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Collin Eric Anderson

Anderson, Collin Eric

Collin Eric Anderson, son of Daryl and Suzanne Anderson, of Trumansburg, New York, died on February 7, 2013 at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester as a result of injuries sustained in a car crash on February 2. He was 26 years old.

Collin first lived in Hamburg, New York until the age of 7, with his three siblings, Danica, 5 years older, Duncan, 2 years younger, and Zoe, 6 years younger. From the moment Collin was able to hold a crayon, he was an artist and writer, and created volumes of stories, artwork and poetry. Later he discovered music, and it became his passion. He wrote music reviews for on-line publications Pitchfork and Tiny Mix Tapes throughout his teens and young adulthood. He and his best friend, Matt Chatham, 25, created music together under the name "The Color Industry" up until Collin's death.

In 1984 Collin and his family moved from Hamburg to Ithaca, and eventually Trumansburg, NY. Collin began cross-country running in the 6th grade at Boynton Middle School, and he never stopped, becoming an All-Star athlete and lettering in Cross Country throughout his tenure in Trumansburg. It was also in Trumansburg that he developed his interests in astrology, art, and acting, and developed his gleeful and witty sense of humor. He excelled in Math and Physics at school, but once he went to Oberlin College in Ohio, he rediscovered his earliest love of words and writing, and graduated as an English major in 2009. In his time at Oberlin College, Collin found the love of his life, Rachel Firak, who moved back to this area with him after graduation.

Collin experienced profound personal transformation through creation, literature, and writing, and cared deeply about inspiring young people to do the same. After college, he decided to obtain a Masters of Education and teaching certification to become a high school English teacher through SUNY-Cortland. He supported himself throughout that program, and then after graduating in May of 2012, working as a substitute teacher in local school systems - especially in Trumansburg where he was affectionately known to the 5th graders as "Mister A-plus." In the summer of 2012, he moved with his partner Rachel onto his family's new farm in Hector, NY, where they began building a homestead together. There Collin discovered new passions for simple living, green building, biking, farming, and yoga study, which he pursued with Mighty Yoga in Ithaca.

Collin was enormously thoughtful about the way to live responsibly in this society and on this planet. He was an ardent advocate for social justice and equality. Ironically, Collin tried to minimize his use of cars, and tended to walk, bike and use public transportation whenever possible to reach his destination.

Collin loved Trumansburg and the Ithaca area and felt they exemplified the spirit of community. The outpouring of sorrow and sympathy and support his family has received in the wake of his death confirms this character which he believed in so deeply. We mourn for the loss of a life so fully lived and with so much potential, but we will try to honor his joyful spirit by celebrating the simple pleasure he found in being alive, and giving thanks for the 26 years we had with him.

To that end, we ask that you think about Collin not as a victim of a harsh and random universe, but as the thoughtful, positive, and hilarious person that we all know he was. Remember Collin as an artist. Remember Collin as a musician. Remember Collin as an actor. Remember Collin as a teacher. Remember Collin as a writer. Remember Collin as a farmer, a coffee lover, a dancer, a joker, and a runner. And if you want to honor Collin's memory, it's as easy as being true to yourself.

A Memorial Service to celebrate Collin's life and bury his cremains will be held in late spring or early summer. There will be no calling hours or funeral. A memorial fund to support creative youth in the community has been established. Those who wish to remember Collin in the form of a contribution are asked to make a check payable to The Collin Anderson Memorial Fund and mail to: Tompkins Trust Company, P.O. Box 702, Trumansburg, NY 14886.


Published in Ithaca Journal on Feb. 22, 2013
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