Col (Ret) David Leland Anderson, USAF, died at his home on February 26, 2014.
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David was born in Jamestown, New York on February 14, 1933. The family lived in several towns throughout Western New York during his formative years before settling in the village of Springville. Like many children growing up in the 1940's, David's personality was shaped by the ideals of service, hard work, honesty, perseverance and friendship. He balanced his commitments to his family, his church and his school; all the while holding several jobs at a time from an early age. David achieved distinction in high school as a class leader, an athlete and a musician. He became the first Eagle Scout in the history of Springville in 1949 and was honored as the Best High School Actor in Western New York during his senior year at Griffith Institute.
He enrolled at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois in the spring of 1951. While at NU, David was active in his fraternity, Phi Gamma Delta, Air Force ROTC and the campus NBC radio affiliate, WNUR. He graduated with a degree in Radio and Television Broadcasting in 1955.
David was commissioned in the United States Air Force as a Second Lieutenant in 1956. A Master Navigator, Colonel Anderson flew significant hours in both the B-36 Peacemaker and the B-52 Stratofortress. A veteran with 68 combat missions in Viet Nam, Colonel Anderson's Air Force career included many exciting, challenging and personally fulfilling assignments. His final assignment was as the 93rd Combat Support Group Commander at Castle AFB, CA. During his tenure as the Base Commander at Castle he was most proud of the numerous projects which led to improvements to quality of life for officers and airmen and their families. He was the recipient of the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, and the Meritorious Service Medal with one Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster. In 1974 he was presented with a special citation by the Mayor of West Berlin, Federal Republic of Germany, for his leadership on the Multinational Berlin Contingency Plan and the Quadri-Partite Berlin Airlift Plan.
After his retirement from the Air Force, David remained active in Merced County as a businessman, Rotarian and executive board member for the Castle Air Museum. He served on the California State University, Stanislaus - President's Advisory Committee. David became an enthusiastic resident of Anacortes, Washington in 2001.
He is survived by his loving wife of 52 years, Virginia; his sister Jeanne Murphy of Livonia, MI; his daughter Peggy of Tampa, FL; his son Eric and daughter-in-law Jaime, both of Pacific Grove, CA.
Graveside services will be held at El Carmelo Cemetery in Pacific Grove, California on Wednesday, March 12th, at 11:00 am. A reception will follow at Point Pinos Grill at Pacific Grove Golf Links.
David loved his family, his country, and the Air Force.
Arrangements are in the care of Evans Funeral Chapel and Crematory, Inc., Anacortes, WA and the San Juan Islands. To share memories of David, please sign the online guest register at www.evanschapel.com.
Evans Funeral Chapel - Anacortes
1105 32nd Street
Anacortes, WA 98221
Published in Skagit Valley Herald Publishing Company on Mar. 5, 2014