Les Aanderud 64, who passed away peacefully in his home in Riverside CA. on Saturday, was an accomplished inventor, engineer, instructor, beloved husband, father -"Teddy Bear in Boots", friend, and lifelong musician. Les was a simple, honest, passionate man who lived his life on his terms, caring for his family and helping others.
Born to parents Peter Aanderud and Gladys (Aanderud) Dix, in Minot ND, Les was the youngest of three children. Les attended Velva High School, where he and three friends first formed the band "The Tracers". Upon Graduation in 1965, The Tracers with Les as their lead singer began touring the Mid-west from North Dakota to Texas. In 1966, in association with his friend, Song writer/producer Ray Ruff of Sully Records and Checkmate productions, The Tracers cut their #1 single "She said yeah", which dethroned the Beatles and kept them off the top seat in the Texas charts for sixteen weeks. From 1965 to 1971, the tracers played with several music legends, such as "The Mama's and Papa's, The Turtles, and shared a double billing with The Beatles. Les attended college in Ft. Worth Texas with a Major in Music. During a short Marriage to Paula Raife in the late 60's Les was graced with his first born daughter Michelle (Aanderud) Biddison of Big Spring TX.
In 1969, Les met Ethel Austin in Velva ND. They married in March of 1970.
After leaving the tracers in 1971, Les began his professional career working for Locheed/Martin in Minot ND and Sun manufacturing in Newburg ND. In1972, Les and Ethel created the band Les and the Country Rock shop, which produced one album "Simple Lovin Man". After moving to Fullerton CA in 1979, Les and the Country Rock Shop became a family operated enterprise incorporating their children as band members, stage managers, sound engineers and video production operators. Les began his Career with Hughes/GM/Raytheon in 1979 where his innovation and inventions earned him a position as Senior Field Engineer/Technician for Defense systems worldwide. During his tenure with Hughes, Les traveled to multiple locations in the continental United States and Instillations across the globe in Norway, Turkey, Holland, and Greece, Instructing, designing and repairing facilities vital to National Defense. Most notably repairing systems utilized in Iraq and Afghanistan vital to the security and defense of US Armed Forces serving there. Les Retired from Hughes in 2009, leaving a lasting legacy of his dedication and professionalism that will not be forgoten. After retiring, Les renewed a lifelong love in his hobby of restoring Classic automobiles. Les and Ethel celebrated "Forty Two years of ecstatically happy marriage on March 11th of this year.
Les is survived by his wife Ethel M Aanderud; Sons; Kelly Jenson (Longview WA), Shane Aanderud (Riverside CA), and Travis Aanderud (Riverside CA), Daughters; Michelle Biddison (Martin Biddison-Big Spring TX), Cheryl Mulligan-Jenson (Longview WA), Shan Miller (Steve Miller-Norco CA), Dawn Aanderud-Cosby (Shawn Cosby- Barstow CA). He also leaves behind Twenty Grand-Children, One Great Grand-Child, cousins and a host of friends, colleagues, and students who played very important roles in his life.
His family has organized an outdoor Funeral/Memorial service of his life at 1pm Friday, April 6th at Crestlawn Cemetery in Riverside CA. There will be no formal reception following the service however friends and family are welcome to visit at the family home.