ANDERSON, JOSEPH ELDRIDGE JR., 90, was at home surrounded by those who loved him most when his Heavenly Father gently led him to Paradise Sunday night.
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Born in Hopkinsville to Joseph Eldridge Anderson and wife Sue Neeley, Joe grew up during the Great Depression, along with older sisters Dorothy and Leatrice, and moved to Louisville when his father entered Waverly Hills for the treatment of tuberculosis. He supported his family while attending Male High School. When men of courage were needed to stand up to Nazi tyranny, he left Western Kentucky State College to join the Army Air Corps. Awarded the Army Cross, Distinguished Flying Cross and Purple Heart, then-First Lieutenant Anderson piloted a burning B25 bomber to destroy a key bridge before ordering his crew to bail out over Nazi territory. Badly injured, he led his crew through Nazi lines to freedom and 6 men made it back to America to raise families and live good lives.
He spent the rest of his life with similar resolve. While flying P51 fighters at Bowman Field after the War, he married Ruth Catherine Powell, raised three children, retired from the Kentucky Air National Guard, became an air traffic controller, retired from the Federal Aviation Administration, became a realtor and retired from Joe Guy Hagan Realty shortly after the Lord took his wife of 57 years home.
He met and married Louise Pumpelly three years later at Harvey Browne Presbyterian Church. That blessing was enlarged by the addition of three inherited children and their families.
Joe Anderson was not a complicated man. An honest man of faith, courage, love and humility, he led by example. In fact, the deeds told here were reported by others; he rarely spoke of them.
He will be greatly missed by his wife Louise; daughter Frances Anderson (Joe Maloney), sons Kevin and Dick Anderson (Barbara), grandkids Ruthie, Kevin, Joe (Hannah) and Pat (Allison) Maloney; second family daughters Ann Sass (Joe) and Ellen Blandford (Robbie), son Bob Pumpelly, more grandkids Adam and Paul Johnson, Benjamin and Thomas Pumpelly, and Michael and Kathryn Sass; nephew Lev Anderson (Ruth), nieces Sue Karg (Ron) and Maria LaRocca (Dan) and many extended family members and friends.
Please join his family in celebrating the life of Joe Anderson: Visitation: 4-8 PM Wednesday. Pearson's (149 Breckenridge Lane, St. Matthews KY, 896-0349).
Memorial Service: 11 AM Thursday, the Sanctuary at Harvey Browne Presbyterian Church. (311 Browns Lane, St. Matthews KY) Burial will follow at Cave Hill Cemetery.
Donations may be made to the good work of Harvey Browne Presbyterian Church.
If you care to honor Joe Anderson, the family asks that you live as he did. The world will be a better place.
Pearson Funeral Home
149 Breckenridge Lane Louisville, KY 40207
Published in The Courier-Journal from Jan. 8 to Jan. 10, 2013