Richard Michael Anderson
Born screaming in Vancouver, B.C. October 10, 1946 to parents, Dorothy and Andy (Francis) and quietly departing January 5, 2014 with family by his side in Nakusp, BC, Richard Michael Anderson was a force to be reckoned with. Being from a large family with four sisters (Dawn, Dee, Susan, Linda) and three brothers (David, Barry, Ray), Richard had to form a strong character and a quick wit to garner some attention from early on… and that is exactly what he did. How so much strength, heart, persistence and stubbornness could fit into such a small package will remain a wonder to many of Richard’s friends and family for years to come.
Growing up during hard times, he left high school early to pursue one of his many passions… mechanics! It is possible that his brain was composed of gears and wires instead of neurons and synapses, so much did he love anything mechanical. You could find Richard lying under anything motorized almost as much as you could see him driving it at speeds not recommended in the owner’s manual. Richard molded a life for himself by studying mechanics in Nelson while living under a park bench and eating peanut butter on bread (not such a sacrifice for a man who loved the outdoors and peanut butter all his life). After his schooling, he tenaciously sought work in the town that has always been his home, Nakusp BC. He worked several years for Celgar before acquiring his own garage and service station, while raising his family. Married first to Joan, with whom he had three kids (Karen, Barb, Mike) and later in life to Sheila, with whom he inherited a few more (Bobby, Joey), Richard continued to be part of a large family. He spent countless memorable days with his family and friends, passing along his passion for hunting, fishing and all things outdoors, always in or on one of his beloved toys. He bonded fiercely with all of his possessions, whether they were made of flesh (his dogs, Wimpy and Nimrod and his cats, Rat, Moko and Koko) or metal (his numerous Dodges, Hondas, Arctic Cats and invented gadgets). He worked hard and played hard, and if you were close to him, you likely were doing the same. Life was always an adventure around Richard, one big roller coaster ride of highs and lows… the aggravation of getting hopelessly stuck followed by the joy of getting yourself unstuck! Richard never gave up, and more often than not could come up with some solution requiring a winch and pulley system, not to mention a fair amount of courage (aka balls or stupidity), to save the day. This was the approach that Richard took to most of the battles in his life and he often defied the odds; just ask the team of doctors, nurses and specialists that he has encountered. Often told by those who knew him that he would not live past 21, Richard made it to 67, an accomplishment that his cats would envy and that his medical team should be proud of. Richard will be sorely missed by his family and friends, but we are happy that he no longer is suffering from a body that could not keep pace with his spirit.
A celebration of Richard’s life will be held in the spring or summer of 2014, when roads are not as treacherous and the family has had some time to grieve. Richard loved a good story as much as he loved going for a jaunt with a cold beer and his good buddies. If you have a story about him, short or long, with or without photos, the family would appreciate that you mail them to Barb Nickle PO Box 1366 Raymond AB T0K2S0 or firstname.lastname@example.org. A scrapbook will be made up of these stories for all to view at the memorial and will be a special keepsake for the family.
Richard’s family would appreciate that donations be made to the Arrow Lakes Hospital in lieu of flowers. The nurses and doctors at ALH made an impossible situation bearable for both Richard and his family.
Online condolences can be expressed at www.valleyfh.ca.