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Thomas Franklin Anderson


1933 - 2019 Obituary Condolences
Thomas Franklin Anderson Obituary
Thomas Franklin Anderson

- - Thomas Franklin Anderson claimed the promise of the Resurrection on June 10, 2019. Tom was born July 10, 1933 in Rockbridge Baths to the late Frank and Stella Hart Anderson. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother Roy Anderson, a son Thomas Martin "Marty" Anderson, and son-in-law Jack Heslep.

Tom is survived by his wife of 67 years, the love of his life, Betty Talbott Anderson; a sister Margaret McDonald and husband Jerry; a daughter Gail Heslep; a son Tate Anderson and wife Brenda; a special daughter Donna Runkle; five grandchildren: Gwen Whitmore and Neil, Erin Caldwell and Jeremy, Jeremy Anderson, Cara Anderson, and Brandi Anderson; and four great-grandchildren: Lillie and Anna Caldwell, Brantley Owens, and Charlotte Whitmore as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

Tom was a lifelong member of Bethesda Presbyterian Church, the Rockbridge Baths Volunteer Fire Department, and the Rockbridge Baths Deer Hunt Club. He was a voracious reader, storyteller, and conversationalist. Tom never met a stranger, he could talk to anyone about most anything, and very often did. He was the keeper of local history. He was often referred to as "the Professor" or the Mayor of Rockbridge Baths. Much history and many stories are lost with his passing.

Tom retired after a career of 35 years with Virginia Dominion Power, where he was known as "Hoppy".

Tom loved NASCAR and for a time in his life, enjoyed dirt track stock car racing, both behind the wheel and under the hood. He was a mechanic, an electrician, and a fixer of all things broken. Many in the community depended on him to fix a furnace, mend a water pump, or repair some household item. He looked forward each year to deer rifle season and only missed two seasons in his hunting career: one while serving his country in Korea and the 2018 season when recovering from surgery.

For a time, he and wife Betty traveled the East Coast on their Honda Goldwing with the Retreads, a motorcycle club for the over 50 crowd. But his beloved 1968 Camaro was his favorite set of wheels, having been lovingly restored to original glory.

Tom was raised on a farm and was a farmer. Although the acreage was modest, he always had cattle and farmed the land. Although he could never abide horses, he did allow his children a pony during childhood.

Tom lived life to the fullest. His roots run deep into Rockbridge County but he explored and lived a life much bigger than most of his contemporaries. Whatever piqued his interest, he pursued, never confined by locale, age or space. His passing leaves a large hole in the fabric of the community.

A graveside service will be 3 pm. Saturday, June 15, 2019 at Bethesda Presbyterian Cemetery with Rev. Fred Noll officiating. There will be no visitation.

The family requests no flowers, if inclined, please make donations to the Rockbridge Baths Volunteer Fire Department or Bethesda Presbyterian Church.

Arrangements by Harrison Funeral Home & Crematory, Lexington, VA.
Published in The News Leader from June 11 to June 14, 2019
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