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Charles Anderson

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Charles Anderson Obituary
Charles Anderson Of Palo Alto, CA, passed away April 17, 2009, at the age of 91. In his lifetime he was a successful businessman, a devoted husband to his wife, Betty, and father to his three kids. As a middle-aged father, he readily accepted the unanticipated pleasures of his children's challenges to sleep on the ground and cook over an open fire, slide worms onto fish hooks, untangle fishing line, lace up ski boots with cold fingers (long before buckles), and pursue his own and his children's lost golf balls into forested rough. Charlie obtained his private pilots license and enjoyed barbershop quartet music. He also enjoyed spending time at the family's rustic cabin ("The Bean"), in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Charlie was born in Columbus, OH, on November 14, 1917, and moved to Berkeley as a young boy. Charlie graduated from University of California, Berkeley, in 1938 with a degree in chemistry. He received an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1940. Charlie married Betty Rushforth in 1942 and had three children: Peter (Elena) Anderson of Morgan Hill, CA, Stephen (Debbie) Anderson of Melrose, MA, and Julie (Mike) Zarcone of Menlo Park, CA. Charlie's four grandchildren are Chris Anderson, Jennie Freeman, and Lindsay and Zack Zarcone, two of whom have borne him three great grandchildren. Following Harvard, Charlie served in the Navy during WW II, and afterward returned to Harvard as an assistant professor of business administration. Moving back to California in 1948, Charlie joined Magna Power Tool Company as VP, and in 1958 the Stanford Business School as associate dean and professor of business administration. Leaving academia in 1961, Charlie joined Kern County Land Company as VP of finance. He then became President and CEO of two KCL's subsidiaries: Walker Manufacturing, subsequently JI Case, both of Racine WI. In 1968, Charlie returned to the Bay Area, becoming President and CEO of SRI International, where he enjoyed the challenges of leading creative, sometimes eccentric, scientists in a business environment. Charlie retired from SRI in 1980. The numerous Boards of Directors of which he was a member included Conoco, Boise Cascade, Eaton, NCR, Owens-Corning Fiberglas, Saga Foods, and Kansai Research Institute of Kyoto, Japan. In retirement he devoted time to Lucille Salter Packard Children's Hospital, serving as Chairman of the Board, the Herbert Hoover Boys & Girls Club Advisory Council, and International House, UC Berkeley as a Director. Charlie's public service volunteer work included serving on the Menlo Park Planning Commission and City Council, the Board of Directors of California State Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of California Economic Development Committee, the Executive Service Corps of Northern California, and the Monterey Institute of Foreign Studies. He served on the Air Force Systems Command Board of Visitors, for which he was recognized with the Air Force Exceptional Service Award. As recognition of his public service work he was awarded the Bay Area Harvard Business School Business Statesman of the Year. A celebration of Charlie's life will be held on Friday, at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, at 2:00pm. Donations in his honor can be made to Lucille Salter Packard Children's Hospital.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Apr. 21, 2009
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