Fred David Anderson – January 27, 1924/March 19, 2015

Filed under: Obituaries |

fred_andersonF. David Anderson, 91, of Cedar Hill, Texas, died of natural causes on Thursday, March 19, 2015 at home surrounded by family members. David Anderson was born in Trenton, New Jersey, the eldest son of Dewey and Corinne Anderson. He grew up in the Boston suburb of Newton.

An entrepreneur at an early age, Anderson would meet the train in downtown Newton, pick up a load of magazines in his red wagon, then sell the magazines to neighbors on his way home. He sharpened lawnmower blades, advertising his business with printed business cards. He spent the summer of his eleventh year with his paternal grandparents, in Nicktown, PA. He loved listening to his grandfather and the local priest discussing current events in the back room of his grandfather’s store and post office.

In 1943, at 19, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He served in Bermuda as part of the Navy construction team, the SeaBees. Later, he was a student at Harvard and M.I.T. Upon honorable discharge from the Navy, Anderson began a four-decades-long career as a civil engineer. Projects took him to Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Brazil, and Alaska. He was Resident Engineer for Stone and Webster, Inc. in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where he supervised the construction of the largest electric power plant (at that time) in South America.

Following two assignments in Brazil, he returned to El Paso, Texas, to supervise construction of a power plant and then serve as Vice President of El Paso-based construction firm, Vowell Construction Co. He later formed the geotechnical consulting firm of Anderson, Bradley, Dyess, and Woods in El Paso. He reached the peak of his professional career as Asst. Managing Engineer for construction of the Alaska oil pipeline terminal at Valdez, Alaska. Upon his return to the Lower 48, he became a Managing Principal of the El Paso office of the San Antonio firm of Raba, Kistner, Anderson Consultants, Inc.

Anderson moved to the Dallas/Fort Worth, TX, area in the mid-1980s to lead the construction materials engineering division of Southwestern Laboratories. He introduced the use of computers to that firm and ultimately retired in 1989. That same year he presented a technical paper at the International Conference of the American Concrete Institute in Trondheim, Norway. The paper discussed the composition and quality control of concrete used in the construction of the then tallest building in Dallas (now, the Bank of America building).

He and his wife, Nancy, moved to Cedar Hill where he supervised the restoration of a hundred-year-old house, which became their home. Anderson loved classical music and played the cello with a chamber music group while in El Paso. He and Nancy were regulars at Dallas Chamber Music Society concerts. An accomplished photographer, Anderson was a contributor to Maine Antique Digest for several years, including reporting from the semi-annual Round Top Antiques Show.

Above all, Anderson was a skilled craftsman, making chairs, beds, tables, desks, and other items, often in the authentic 18th century American style he so admired. He demonstrated the art and craft of cutting dovetails at woodworking shows around the country. He presented his wife Nancy with an authentic reproduction of the Maryland State Senate Chamber desk. He made a rare left-handed writing arm chair (he was left-handed) and constructed several tall case clocks complete with handmade clock works. Anderson was a member of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors. He was also a member of Mensa, the American Society of Civil Engineers, and a member of the Texas Old Missions and Forts Restoration Association. In El Paso, he had been a member of the El Paso Sheriff’s Posse. He was a renaissance man.

Anderson is survived by his wife of 40+ years Nancy; his sister Josephine Bell, Chapel Hill, NC, and his brother Thomas Anderson and wife Sherry Niswander, Stanwood WA; his seven children and their spouses: Susan Anderson and Carmen Aguero of Tampa FL; Leslie (Anderson) and David Patterson, Rising Fawn, GA; Christian and Sandra Anderson, Seattle WA; Heidi (Anderson) and Rick Grigaitis, Phoenix AZ; Erich and Kelly Anderson, Richardson TX; Ingrid (Anderson) and Shawn McCready, Phoenix AZ; and Leif Anderson, Dallas TX; his stepson and stepdaughter-in-law Mark and Nelda Johnson, Collinsville, TX; and stepdaughter Gail Johnson, Dallas TX. Also surviving are nine grandchildren: Matthew Rayfield, Tampa FL; AnnElise Anderson, Yakima WA; Cooper Anderson, and Mitchell Anderson, Bellingham WA; Bradley Anderson, Haley Grigaitis, Rick Grigaitis, Jr., Vitas Grigaitis, all of Phoenix AZ; Eva Anderson and step-granddaughter Brenna Rich, Richardson TX. Several nieces and nephews survive as well.

David’s family wishes to thank longtime housekeeper Mary Martinez for her continuing assistance and concern; special thanks to April Burkins and Alicia Brackens for their care and attentiveness to David over the past months; and an extra special thank you to David’s primary aide, Sherry Launza, for her compassionate care, friendship and beyond-the-call-of-duty assistance during this last year.

Burial will be at the DFW National Cemetery the afternoon of Tuesday, March 31st, in a private, family-only service, conducted by Rev. George Udell.

jaynesA reception for family and friends at the family home will be from 6-8 p.m.

In lieu of flowers in David’s memory, contributions may be made to the Zula B. Wylie Library in Cedar Hill (225 Cedar Street; Cedar Hill; TX 75104), the Friends of which David and Nancy were members.