Donald J. Anderson, age 84, passed away the morning of June 22, 2013, from pneumonia, a complication arising from injuries suffered in a fall in December 2012. He was surrounded by his family, in his home, at the time of his death.
Don is survived by his wife of 59 years, Ethel Mae Davis Anderson; daughter, Lisa Anderson and husband, Rick Cimball; daughter, Lorri Anderson and son, Eric Anderson. He is survived by eight grandchildren: Corey Cimball, Cameron Cimball, Brandon Odum, Megan Odum Boxx, Shelby Odum Despain, Schyler Odum, Lauren Armstrong and Alek Anderson; and one great-grandchild, Analeigh Boxx. He will be sorely missed by all.
Don was born in Rigby, September 5, 1928, and grew up with a love of the outdoors, hunting and fishing. He joined the U.S. Navy at the age of 17 in 1946, trained in San Diego, and was discharged in 1948. In preparation for his career as a civil engineer, Don studied at University of Idaho, Ricks College and Napa College.
Don was creative and ambitious in his career. He began his work with the U.S. Geological Survey in California and Washington state and then with the Idaho Department of Transportation. In 1966, he joined RML-BRJ to serve as Chief Project Engineer in South Vietnam, building airbases and roads for the U.S. Air Force. Working overseas, building a strong productive career, and providing a life of adventure to his family was important to Don. At the end of the war, Don joined DeLeuw Cather International (DCI) in Bangkok, Thailand, where his family joined him. While traveling with his family to the beaches of southern Thailand, in 1968, Don suffered major injuries in a car accident. Though badly hurt and in a cast from toe to hip, Don persisted in his goal of European travel.
Between engineering assignments, Don and family traveled throughout Asia and Europe, visiting Singapore and India; England, France, Italy and Spain; and Holland, Denmark, Sweden and Russia. Don made sure his family experienced the grandeur and culture of every city, with visits to the Taj Mahal in Agra, the Bolshoi Ballet and Red Square in Moscow, the National Portrait Gallery in London, the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre in Paris, St. Peter's Basilica and the Coliseum in Rome, and the Lipissaner Stallions in Vienna. It was an unforgettable and once-in-a-lifetime experience for the entire family and one that Don treasured.
From 1969 to 1972, he acted as Engineer in Residence for DCI in Tanzania, East Africa, which proved to be another adventurous and inspiring experience. Africa became his family's home and colleagues there became lifetime friends. During the four years spent "up-country" in Tanzania and on the coast in Dar es Salaam, Don and family enjoyed the mountains, beaches and wildlife of East Africa. Don continued with his love of hunting, often going on safari with family and friends. His entire family remembers camping in the bush with wild animals all around; driving through herds of elephant, gazelle and giraffe; and sitting in Land Rovers overlooking herds of wildebeest, lions and Cape buffalo.
Don remained with DeLeuw Cather when he moved to South Africa with family in tow in October 1973. The experience was a different one for Don and his family, as the only schools available to the children, now in middle school and high school, were bilingual boarding schools.
In 1974, Ethel and the children moved back to Idaho so that the children could attend American schools. Don joined Tippets-Abbett-McCarthy-Stratton in Kingston, Jamaica, where he acted as Project Manager. The family visited in the beginning and end of the assignment. Don returned to the U.S., working at the INL, first for Jones/Boecon Company, and then as General Manager for M-K Ferguson. Don left the INL, working as an engineering consultant in Pennsylvania, Colorado, Washington and California. He retired in Idaho Falls in 1988.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, June 28, 2013, at Buck-Miller-Hann Funeral Home, 825 E. 17th Street in Idaho Falls. Burial will follow at Rose Hill Cemetery. A viewing for family and friends will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and one hour prior to the service on Friday at the funeral home.