John Anderson
1930 - 2019
BORN
1930
DIED
2019
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.
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105 Entries
John and I had connected over the last 20 or so years with his aviation interest, especially in the China National Aviation Corporation (CNAC). He will be missed...
Tom Moore
June 3, 2019
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From Vicki Evans of San Francisco:

"John was a dedicated member and volunteer with the San Francisco chapter of the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI). John and I worked together for many years as Support Group Leaders. John always came prepared to offer support and services to the many people who were often in crisis. John was calm and offered thoughtful suggestions.

"It was an honor to know John and he will be missed."
Vicki Evans
May 6, 2019
I would like to offer my condolences to Aaron and Gray.

I met your father John at NAMI about 14 years ago. He was a very kind and caring person.

One incident that I would like to share is how John helped me specifically. About ten years ago, he drove to Alameda to visit with my 82-year-old father when my parents were in town visiting my sister.

His intent was to talk to my dad about my struggle with serious lifelong depression. After that visit, my dad joined NAMI in Ohio and warmed up to the reality that I was dealing with an illness that was not in my control.

I have John to thank for finally having a very close relationship with my dad for the last ten years after having been estranged for many years.

Rest in Peace John. I will remember you all the days of my life.
Peter Perrino
May 6, 2019
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To the family,

I express my deepest condolences at this time of sorrow. I pray for your strength as each day passes. Continue to reflect on the memories that brought so much joy. Seek refuge in the God of all comfort and he will sustain you.

R.D.

Birmingham, AL
April 22, 2019
Gray Anderson
April 5, 2019
Gray Anderson
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Gray Anderson
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Gray Anderson
April 5, 2019
Uncle John always took time to listen carefully to me. With him, I could say anything and explore my ideas and thoughts. I listened carefully to him as well. I learned so much from him, and the things he told me helped me during difficult times. He explained things in our family history with great insight, thoughtfulness and much grace. I loved him dearly.
Dianne Baker
April 5, 2019
From Avery:
"I met John in 1965. Ever since, he was the embodiment of what great friendship means. He always shared, cared, mentored, gave sage advice, laughed, listened, and supported me in every endeavor in which I was involved. We shared many discussions concerning philosophical and spiritual matters. He was a light living on a hill in San Francisco that will always shine brightly."

Thank you for such kind lifelong friendship!
Gray
Gray Anderson
March 30, 2019
I have really good family memories of times spent together on road trips to Arkansas for family reunions. Also, time spent with John, Aaron and Gray while living with them in Corte Madera for a year.
joyce swanson
March 29, 2019
Gray Anderson
March 29, 2019
Gray Anderson
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Gray Anderson
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Gray Anderson
March 29, 2019
So beautifully written, and a reminder of a life well lived. I was lucky to get a mini tour with the two of you.
Debra Canter
March 28, 2019
Avery Falkner
March 27, 2019
Avery Falkner
March 27, 2019
Avery Falkner
March 27, 2019
My deepest condolences! This is a lovely tribute and it's nice to learn about your father. My good memories of your time with him comfort you at this time.
Harriet
March 27, 2019
He accomplished so much and lived a full life, he had a good run in this world! You should be proud of him and be assured he was very proud of you too! He left this world on the same day he entered it...I'm sure it means something, but most importantly, it meant it was time for him to go, no more pain, no more sadness. May he Rest In Peace
Martha Alfaro
March 27, 2019
So sorry for your loss, Carolyn. Losing a parent is one of life's hardest jolts. But you were with him the last months of his life, and that must have made him happy. You are a wonderful daughter. Sending our love, as well as our sympathy. Margaret and Tom Benson
Margaret Benson
March 27, 2019
Joe L
March 27, 2019
John was an honest and respectable person. He loved SF. I remember that he drove us to every street of SF. He showed us the history of SF, from cable car to Russian Hill, from fisherman's wharf to Coit Tower. I miss him a lot. He had great passion for business. In the early 90's, John traveled so many times to overseas to build connections between businesses. He taught us business knowledge with great patients as we were his kids.
Joe L
March 27, 2019
Enjoyed conversations w/ Uncle John, very interesting to talk to and very patient w/ others views, if there were more like Uncle John, there would be more peace on earth,, he will be missed!
Tony Woodruff
March 24, 2019
Tony Woodruff
March 24, 2019
Gray Anderson
March 24, 2019
Gray Anderson
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Gray Anderson
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Gray Anderson
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Gray Anderson
March 24, 2019
We're grateful to be reminded by friends of John's early association with the accomplished Allan Jacobs, UC Berkeley professor emeritus. We hope others will advise us of those still living whom we might acknowledge here as well!
Gray Anderson
March 24, 2019
My condolences to the family.
May you find comfort and peace knowing God
promises a future and a hope.
Jeremiah 29:11
M. Nevarez
March 24, 2019
What prolific and meaningful memories you have and will share. Psalms 62:7-12.
March 23, 2019
These words bring me close again to John's wit, extraordinary talent, legacy of achievement, & love for the Golden State. We are so lucky that these qualities live on in Carolyn. There has never been a moment of time shared with her where I didn't feel deep reserves of generosity, hospitality, loyalty, & love for all that California offers. She's made me see that few other places can provide sweeps of sky, warmth, ocean, & community in the combination she grew up with & that John made sure she was grateful for.
Having just read about real corrosions in the state's utilities, I see how prescient John was in caring for Potero Hill! My husband Jim reminds me that his own brother Tom lived on Potero Hill before he died. This gives me so much to think about & be grateful for.
Carolyn, thank you.
John, may you continue to live on in all who loved you & who now love Carolyn.
Margaret MacNamidhe
March 22, 2019
Today would have been my pop's 89th birthday. We'll celebrate with dear friends in a way he'd have approved of, and take our lunch at the Crossroads Cafe, one of his favorite haunts!
Gray Anderson
March 22, 2019
Shallow water is loud, deep water is quiet. Uncle John was deep. He had a calmness about him and a wisdom that is difficult to find in most people. He always seemed to be in the moment, and enjoyed the small things like picking oranges off his orange tree in his backyard. He's the kind of man that I was so very lucky to know, and I strive to be the type of man he was.
Alan and Kortney Webb
March 22, 2019
My deepest condolences to the family and friends of John. When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure when it fills your heart with love and brings you joy. May you find comfort in Jesus promise of the hope of everlasting life on earth at John 6:40.
VG
March 22, 2019
Gray Anderson
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