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William James Anderson

Anderson William James "Willie" Anderson of Columbus, OH, died Sunday, April 7, 2013 at Wexner Heritage Village in Columbus at the age of 81. Willie is preceded in death by his parents William and Lucy Anderson, his sister Lillian Smiley and brother Roy Anderson Sr. and his cherished wife of 48 years, Adele Anderson. Willie is survived by five children, William J. "Andy" (Wendy) Anderson Jr. of Budd Lake, New Jersey, Robin Evelyn (William) Edmonds, Amy Gladys (Robert) Holley, Renee Allyson Adele Anderson, all of Columbus, OH and Stephanie Joy Anderson of Cincinnati, OH; 12 grandchildren, Jared, Alexandra, Robyn, Adele, Marquise, Kenney, Andy, Kennedy, Zoie, Kevin, Trinity and Olivia; great-grandson, Isaiah Watkins; nephews, Roy Anderson, Jr. , James Smiley; nieces, Carolyn Robertson, Sharon Thompson, Gloria Smiley, Lori Stevens, and Jackie Smiley; and a host of cousins and loving friends. Willie was born May 24, 1931 in Cincinnati, OH and graduated from Woodward High School in his hometown in 1950. He attended Anderson College in Anderson, IN before transferring to The Ohio State University in 1951 where he was a varsity letterman in track and became a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Education in 1955. In 1964, he also earned a Master of Science degree. Starting his educational career as an art teacher at Champion Junior High School, Willie would devote 35 years of his life to the Columbus Public School System from 1955 to 1990. That first teaching position later led to him becoming Vice-Principal at Linden McKinley High School in 1966, Principal at Linmoor Junior High School in 1968 and Principal at Linden McKinley High School in 1977. That same year, he was promoted to Director of Human Relations and eventually retired as Special Assistant to the Superintendent for Staff Development and Human Relations in 1990. During his tenure with the school district, Willie broke down barriers for African-Americans and gave many aspiring educators their first jobs and coaching opportunities in the school system. He held a special love for the students and the community at-large in the Linden area. After retirement, Willie remained active in education. He worked as an administrator with Consequences, an alternative education program for at-risk African-American males and served as Principal of the High Life Charter, a school for at-risk youth. Willie served on numerous boards and committees and was the recipient of numerous awards and accommodations. Most of all, Willie was a loving and caring husband, father, grandfather, friend and neighbor whose love never wavered. Willie was baptized at an early age and accepted the Lord as his Savior; he was a long time member of Mt. Olivet Baptist Church in Columbus, OH. Funeral Service 12 noon, Monday, April 15, 2013 at Mt. Olivet Baptist Church, 428 E. Main Street where the family will greet friends from 10 a.m. until start of service. Interment Glen Rest Memorial Estate. Arrangements entrusted to DIEHL-WHITTAKER FUNERAL SERVICE, 720 E. Long Street. To express your condolences or share a favorite memory of Willie J. Anderson please visit www.diehl-whittaker.com/obits
Published in The Columbus Dispatch on Apr. 10, 2013
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