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Community remembers civic-minded VFW member

Services for Ron Anderson will be held today at New Hope Community Church in Happy Valley and Willamette Cemetery

WILSONVILLE - Ron Anderson was a 'civic-minded public servant to the end.'

'Yeah,' Ron's son, Erin, added. 'That would have been Pop.'

Anderson, 70, of Wilsonville, passed away Saturday from an aggressive cancer that spread from his esophagus.

The military veteran, who had more than 40 years of military service in the Navy, National Guard and active Army, was involved with countless community organizations and clubs.

'I don't know of anyone who knew of everything Ron was involved in,' said Dale Potts, a fellow Tualatin Vetrans of Foreign Wars member. 'He was so modest.'

Anderson was the driving force in the city of Tualatin's adoption in 2003 of the U.S. Army Reserves 671st Army Engineer Company, which was deployed to the Middle East. The city partnered with the Tualatin VFW to help provide support in way of packages, a homecoming parade and other activities and programs for the troops and their families.

Anderson, a member of the Tualatin VFW since 2001 when the Wilsonville VFW disbanded, wrote the resolution adopted by the city for the project. He was also the contact point between the troops' families and the VFW.

'His mission in life was to make sure those soldiers and their families were always taken care of,' said Erin, an Oregon City resident. 'The guy was just about being a part of the solution.'

The VFW received the Tualatin Chamber of Commerce's 2004 Public Service Award for its troop support. Anderson and Potts also traveled to Washington D.C., to accept the Fred C. Hall Memorial Special Project Award for the organization's efforts.

Tualatin Mayor Lou Ogden adjourned Monday's council meeting with a moment of silence for Anderson 'for the great gift he gave the city of Tualatin working at the VFW.'

Born July 2, 1936, in Fulton, S.D., Anderson joined the Army National Guard in 1953 and served in various Oregon and Washington units, eventually earning the highest enlisted rank of command sergeant major.

After his family, Anderson was said to have named graduating from command sergeant major school and joining the VFW as his two greatest satisfactions in life.

Anderson was a member of the Lions Club and the Wilsonville Chamber of Commerce and served on every citizens' board in the city of Wilsonville except for City Council. In Wilsonville he was named First Citizen in 2002.

He served as president of the Oregon Trail Chapter of the Korean War Veterans Association and for the past two years as the state president of the association. Anderson was also very active in the Portland Coalition of Troop Support and the Wilsonville Korean War Memorial. He also served as an associate member of the Portland Police Highland Guard with his son.

'Mom always says he was busier in retirement than he was in work,' Erin added.

Anderson's wife, Bonnie, said she gave up a long time ago trying to keep track of all of her husband's activities.

'He believed that if you lived in a community, you had to pay your dues,' she said.

Services for Anderson will be held today, Thursday, at 1 p.m. at the New Hope Community Church, 11731 S.E. Steven Road in Happy Valley and at 3 p.m. at Willamette Cemetery, 11800 S.E. Mt. Scott Blvd. in Portland. A reception will follow at Camp Whithycomb.

Contributions in memory of Ronald Leslie Anderson may be made to the Coalition for Troop Support.