Alvin D. Anderson, 1933-2012
Al was the oldest of three brothers – Alvin, Don, and Phil. Phil is the surviving brother. Phil’s favorite childhood memory is of Al giving him his first shotgun, which he still has and uses today. Phil pleasantly recalls scores of duck hunts and fishing trips with Al. He remembers shooting his first deer with that shotgun, stating, “We boys made the Game Warden go gray!”
The family originally landed in Cotati, before settling in beautiful Kenwood. Al attended school at the now historic Dunbar School outside of Glen Ellen, and later attended Santa Rosa High before enlisting in the Army. Always patriotic, Al would love to tell that he “needed his parents permission” to enlist at the age of 17.
Al was an infantry machine gunner in the Army during the Korean War. During the war he learned to box, and was in one televised match. He never forgot his time in the military, and became an avid war history buff later in life.
After returning from the Army he worked for Standard Oil in Marin County, and met his first wife Jan. Al and Jan had three boys – Steve, Mike, and Billy. Al and the family moved to Yuba City and the Sonora area to pursue a career in bakery route sales. Al “turned difficult routes into gold.” In the mid 1960s Al and Jan purchased Richmond Park Resort, moving to Lake County, and “the good life.” Al’s sons have many happy memories at the resort, as well as water skiing, duck hunting, and fishing with their dad on Clear Lake.
Al continued his career with Mother’s Cookies as a route salesman, where he became well known as “The Cookie Man.” Al made friends along his route all over Lake and Mendocino Counties, and was awarded Salesman of the Year numerous times. He retired in 1998.
Al met Terri in 1978, and there was many-a-broken heart in Lakeport. Two years later he gave up his bachelor pad on the lake, and moved in with Terri and her daughter Alanna. Al found out that raising boys is much different than a little girl, and quickly realized, much to his surprise that “little girls don’t always pee straight down.” Al and Terri finally wed in 1987.
Al had many friends who knew him as a generous, kind man who would never pass up a cup of coffee with friends. Everyone knew Al as a constant comedian, a good friend, a good worker, and a great American. To us, his children, he was the greatest dad. We will all miss him.
Friends and family celebrated Al’s life on Saturday, Feb. 11. In lieu of flowers, Al would have liked memorials made to the VA Western Blind Rehabilitation Center (WBRC).