Thomas J. "Tom" Anderson (1945 - 2013)

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Thomas J. Anderson, 67, passed away Tuesday, May 7, 2013 after a lengthy illness.
A Celebration of Tom's life will be held 4 p.m. Saturday, May 11, 2013 at Soldotna Bible Chapel, 300 W. Marydale in Soldotna, where Tom was a faithful worshiper. A private burial will be held at a later date.
Tom was born in Grand Rapids, Minn. on Oct. 31, 1945. Tom's father worked for Northwest Airlines, so Tom's childhood included first grade in Japan and early education in Seattle, where during junior high he met his future wife of 45 years, Lenny (Leanne). Tom moved back to Minnesota when he was a sophomore in high school to complete his education, but maintained a long-distance relationship with Lenny, and they were married in 1967.
Tom began his teaching career in Minnesota and moved to Soldotna in 1976 to teach at Soldotna Elementary School until his retirement in 1999. Tom loved people, especially young people, and his dedication to and connection with his pupils was a reflection of this love. Tom received a Master's Degree in Education to further his capabilities in the field he was so gifted in. Tom made many friends with coworkers and the parents of his students he loved to teach. Tom loved jokes and had a fantastic sense of humor, much of which he related from his own experiences, and often he was the brunt of his own jokes. Tom loved to act and sing and was involved in numerous productions on the Kenai Peninsula. He also encouraged his students to love the Arts and directed annual productions at Soldotna Elementary with staff and students as cast. Tom always portrayed a comical character in these productions. Tom loved the outdoor experiences that Alaska had to offer, and cherished time with his family camping, fishing, biking and clam digging. Tom's family always came first. Tom was a Vietnam Veteran that proudly served his country in the U.S. Army.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents and a granddaughter.
Tom is survived by his wife Lenny, daughters, Kari (Chris) Hudson (all of Soldotna), and Kelly Anderson (Mike Nails) (of Anchorage); and three grandchildren whom he loved dearly, Thomas, Rebekah and Jazmyne. He is also survived by sisters Cathy (Chris) Mannick and Pam (Glenn) Nielsen, both of Minnesota.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to the in Tom's name.
Arrangements made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel & Crematory. Please visit Tom's obituary and online guestbook at
Funeral Home
Peninsula Memorial Chapel
5839 Kenai Spur Hwy.
Kenai, AK 99611
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Published in The Peninsula Clarion on May 8, 2013
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