October 6, 1931 to May 19, 2014
Robert W. "Bob" Anderson Jr. was born in Seattle, Washington to Robert W. Anderson Sr. and Lillian Logar. Bob's birth was followed by his younger brother, Richard Lewis Anderson. Bob attended St. John's parochial school, Prep and then Lincoln High School in Ballard. He worked for his family's business, Lewis Casing Butcher Supply until 1950 when he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corp.
As a member of the Marines, Bob served his country honorably in the Korean War, being decorated three times, earning the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Medal, and the Purple Heart Medals as a member of the Baker Bandit Company, Ist Battallion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division, seeing combat at the Chosin Reservior, on the Yalu River. Bob was wounded three times, each time returning to combat after being hospitalized. Bob was discharged in 1952.
Following his discharge Bob went to work for Boeing Aircraft and married Peggy Hagan of Seattle. They had four children, Paige Anderson, Dana Anderson Dukes (Robert), Robert W. Anderson III (Laura Robinson), and Megan Anderson.
In 1963, Bob set out for Juneau, Alaska, taking a job tending bar at the Red Dog Saloon and working as a pile buck building the docks on the Juneau waterfront. He first volunteered, and was then hired to work with his life-long friend Tim Whiting as the first paid fire fighters for the Glacier Valley Fire Dept. The Juneau years were spent hunting deer on Admiralty Island with friends Kenny Logan, Billy Barnhart, and many others…fishing with Tim, and river boat running for Gil Bixby at the Taku Lodge.
Bob moved to Yakutat in the early 1970's after meeting and marrying Evelyn Converse Mallott. Together, they had a son Rodney William Anderson. Bob fished the Situk River for many years setting up camp every summer, hauling all the kids out to Eastern Spit by skiff. Bob was adopted into the Raven Clan by Yakutat Tlingit elder Paul Henry & given the name Daanawa'ak. He attended the Alaska State Trooper Academy at the age of 49, being the oldest successful graduate in the state. He returned to Yakutat as a Village Public Safety Officer until he moved once again back to Juneau in 1985.
In March of 1986, Geri Vavalis came into his life bringing little Keri with her. They were married on May 24, 1988. The two moved to Seattle to be closer to Bob's mother following the death of Robert Sr. After the passing of his mother, Bob and Geri knew they had to return to Alaska, because, "you can take the man out of Alaska but you can't take Alaska out of the man". Going back to Juneau, Bob did not seek retirement. He took a job as a bus driver for the city but most importantly for him, he became a volunteer for the Alaska Native Veterans. Bob spent countless hours locating veterans, filling out and helping them file forms to secure the benefits that they were entitled to through the VA. After ten years seeking out and assisting so many, he was offered a full time position as a National Service Officer in the Military Order of the Purple Heart, doing just what he loved. Then, at the age of 72, Bob heard the wild goose call him for one last adventure of support in service to his county; he and his partner in mischief Ted Wieting, signed on with Kellogg, Brown & Root, were hired and left home & hearth in Juneau to drive vehicles from Kuwait into Iraq. Bob returned to the U.S. at the end of the year. At the age of 80 he decided to retire once again.
Bob loved his life, his wife, his children and grandchildren. Bob and Geri loved playing poker with all their poker buddies in Juneau and Yakima. There were countless trips back to Yakutat to hunt moose with his son Rodney in the fall and fish for Kings & Coho in the summer. Bob planned and arranged a few more fishing trips to Juneau and Yakutat with his sons, daughters & grandsons before he made his final move to Yakima in August 2012. Family Mass was officiated by Bishop Tyson of the Yakima Diocese at Holy Family Parish church on May 22nd, 2014.
Watch for the Sunday, November 9th, 2014, edition of the Juneau Empire. We will honor the November 10th Marine Corps Birthday with a Dedication to Bob from his wife and children.
Survived by Grandsons Cody and Austin Shoemaker and Richie Combs, all of Yakima. Whitney and Griffin McFarlane of St.Thomas, US Virgin Islands. Taylor Dukes (Jess) of Seabeck, Wa. Chase Dukes,MD (Jovanna) of Gig Harbor, Wa. Garren Dukes(Abby) of Kingston, Wa. Granddaughter Christa Castro of Taos, NM, Granddaughter Michele Corsentino (Travis) of Graham, WA. Great grandchildren Caidence, Mallory, Tai, Tyrzah & Corbin. Step children, B.J.Mallott of Yakutat & Meredith Mallott of Brier,Wa.
Donations in Bob's memory can be made to the Purple Heart Foundation @ National Adjutant M.O.P.H. 5413-B Backlick Rd, Springfield, VA 22151-3960.
Remembrances can be sent to Geri Anderson, P.O. Box 240296, Douglas, AK 99824
Published in The Juneau Empire on June 8, 2014