At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Wounded Warriors Project
4899 Belfort Road Suite 300
Jacksonville, FL 32256
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Ron Anderson was a kind and generous man who lived a life rich in family and friends. He welcomed each day as a gift and every person as a friend. Ron was devoted to his family and worked hard to ensure their well-being. A proud veteran and Teamster, Ron never hesitated to give his time and talents in service of others. With a warm, happy smile and a twinkle in his eyes, he was a joy to spend time with. Whether working, boating, golfing, or sharing a meal, Ron lived life to the fullest and had a good time along the way. A cherished father, grandfather, and friend, Ron will long be remembered and so very missed.
The mobilization of war efforts in 1942 was quick and effective, with carmakers and other manufacturers changing to the production of weapons of war. Gas rationing, Scrap Days, and Victory Gardens became the norm. At the same time, The Declaration of the United Nations, the newly formed Women's Army Auxiliary Corps, and The Voice of America ensured that every citizen had their eyes focused on a better future. Nowhere was there more hope for the future than in the hearts and home of Sherman and Jeanne (Fenner) Anderson as they welcomed their son, Ronald Sherman, into their family on April 8 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Growing up on Griggs Street SW, Ron was the son of Norwegian parents who had moved from Minnesota to Grand Rapids with extended family. His father worked at Kelvinator as a pipe fitter, and his mother was a homemaker. The family attended Hope Lutheran Church, and Ron enjoyed sports, riding bikes, and playing with neighborhood and school friends.
As a teen, Ron attended Burton St. Jr. High and South High School. He played basketball, and his first job was at McDonald's. After graduating with the class of 1960, Ron attended Grand Rapids Junior College while working part-time at UPS. Though his original intention was to become a physical education teacher, after two years at college and paying his own way, he was making such good money at UPS that he decided to work for the company full-time.
In 1967, after waiting out the draft, Ron was drafted at 24 ½ (25 was cut off) at the height of Vietnam. He was sent to Alaska, where he was assigned to the transportation office as a clerk. After two years, he was offered a civilian position with the office but declined and returned home to Grand Rapids and his work for UPS.
Once he was settled back at home, he was set up on a date with his cousin's wife's former roommate, Catherine Ashby. They went to dinner on a double date at Golden Eagle Room. Though the love wasn't instant, they continued to date and were soon a couple. On January 30, 1970, Ron and Catherine married at Hope Lutheran Church. Though a snowstorm limited out-of-town guests that were expected, the couple enjoyed a Church reception. After a weekend honeymoon in Windsor, Ontario, the couple returned to Grand Rapids because they both had to work on Monday.
The newlyweds made their first home in an apartment on Andrew Street for six months while waiting for Ron's tenants to move out of the house he owned. The house on Brookgate Drive NW would become their home for 35 years, where they welcomed and raised their son Eric, who was born in 1978.
Ron was a good, loving dad who enjoyed playing and being involved with his son. Over the years, they enjoyed boating, skiing, and jet skis, renting a cottage on Silver Lake, and taking the boat to Lake Michigan. Holidays were often spent with Ron's extended family.
For 36 years, Ron worked at UPS. in 1997. He drove a package truck, mostly in the Greenville/ Sheridan area. Hardworking, organized, caring, helpful, and an advocate for his co-workers, Ron was an active member of the Teamsters Local 406. He served the union in many capacities, always looking out for his fellow workers and serving in leadership of various positions before becoming president of the local group in 1990.
In 1997, Ron officially began his retirement years. He loved golfing and participating in leagues with his buddies and enjoyed dining at his favorite steakhouses, Outback Steakhouse and Longhorn Steakhouse. For 25 years, Ron and Catherine spent part of the winter in Florida. First in Golf Shores and Ft. Meyers, before settling in Englewood, after Christmas through April. Ron also loved cars. A member of the Grand Valley Corvette Club, he had many favorites over the years, including his 1960 Corvette Roadster convertible, a 1979 split window Corvette he purchased new, and the 1997 Lincoln TownCar he bought at his retirement.
A kind and generous man, Ron treated his neighbors and widows especially well. He enjoyed celebrating many anniversaries with Catherine in Traverse City and a special celebration for their 50th with friends in Florida. His heart's delight was his family and especially his grandchildren. He was a playful grandfather who loved spending time with his grandkids, taking trips to Ludington's House of Flavors for ice cream or the Corner Bar in Rockford for Root Beer. Tragically, Ron's son Eric, who was only 44, died in January this year. The unexpected loss was very hard on Ron.
Clearly life feels far less certain in the absence of Ron's steadfast love and companionship. As we celebrate his life, may we find much comfort in our many treasured memories and in the honor of carrying Ron's legacy forward. Whenever we lead with our hearts, say "Yes" to serving our community, enjoy time on the water or the greens, or share a sweet treat with our loved ones, we will keep Ron's beautiful spirit alive and inspiring others as he so inspired each of us.
Ronald Sherman Anderson, age 81, passed away December 8, 2023. Ron was born April 8, 1942, in Grand Rapids to the late Sherman and Jeanne (Fenner) Anderson. He was also preceded in death by his son, Eric Anderson, on January 13, 2023. His wife of 53 years, Catherine, survives, as do their daughter-in-law, Amber Anderson; granddaughters, Brooke Mason, Chloe Mason, Rebecca Mason, and Mia Hurtado; and great-grandchildren, River and Olivia. A memorial service will be held on Thursday, December 14, 2023, at 11 AM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, Alt & Shawmut Hills Chapel, 2120 Lake Michigan Drive NW. Friends may visit with family beginning at 10 AM. Interment will be in Holy Cross Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Wounded Warriors Project. To read more of Ron's Life Story and leave a memory or condolence please visit www.heritagelifestory.com.