Alden Wilmer “Andy” Anderson, 97, passed away Thursday, Sept.18, 2008 at Allen Memorial Hospital extended care.
Andy was born July 29, 1911, 30 miles north of Woodward, Okla., near Haskew. He was the son of Hilda Kristina Carlsdotter, born Feb. 14, 1871, in Morlaunda Smilan, Kilmar Lan Sweden, and Axel Edward Anderson, born Dec. 10, 1868, in Morlaunda Smilan, Kilmar Lan Sweden.
Andy was one of four children born in this union. After the death of Hilda, Axel married Jennie Shriner and they also had four children. Andy only attended school to the eighth grade and a few days into high school at Freedom, Okla. He then began working as a farm hand.
Andy met and courted Jessie Ellen Grimes in November of 1913. Jessie was the daughter of Ottie Elden and Hazel May Johnson Grimes. Andy and Jesse were later married on April 6, 1935 in Woodard, Okla., with Harold and Lucile Grimes as witnesses. Knowing there was going to be a chivalry party waiting for them at the Grimes home. Andy and Jesse were left in town by the witnesses and picked up later. At the party Andy showed the wedding certificate to his new mother-in-law and he then heard a double-barrel shot gun go off and the wedding party was underway.
Andy continued working as a farm hand for five years in Oklahoma and Kansas. Later, he and Jesse traveled to Palisade, Colo. with the Grimes family, working for 25-35 cents an hour in the peach orchards. In 1946, Andy and Jesse arrived in Moab, where he began working for the Moab Garage and lived in the Bowen Motel for about a year. Later they purchased the property on Locust Lane, where they lived in a small trailer until 1953 when Andy built a log cabin home. Andy also built the Locust Lane Shop in 1949, where he did mechanic work for many of the townspeople and also for Lile Brothers Trucking.
In 1958, Andy built the first RV motor home. He made a total of four of them – one he kept, and the others he sold. He also made a “GO DEVIL” (tote Goat), a one-wheel scooter, and also a garden tractor that was a two-wheel-drive unit and later a four-wheel unit and a four-wheel-drive unit that was articulating. Andy made all kinds of shop equipment such as drill presses, rock saws, special tools and whatever anyone needed made – they would show him and Andy would figure out how to build it for them.
Andy was the fire chief for four years; he also formed the Moab Rock Club, the Boat Club (Andy made his own boat), and Andy and Bob Baldwin started the River Marathon that was held in May from Green River to Moab. He was one of the founders of the trail, which he used for his tote goats to run on the now-named Slickrock Bike Trail.
Later, after the death of his first wife, Andy met and married Susanne Clark Mahaffey, who was born March 30, 1916 in Pittsburgh, Penn. Susanne died June 2, 1998 in Moab. Andy knew many people and touched the lives of so many. He was always very helpful and always had a story or invention to share with them. You would see Andy in his later years sitting at City Market just watching or talking with the people he loved so much.
Andy is survived by his nieces, Verla (Jerry) Swasey, Moab, Patty Mcfarland Gross, of Grand Junction, Colo., and Janice Aumiller, Blanding.; great-nephews, Jerry (Debbie) Swasey Moab, Mike (Susan) Swasey, Farmington, N.M., Duane Swasey, Price; a great-niece, Terri (Art) Hines, of Moab, and many other great-great-nieces and nephews. He was also survived by other family and many friends, and his extended family at the Allen Memorial Hospital, where he has resided for the past seven years
Funeral services were held in Moab on Monday, Sept. 22, at Spanish Valley Mortuary, 386 North 100 West, at 10 a.m. Burial was at the Sunset Memorial Gardens Cemetery. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.SpanishValleyMortuary.com.