Wisconsin Capital exhibit space. He exhibited his work semi-annually in studio watercolor shows at his 1878 Chelsea Studio School house home. His paintings are in numerous private and corporate collections nationwide. In 2009, his painting, "Retired Old Friend," was awarded Best of Show at the Illinois Watercolor Society's Annual Members' Show. Eric was a member of the Stockton Unitarian Universalist Church and served first as secretary, eight years as Moderator of the Board, and most recently on the Membership Committee. He was active in the community, helping to form the Stockton Betterment Association and chairing the Young and Alive at 85 celebration of Stockton's 85th anniversary in 1975. He is survived by his wife Lee of 67 years, three sons, Scott (Barb) of Kansas City, Missouri, Jim (Nancy) of Madison, Wisconsin, and Paul (Susan) of Elgin, and his grandchildren, Ky, Oskar, Stacie, Miles and Abby, and great-granddaughter Emily; his brother's wife, Sherry; his cousin Barbro and her husband Goran of Sweden. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Stanley and his sister Elsa Moutoux. A memorial service to celebrate his long life will be held at the Stockton Unitarian Universalist Church on Saturday, May 4, at 2:00 pm. Memorial gifts should be directed to the UU Church of Stockton Memorial Fund and/or the Freeport Art Museum.
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Published in The Journal-Standard on May 2, 2013