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Dr. William A. Anderson

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Dr.  William A. Anderson Obituary
Dr. William A. Anderson

Hot Springs Village, AR

Dr. William A. Anderson,91 of Hot Springs Village, Arkansas died peacefully in his home on April 28,2014.

Dr. Anderson was born in Coin, Iowa on May 7,1922, the only son of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Anderson. Dr. Anderson grew up on the family farm and received both his elementary and secondary education there, graduating in 1939 as Valedictorian of his senior class.

Following his high school graduation, he enrolled in Tarkio College in Tarkio, Missouri, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1943. While at Tarkio, he helped the college during the summer as a member of the school's traveling men's quartet, lettering in basketball, and serving as president of the student body. He then completed the Basic Engineering Army Specialist Training Program from Alabama Polytechnic Institute and Pre-Medicine ASTP from Vanderbilt University in 1944.

While on leave during his ASTP training in the US Army Dr, Anderson married Joyce(Peg) Nesbitt on July 3,1944 in their home town of Coin, Iowa.

Dr. Anderson received his Masters Degree in Physics in 1951 from Iowa State University and his Doctorate of Education from the University of Nebraska in 1960. His honorary degrees include Doctor of Humane Letters from Tarkio College, Doctor of Pedagogy from Buena Vista College, and Doctor of Law from Morningside College.

His educational career began in 1946 as a science and math instructor at Villisca, Iowa High School, advancing to Principal in 1948 and Superintendent of Schools in 1951. He claimed the only advantage of becoming bald at age 21 was that he appeared old enough to be Superintendent at 27. Dr. Anderson also served as Superintendent of Schools in Clarinda, Iowa from 1957-61 Cedar Falls ,Iowa from 1961-65, Sioux City, Iowa from 1966-1976. While in Sioux City Dr. Anderson facilitated the largest bond referendum in the state's history, recreating the structure of secondary education through the creation of three new high schools, Hampton, Virginia from 1976-1980, and Des Moines, Iowa from 1980-1988, where his creation of Central Academy continues to provide a unique environment where gifted and talented students can succeed.

Dr. Anderson also served as a member of the National Guard holding the rank of Captain as Company Commander of the Villisca Iowa Unit.

Extremely involved in both professional and civic organizations, Dr. Anderson served as President of the Iowa State Education Association, Iowa Association of School Administrators, Cedar Falls Chamber of Commerce, Cedar Falls and Sioux City Lions Club, and Hot Springs Village Rotary Club. He also served on many boards, associations, and commissions, including the Executive Committee of the American Association of School Administrators. In 1988, Dr. Anderson was selected as Superintendent of the Year by the School Administrators of Iowa. He was cited by the Executive Educator Magazine as one of the 100 best school managers in North America and he was also selected as the 1986 Educator of the Year by Phi Delta Kappa, National Education Organization, and was presented the Lyle T. Quinn Award in 1987 by the Iowa High School Athletic Association.

Following his retirement as Superintendent of Des Moines Public Schools, Dr. Anderson served as a visiting professor at Iowa State, chaired the National Executive Development Committee with pilot programs at the University Of Michigan, University of Texas, California, Harvard, University of Pittsburg, and Iowa State, served on the Washington Bicentennial Commission, Fine Board, and as an Education Advisor on Bush's Advisory Council.

"Bill" and his wife Peg enjoyed entertaining their many friends from around the country, traveling, attending concerts, supporting many of the arts and service organizations, playing golf and cruising on Lake Cortez. Bill was an active member of the Symphony Guild and served on the Board of Directors for many community and service organizations, including the Concerts Association. Bill continued his passion for music and enjoyed singing with the HSV Village Chorale, the Men's Chorus, and the Presbyterian Kirk in the Pines Choir.

Bill was an avid fisherman and hunter; passionate about his German Shorthairs. He also enjoyed boating and photography and coast to coast family road trips.

Bill is survived by his wife Peg; two daughters, Kathy Munson and husband Dr. Robert Munson of Bradford, Vermont, Dr. Kerry Anderson of Indianola, Iowa. Also cherishing his memory are his granddaughters, Melissa Myers and husband Ryan Myers, Jennifer Lammers and husband Chris Lammers; and four great grandchildren, Ella and Harper Myers and Elise and Anderson Lammers.

A celebration of his life will be held at 11:00 A.M. Friday, June 6th, 2014 at Kirk of the Pines Presbyterian Church in Hot Springs Village officiated by Rev. Bill Bailey.

The online obituary, guestbook, and memorial tribute are available at

Memorials may be made to Alzheimer's Arkansas, 201 Markham Center Drive, Little Rock, Arkansas 72205-The ASPCA, 424 E. 92nd St., New York, New York 10128- or Kirk of the Pines Presbyterian Church, 275 Asturias Drive, Hot Springs Village, Arkansas 71909.

Published in Des Moines Register on May 11, 2014
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