John Hawkins Anderson
March 22, 1930–March 12, 2019
John Hawkins Anderson came to the Golden State in the mid-1950s, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. Promised a summer gig in a Balboa Island restaurant, John arrived in California to find the sand was warm, the girls were suntanned, and he could eat like a king. He was enrolled at Harding College in his native Arkansas, but it suddenly made sense to finish his undergraduate degree at Long Beach State College. In 1958, he earned a Master of City Planning from UC Berkeley.
John passed away on March 12, 2019, in San Francisco. He was at peace and well cared for by his children and the hospice staff in the VA of San Francisco's Community Living Center. He was happiest when he could sit by the water; fittingly, he lived his last months overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
As a Bay Area city planner for three decades, John worked in San Francisco City Hall under Mayors Shelley, Alioto, Moscone, and Feinstein. His first assignment was to draft the Johnson-era Model Cities Program for San Francisco. He contributed to the development of BART and other landmark projects, and faced the daunting task of managing leases at the Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard. Before retiring from public service, he directed the Emeryville Redevelopment Agency, succeeding Mark Buell. Other notable colleagues included William Reid, Dean Macris, Bob Isaacson, and Paul and Lynn Sedway.
In the late 1980s, John switched gears professionally to co-found Sino International Corporation, forming an exclusive relationship with Hongfa Electroacoustic Co. (Xiamen, China).
John lived on Potrero Hill for 50 years. He is remembered for spearheading the campaign to sink utility distribution lines in several blocks of the neighborhood. UGD Number 331 was formalized in 1992, the last such funding agreement between the city and PG&E to be approved.
John was the son of Bailey Duncan Anderson of Tennessee and Frances Winona Hawkins of Hot Springs, Arkansas. He was an amateur pilot who logged many hours in light aircraft.
He is survived by his son, Aaron Bailey Anderson, and daughter, Carolyn Gray Anderson, along with sisters Joanne Smith and Joyce Woodruff, and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.
A memorial celebration of his life will be held in San Francisco at a later date. Tributes and contact ([email protected]
) are welcome. Donations in John's name can be made to Potrero Hill Archives Project, NAMI San Francisco, San Francisco Insight, Classical KDFC, or the next person in need you meet.
Published by San Francisco Chronicle from Mar. 21 to Mar. 24, 2019.