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ANDERSON, William Andrew
1911 - 2012
William Andrew Anderson died on Sunday January 15, 2012 at the remarkable age of 100 years. He was born August 24, 1911 in Wetaskawin, AB, into a large Norwegian family. He had six sisters, Alma, Edna, Hilda, Betty, Bernice, and Lynn, and two brothers, Gordon and Andy. As a young man he joined the Air Force.
On leave, visiting friends in Regina, he met Myrtle Marguerite McKee who he married in Medicine Hat two weeks later. Together they moved to Fort Macleod, AB where the allied forces were gathering to learn to fly. To his great frustration it was discovered that he was colour blind and he was grounded, but he was bright and so was quickly promoted to flight lieutenant where he instructed new pilots (Link Trainer). It was here in Fort Macleod that Myrt and Bill's only child was born, a girl, Joan Anderson who would later become Joni Mitchell.
When the war ended Bill found work managing a grocery store in Maidstone. A few years later he was transferred to the North Battleford store - OK Economy. Here he joined the Kinsmen Club, gave trumpet lessons, for a season led the marching band, played for dances and in adjudicated competition at the united church.
In 1952 he was promoted to merchandising coordinator for Shelly Bros., the owners of the OK Economy Chain, and transferred to Saskatoon. Here he was a member of the Usadian Club and traded tennis for golf. When he retired in 77 he counselled small businesses around the province.
He was a good card player and a fine athlete, winning trophies for tennis in his youth and golf in his later years. He always wanted to shoot his age, and at 82 he shot an 82.
Myrt and Bill cross country skied well into their 80's, enjoyed great health and thanks to Myrtle's dietary knowledge they were on no medications until they began to fail, a little, in their 90's.
Bill Anderson was lucky. Once in a scrabble game we watched him lay down the word "xylophone" from the triple score on the left hand corner to the double in the middle. We gasped as the points were added up while he laughed and gleamed. I don't know how many winning raffle tickets he held in his life, but he won a lot - lawn furniture, tape decks, beta and in time VHS, a clock radio etc. He never played the lottery.
Bill Anderson was an optimist. He bought himself a new car at 94 and drove it on little excursions (without mishap) until at 99 he got disorientated and they grounded him. He set himself a goal - to golf on his hundredth birthday, which he did. He was advised just to putt.
After that amazing accomplishment he lapsed into remembrances and fantasies and finally died, comfortably in his sleep on January 15, 2012 in his 101 year on earth. He is survived by a brother Gordon, a sister Lynn, numerous nephews and nieces and by his daughter, Joni Mitchell, and her daughter Kilauren Gibb and two great- grandchildren, Marlin and Daisy. He will be remembered fondly for his great laugh, his remarkable luck and his exceptional skill at keeping his eye on the ball. Funeral Services will take place on Monday, January 23, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. at Saskatoon Funeral Home, (4th Avenue and 25th Street).
Condolences may be sent to the family at mail@saskatoonfuneralhome.com.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Saskatoon Funeral Home, 306-244-5577.

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Published in Edmonton Journal from Jan. 20 to Jan. 21, 2012.