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Radio, TV funnyman Dave Anderson dies after long cancer fight


TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO - Comedian, TV talk show host and radio funny guy Dave Anderson, in the purple shirt, died Sunday, Feb. 7, after a nearly two-year bout with pancreatic cancer. Anderson and his friend Mark Mason hosted KPAM 860's Mark & Dave Show.Comedian Dave Anderson, half of KPAM 860’s Mark & Dave Show and a TV morning show host, died Sunday, Feb. 7. He was 55.

Anderson had battled pancreatic cancer during the past couple years. He is survived by his wife, Christy Anderson, and two children, Quinton, 21, and McKenna, 16.

Plans for a memorial service are pending.

“AM Northwest” broke the news early Monday on Twitter. Anderson was co-host of the “The Mark & Dave Show.” on KPAM-AM 860 radio.

Mark Mason, his co-host, wrote on Facebook, “I lost my best friend tonight. Through the many conversations I have had with Dave about the potential for this moment, it's still difficult to accept. I can tell you his wonderful wife and loving family were with him, easing his and everyone else's burden, a beautiful sight to behold. Of course, there are lots of tears, including my own. Buddy, buddy, buddy. Rest in Peace."

You can find Mason's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TheMarkandDaveShow/?ref=br_rs.

Mason says listeners are invited to call in to share memories during Monday’s KPAM show from 3 to 6 p.m.

A 1979 Cleveland High School graduate, Anderson was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and had surgery to remove a tumor on Feb. 24, 2014. After surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatment, he had recovered enough to return to KPAM and “AM Northwest” and also hit the stage as comedian.

He had a relapse in December 2014, and turned to more aggressive chemotherapy in January 2015.

Through it all, he kept his sense of humor. People asked him whether doctors have given him a diagnosis. "The answer is no, no one's offered up a prognosis," he said. "But they do want cash up front."

He joked that his illness also altered the Pamplin Media Group health insurance plan. "The premium went up for everybody around here," Anderson said. "Our producer said they should just put my picture on it."

Anderson said a year ago that he could still be care-free on stage. "I love being on stage. I can let everything else go," he said. "If humor heals, then the guy with the jokes has really got to be in a good place, right?"

Anderson lived in Los Angeles while working as a full-time comedian until 1990, when he returned to Portland. He continued to do standup while working in talk radio and television.

During the past decade, he has been a fixture on radio (KEX and now KPAM) and "AM Northwest." Along the way, he has touched a lot of people; like many, Anderson never quite realized the impact of the caring from others, until he contracted pancreatic cancer and had to face the harsh reality.

"It's amazing. I've given support to people, and thoughts and prayers, and often wondered what difference does it make?" he said. "I'll tell you, it makes a big difference. it buoys you, gives you hope."