On January 9, 2021, John W. Anderson “Opa” passed away at the age of 88. John was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut on May 22, 1932 to Charles and Ora Anderson. In 1951 he joined the Air Force and was stationed in Wiesbaden, Germany where he met Erna “Ann”. Ann came to the United States in 1958 and married John. They lived in Colorado where they raised their two daughters, Cyndi and Carrie. John worked for 35 years as a Salesman for Dixon Paper Company and was honored several times as Sales Person of the Year. John’s favorite memories are his travels to Germany as he shared many memories of his times in Europe driving his Mercedes.
Opa was always a storyteller. No matter if you have heard the story before, it was always told in the exact same way. His stories would include anything from blueberry picking, traveling as a salesman for Dixon Paper Company in an old Volkswagen bug, to reminiscing about stories with the grandkids in Colorado and Arizona, to playing softball, volleyball and pickleball with his friends.
Opa was always proud of everyone’s accomplishments and provided the best support over the years. His daughters say that was a very important gift that both parents possessed while growing up. No matter what his daughters needed help with, like a broken-down car, Opa would drop everything he was doing to come and help fix the situation.
Opa definitely had some favorites when it came to food and beer. Opa is very old-school and would only drink an ice-cold Coors Lite or Heineken, never craft beer for him. He would say he loved spaghetti, blueberries, and Texas Roadhouse but when Opa was asked what his favorite meal was, he would simply reply that whatever meal Opa was currently eating was always the best meal he has ever had.
Opa was the ultimate people person. He always had a smile on his face and a positive attitude towards life and the world. You could always find Opa talking about anything with any person. Whether he knew them or not, you would find him talking about his favorite sports teams or even enjoying some food truck tacos with the neighborhood workers. Opa was an avid sports fan. He was a Broncos season ticket holder for 30+ years and wouldn’t miss the opportunity to travel to see the Broncos play out of state or when they traveled to Australia. He was at the infamous “The Drive” game between the Broncos and the Browns. His favorite sport and passion was definitely Baseball. He traveled to New York to watch the first Rockies game ever at Shea Stadium. His favorite team though, was the Dodgers. He would tell us stories of how he would travel by train with his father to see the Brooklyn Dodgers play. Even when they moved to L.A., the Dodgers were still his favorite team. His was a huge fan of the late Tommy Lasorda. Opa’s love for sports was ingrained in his grandchildren, which helped strengthen our love of sports and the memories and bonds they can create in a family.
Growing up as kids the holidays were especially fun and memorable. The whole family always knew which presents came from Opa, as they would be the only ones wrapped using the colorful comics section of the newspaper. They always contained the most interesting gifts that he gathered from his trips to Blackhawk. There was never a dull moment opening them up.
Opa always enjoyed taking his grandkids out for the day during the summertime. He would happily take us anywhere from putt putt golf, to senior softball and volleyball, the Denver Mint, and Subway and Dairy Queen. Even if us grandkids didn’t know where we were going, we could always tell the direction by Opa’s use of using his arm as a signal. Instead of using his blinker, an arm out the window would indicate that we were either going left or right. He was also the master of the 90-degree turn and would take extra precautions on speed bumps by putting on his “happy lights”. In those car rides, we would listen to his favorite music and one of the more memorable songs was “Rhinestone Cowboy”.
He taught us all kinds of valuable lessons. For example, tipping someone with a $2 bill was supposed to bring good luck and that if you didn’t know someone, you would just call them “Jake”.
Opa’s incredibly kind heart and generosity will live on. His energy for life was infectious and an inspiration to us all to really live life to its fullest, which in Opa’s case was surrounded by family and friends spending his days doing what he loved. John is survived by his daughters, Cyndi (Jim) Hauber, Carrie (Rich) Hougland, Grandchildren, Christopher (Emily) Hauber, Tyler Hougland, Alexandra (Ryan) Pettegrew, Ryan (Katie) Hougland, and one great grandchild, Wyatt Hougland.
A private service will be held at Fort Logan on January 20, 2021.
Family asks contibutions be made to Alzheimer's Disease Research, member since 1993. Member #025820069
225 N. Michigan Ave. Floor 17, Chicago IL 60601