Duane Anderson

 Duane Anderson is remembered by children, grandchildren, many other family members, friends in many places, Korean veterans, those who worked with him in seemingly countless endeavors, by sports fans who witnessed his prowess in football, basketball, and baseball, by those he coached in those sports, by many who received his kindness and helpfulness, by longtime neighbors, by those who love the woods and lakes and the fish that can be caught in them, and by all those with whom he shared his home and hospitality on countless Christmases, Easters and other gatherings.

Among those who shared in facets of his richly-lived life, he was valued for his kindness, intelligence, friendliness, generosity, accomplishments, dry humor, startlingly-good memory, resourcefulness, sharp wits, critical thinking, constant friendship, source of strength when needed, and as a great dad and husband.

Duane L. Anderson was born in Hatton, North Dakota on June 21, 1931. As a child, Duane was a Life Scout and grew up enjoying hunting, fishing and sports. He lettered in 4 sports in high school. His teammates and fans considered him the “ultimate team player.” Growing up he had a series of jobs in order to help support the family among them: potato picker, road construction, dog-racing attendant, barn painter, milk truck driver and hunter. 

At North Dakota State University he played four years of basketball and two years of football where he earned All City, All State and All Conference honors. 

In 1951 his National Guard unit was activated for the Korean War. He became a platoon sergeant in the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea, seeing combat action on Heartbreak Ridge and in the Iron Triangle area. In the last 20 years he was very active in the 2nd Infantry reunions. 

Also in 1951 - while on leave from the army in Gainesville, FL - he met Bettye Coleman. They were married in 1953 until her death in 2016 - 63 years. Late in her life, Bettye wrote of him “It was your kindness – and I was drawn to your sincerity and lack of pretention – not to mention your masculinity and sex appeal – you made me feel cherished.” She also wrote “I have never ever seen any man who had so many talents and used them so well – you can build – you can farm – you can teach – you can Direct and you can invent – you speak well & write well – also you have a special very ‘wry’ sense of humour – not to mention your ‘steel trap mind.”

After graduating from NDSU Duane coached football, basketball and track & field and taught biology in high schools in North Dakota and Florida before completing his Ph.D. degree at Michigan State University.

He served as Director of Admissions, Records and Outreach and Director of Transfer Programs at California State University, Sacramento from 1965 until he retired in 1992. After retirement he loved fishing trips to his cabin at Lake Shasta, gardening, watching football, duck hunting and spending time with his family. 

After fighting off bone and prostate cancer Duane finally succumbed to colon cancer. Until the end, his mind was as sharp and clear as ever and he was leaned on by all for his sage advice. Like his father Ernest he was rarely judgmental & never had a bad word for anyone. Many family members and friends shared his lively 90th birthday in June 2021.

He is predeceased by his wife Bettye Anderson, brother Harold “Zeke” Anderson and survived by his children Melinda Anderson (husband Peter Nowell), Dane Anderson (wife Nora Anderson), Wynn Anderson (wife Karen Anderson), grandchildren Clair Chapman (husband Richard Chapman), Douglas Anderson, (fiancé Krystal Perez), Tyler Anderson (wife Alexa Anderson) Lianna Anderson, sister-in-law Arlys Anderson and great-grandchildren Aspen & Hazel.

If you would like to share memories of Duane, his family would be happy to receive them at duane31.memories@gmail.com. You will be notified about where it is posted.