John Anderson, retired marketing and promotions manager for The Commercial Appeal, was an innovator in his field. "He led the way in developing the newspaper's research division when the competitive media landscape demanded more than just raw circulation numbers," said Paul Jewell, the newspaper's marketing director. "He was a pioneer in developing the analytics that have become commonplace in the industry today." Mr. Anderson, 85, died Thursday after a battle with lymphoma. Mr. Anderson was originally from Arkansas. During the Great Depression his family moved from Chicago to Pace, Miss., and eventually to Memphis. After graduating high school and completing a brief stint in the Navy, he enrolled at Memphis State College. He graduated in 1950 with a double major in English literature and business sales management. He met his wife-to-be, Wanda, at Treadwell High School when he was in the 10th grade, and they married on May 31, 1952. During their 61 years together, they raised two children. "We did a lot of traveling in the last 10 years," his wife said. "Those are some of the fondest memories I have of him." Mr. Anderson started at The Commercial Appeal in 1953 as the circulation and promotions manager. "He led Memphis Publishing Company's promotions and community relations department back in the days when there were two thriving newspapers, The Commercial Appeal in the morning and the Press-Scimitar in the afternoon," Jewell said. "I'm sure there are many, many men and women in Memphis who remember winning bicycles, trips and other prizes in carrier contests that were coordinated by John." During his free time, Mr. Anderson volunteered with his son's Boy Scout Troop and his daughter's Girl Scout Troop. He became an avid photographer through his work as a promotions manager, and his family can't help but boast about his talent in the kitchen. "He made wonderful spaghetti," his daughter Suzanne said. "He used to watch all of those cooking shows. He was a great chef." Mr. Anderson donated his body to The University of Tennessee in Memphis to aid in research. Services are set for Saturday at Family Funeral Care at 4925 Summer. Family and friends will be received at 2 p.m. with the service beginning at 3 p.m. and a reception to follow. Besides his wife, he leaves a daughter, Suzanne Anderson Leslie of Memphis; a son, John Anderson Jr. of Knoxville, and a granddaughter.
Family Funeral Care