Leslie John Anderson, 88, of Casselberry, FL and Norman, OK, passed away on March 17, 2012 in Casselberry, FL.
He was born on August 4, 1923 in Portland, Maine, the only son of Anker Anderson, a naturalized US citizen from Norway and Lila M. Narsiff, daughter of Lebanese immigrants William and Nazera Narsiff. His father died when he was six years old, so he and his mother went to live with her family in Connecticut and he was reared in the Lebanese culture with many aunts and uncles acting as big brothers and sisters. He learned late in life that he had a half sister in Norway, Ingeborg Aasvold, who survives him.
Les attended Torrington (CT) High School where he was co-captain of the football team. He was recruited to Bates College in Lewiston, ME to play football for his former high school coach. In 1942 he enlisted in the Navy and was called to active duty in 1943. However, he was able to continue at Bates as part of the V-12 unit. He entered midshipman school in New York and was assigned to the USS Colohan as part of Admiral Halsey's task force in the Pacific and Asian theater of WWII. He was on duty in Tokyo Bay when the war ended. After discharge in 1946 he returned to Bates to finish his bachelors degree in History and Government.
Dr. Anderson became a lifelong educator, teaching at the secondary and college level. He received a Masters degree from Fitchburg State College in MA, a sixth year certificate from the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT and a Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma. He retired from teaching economics at Rose State College in Midwest City, OK, although after retirement he enjoyed teaching air force personnel and their families through Park College in Midwest City on a part time basis and served as a substitute teacher in the Norman, OK public schools.
He is a father of three, including Maureen Anderson Harvey, of Maitland, who passed away in November, 2011. Dr. Anderson is survived by Maureen's husband Dave Harvey. Also surviving are a daughter Lynn Marie Anderson of North Wales, PA and her partner Shirley Kent, daughter Elaine Anderson McEnteer of Winter Park and her husband Michael, and two granddaughters, Caley Manning of Orlando and Shannon McEnteer of Winter Park.
Les was a 32nd Degree Mason and a member of India Shrine of Oklahoma. A former Roman Catholic, he and his wife, Kathleen Lions Anderson, who survives him, were received into the Episcopal Church in 2006 by Bishop Howe and Rector Tom Downs of St. Richard's Church in Winter Park. The family continues to receive the love and spiritual support of Rector Alison Harrity and the members of St. Richard's Church.
He was a "hobby painter" with the Friday group at the Art House in Casselberry and the Art for Life group led by Sheryl Cozad in Norman, OK. He also took lessons in the Bob Ross painting technique in New Smyrna Beach and Deland, FL. He bowled with the University of Oklahoma Faculty and Staff League and the Thursday Senior Fun Bowl group in Casselberry. A lifelong "duffer," he enjoyed playing the Winter Park Municipal Course and Winter Park Pines Golf Course. He also loved the theatre, from advising high school and college drama classes to acting himself in several productions in Oklahoma. He once grew a goatee to play Leon Trotsky and everyone liked it so much, he kept in on for the rest of his life.
A celebration of his life will be held on Wednesday, March 21, 2012, at 2:00 PM at St. Richard's Church in Winter Park, FL. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Hospice of the Comforter who gave such gentle care in his last days in Florida www.hospiceofthecomforter.org, or to the Norman, OK Animal Shelter Denise Miles Adoption Center through whom the family received their Lucky dog. Services for Dr. Anderson have been entrusted to Carey hand Cox-Parker Funeral Home in Winter Park, FL. To offer condolences and to read his complete obituary, please visit www.carey-handcox.com