Berrien Palmer "Buck" Anderson Jr. passed away on July 4, 2012, in the Gallatin Valley.
Buck was born on Jan. 28, 1920, in San Rafael, Calif., to Berrien and Corona Anderson. Buck and his three sisters enjoyed an active outdoor lifestyle. They rode horses, played tennis, skied, and spent many summer days on the beaches of Point Reyes. He attended high school at the Hotchkiss School in Connecticut. Buck began flying lessons when 14 years old (unknown to his parents) and floated the Amazon River in Peru with college friends when 20 years old.
Buck graduated from Harvard University in 1942 and immediately joined up to fight in World War II. He served as a Naval officer and pilot stationed in the Pacific Theatre and was awarded the Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. He served as an officer aboard the U.S.S. Walke (DD 416), a destroyer that was sunk during the Battle of Guadalcanal. He was rescued after 18 hours in the water; many of his shipmates did not survive. Buck attended annual reunions with the survivors of the U.S.S. Walke for many years.
After the war, Buck worked for Matson Navigation in Hawaii, and then for the Bank of California in San Francisco. In 1950 he married Marcia Willd Smith. Buck's family owned the Diamond A Ranch in Sonoma, Calif., from 1938-1961, and he helped out with the Brahman cow-calf operation whenever he could. In 1960, Buck and Marcia realized a long-held dream by purchasing the Climbing Arrow Ranch in southwest Montana. An avid skier, Buck was one of a group of Gallatin Valley ski pioneers who expanded the early Bridger Bowl ski area. Buck's Run was named for him during his tenure on the Bridger Bowl Board of Directors.
Buck enjoyed many years overseeing the operations of the C.A. Ranch. He loved to host family and friends on the ranch and never tired of checking on his cattle, following cattle prices, and worrying about ranch matters. He enjoyed pack trips in the Sierras and Yellowstone, canoe trips on many of Montana's rivers and lakes, sailing excursions, and extensive travel to numerous countries with Marcia.
Buck was preceded in death by his son, Trig; by his three sisters, Betty Wilkins, Mary Lakusta, and Florence Gibson; and by two nephews. He is survived by his wife, Marcia of 62 years; children Anita, Kathy, Page (Julie), and Frank (Meg) and his six grandchildren, Katie and Kristin Sherwood, and Maria, Andrea, Jackson and Elizabeth Anderson, all of the Gallatin Valley. Buck is also survived by 12 nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank Buck's home caregivers (Joe Weyer, Becky Copenhaver, and Matt Balyeat) who made it possible for him to stay at home for many years and took him for frequent drives so he could continue to enjoy, and keep an eye on, his ranch. The family also wants to thank the staff of Elsie's Assisted Living and Hospice of Southwest Montana for their very kind and compassionate care over the last two years. Each of you added to the quality of his life during difficult years by the connections you made with him.
A memorial service is scheduled for Wednesday, July 25 at 2 p.m., at Journey Church, 1794 E. Baxter Ln., Bozeman, MT 59718. A service will also be held in September in California. Memorials may be made to Warriors and Quiet Waters Foundation, P.O. Box 1165, Bozeman, MT 59771-1165 or the charity of one's choice
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.dahlcares.com.
Published by Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Jul. 13, 2012.