William D. "Sonny" Anderson of Othello passed away on March 6, 2013 at his home in Othello. Bill was born on December 24, 1932 in Elk Creek, Nebraska, second child born to William F. (Bill) and Eva M. (Mason) Anderson. He was known by his family as "Sonny" to keep confusion to a minimum since his father was known as Bill. In 1944 the family moved to Hansen, Idaho where he graduated from Hansen High School in 1952. He was senior class president, played football, and participated in track, dramatics, and F.F.A.. In 1953 he married Laura Young and they started their family. They had four children together, Dale, Cyndy, Doug and Duaine. They later divorced.
Bill was drafted into the Army in 1953, he was at Fort Oord, California for basic before being stationed in Germany where he served for two years. In 1955 he was honorably discharged and moved his young family to Montello, Nevada to farm with his brother in law, Paul Barker. Bill and Paul farmed there until 1959. After encouragement from a longtime friend in Warden they moved to the Columbia Basin and began farming. They developed farm land out of sage brush and dust in both Royal Slope and Wahluke. Bill was always looking for a challenge and adventure and later partnered with several other farmers in the areas and created "Unique Frozen Foods" in Connell. The plant which specialized in frozen potatoes doubled the employment and electricity needs of Connell. They sold the plant to Lamb Weston which still runs today. He later developed a cubing plant in 1986 and most recently K'ntucky Turf Sod Farm with his sons.
Bill developed a love of flying after a friend flew him over the basin. He got his pilots license and bought an airplane in the late 60's. He especially enjoyed flying over the fields which he farmed and trips to Southern Idaho to visit family. He kept his love of flying even after his health grounded him.
Bill married Judy Kliphardt in 1979 and later purchased land on Radar Hill where he built his home overlooking the Othello area. Bill loved the view and never grew tired of looking out over the farm ground.
Bill had a love of horses and eventually bought several Peruvian Pasos which he raised near his home. He was proud of his horses and won several awards, including one reserve grand champion in a competition in Las Vegas. He was a past member of the Adams County Sherriff's Posse and enjoyed riding his horses in the local parades. He also enjoyed reading westerns, carving and welding various types of statues, visiting his family in Idaho and was a pro at popping popcorn..
Bill shared over 20 years with his dear friend Rita Wilson. They shared a love of horses and enjoyed riding together. They were married in May of 2008. Rita loved him dearly and cared for Bill until his recent passing.
Bill was a hard working, honest business man who was true to his word and whose handshake was as good as any contract. He was proud of his four children who he taught to be hard working at an early age. He was a loving husband, father and grandfather and loved to tell stories to his grandchildren about his years of hard work and numerous adventures. He will be remembered by his quick humor, gentle smile and strong work ethic. He will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents and brother Marvin. He is survived by his wife Rita of Othello, his sons, Dale (Karla) of Kennewick, Doug (Sue) of Mattawa and Duaine (Kathy) of Othello, his daughter Cyndy (Bernie) Caldwell of Pendleton and step-daughter Lisa (Andy) Porter of Othello. His sisters Doreen (Kenny) Venable of Twin Falls, ID, Barbara Mishkin of Rancho Mirage, CA and Karen (Bob) Wright of Kimberly, ID, 15 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.
A celebration of Bill's life will be held on Saturday March 16 at 11:00 AM at the Othello First Presbyterian Church. To leave a message for the family, send flowers and view his pictures please visit stevensfuneralchapel.com.
Services are under the direction of Stevens Funeral Chapel