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Zag 77
05-28-2012, 02:39 PM
Eric Anderson, who I believe was the oldest living GU basketball player has passed away. I say hero, because he was a bomber pilot in WW II. I believe he was in his 90's. I would often see Mr. Anderson walking down the street using his walker and wearing his GU baseball cap. Here is what one of my our neighbors wrote about him today:


We lost a great hero in the Spokane Community this weekend. And I find it fitting that he died on Memorial Weekend 2012. Eric ( Andy to those of us on the block) Anderson was what a Spokanite would call a TRUE MAN OF HONOR. Andy was the oldest GU Basketball player still living, a dedicated and faithful memberof the First Presbyterian Church and what many of you may not know a World War 11 Bomber pilot hero who was honored in Washington DC this past spring along with other HONOR FLIGHT heros.

In our neighborhood we saw him as the spunky senior citizen that come rain or shine, snow or sleet he was out two or three times a day walking. When we moved in the neighborhood Andy walked with the aid of a walking stick. It progressed to a walker and for the winter he even had some kind of tread on the tires so he could get through the snow. God Bless Andy the athlete! He was blessed with loving children and the one I am most close to his daughter Karla, who has devoted a portion of her life to live with and care for her father. It shows you what “good stock” will do for a family.

I am very sad this weekend to see such an icon leave this earthly world. Yet I know he is in a happier place and will help this community become even better from above. So look out Gonzaga U... The best is yet to come with Andy being in HeavenJ

During the time my husband was deployed to Iraq I often found myself anxious and sad. As I would leave for work to G Prep every morning and upon my late afternoon return I would see Andy on his daily walks and it would inspire me to say to myself, “ If Andy can do it with a smile and perseverance than so can I”. It helped me to get through some of the hardest 8 months of my life.

I am writing this letter to you all in hopes you will stop for one moment and say a quick prayer for Mr. Anderson and his family. I know Andy is probably enjoying a hug from his beloved wife and joining in with his old basketball team for a quick game of “horse” or “one on one”, but the family left behind here on earth miss him dearly. So I say to Karla and the family this quick prayer….



Father in Heaven:
Please provide comfort to the Anderson family as they say goodbye to their beloved father, grandfather and friend. Though they know they will see him again one day I ask that you comfort their sadness and give them peace on this fitting week of remembering our loved ones that have gone before us. We have faith in you, God. We know that in you All things are Great in Your Glory! In your Name, we pray… Amen!

God bless all of you and

GOD SPEED Eric Anderson,



I think it is an irony that he leaves to join his fallen comrades on Memorial Day weekend. I hope we have a chance to learn some more about him.

kclubfounder
05-28-2012, 04:15 PM
Thanks for the post, 77. But I would call it appropriate, not ironic, that he joined his fellow patriots this weekend.

Because of my luck of being born in the right place and at the right time, fighting in a war was never a true concern. But I am SO thankful for all of the men who have made my relatively comfortable (and completely free) life possible.

Memorial Day is an important holiday, and should not be taken lightly.

Bogozags
05-28-2012, 06:44 PM
+1

kclubfounder also wanted to add to your post:

"But I am SO thankful for all of the men[B] and women,[B] who have made my relatively comfortable (and completely free) life possible."

This day is set aside for all those veterans, who willingly gave their lives so that we could continue with our own.

As an employee of the Veteran's Health Administration, I am fortunate to work with veterans everyday, some of whom are WWII veterans. We may not be aware but our WWII veterans are passing right before our eyes. We are losing maybe the strongest generation in our history as they HAD to persevere or we would not have the freedoms we currently enjoy!

In my opinion, Mr. Eric Anderson and each of the nearly 14M WWII veterans are truly heros!

Many of our mothers and fathers are remembered this day for what they gave us. On a personal note, on this date I am saddened that my father passed so many years ago and well before I truly understood the sacrifices he and others of his generation made for us.

Thank You to all of our veterans for making the ultimate sacrifice for us!

Hoopaholic
05-28-2012, 06:59 PM
bogozag

Well said, working for the VA as well it is my honor to serve and protect those who have protected our country against foreign enemies...truly a country that provides unparrell freedoms from which we can mold and create our lives as we see fit.

TexasZagFan
05-29-2012, 01:06 PM
+1

kclubfounder also wanted to add to your post:

"But I am SO thankful for all of the men[B] and women,[B] who have made my relatively comfortable (and completely free) life possible."

This day is set aside for all those veterans, who willingly gave their lives so that we could continue with our own.

As an employee of the Veteran's Health Administration, I am fortunate to work with veterans everyday, some of whom are WWII veterans. We may not be aware but our WWII veterans are passing right before our eyes. We are losing maybe the strongest generation in our history as they HAD to persevere or we would not have the freedoms we currently enjoy!

In my opinion, Mr. Eric Anderson and each of the nearly 14M WWII veterans are truly heros!

Many of our mothers and fathers are remembered this day for what they gave us. On a personal note, on this date I am saddened that my father passed so many years ago and well before I truly understood the sacrifices he and others of his generation made for us.

Thank You to all of our veterans for making the ultimate sacrifice for us!

Let your heart not be troubled, bogo. Whatever you may have done (real or imagined) to cause your father pain, he forgave you long ago.

We celebrate Memorial Day to pay homage to those American heroes that made the ultimate sacrifice for their country, their families, and their comrades.

Bless you for the great work you do in caring for our veterans! They deserve the best care possible.

Zag 77
05-29-2012, 01:23 PM
I did find a KREM article posted from 2010:



SPOKANE -- A 94-year-old former Gonzaga basketball player will be one of many cheering on the Zags Friday.

Eric Anderson played for Gonzaga from 1936 to 1939.

He and his twin brother had scholarships to play for forward and guard positions.

Anderson says a lot has changed since then, but he's always been in love with the game. He played basketball every day until he was 70.

Anderson attends the alumni basketball game every year and is proud of what the team has accomplished.







http://www.krem.com/sports/gonzaga-bulldogs/Zag-from-1936-team-rooting-for-a-win--88498637.html


A similar article at gozags.com. His twin brother was named Emil and they both also played tennis at GU. Eric's age at death was 96.

Zag 77
06-04-2012, 03:23 PM
http://www.kxly.com/sports/Eric-Anderson-a-Bulldog-for-life/-/100918/14436456/-/7nxyx7/-/index.html


Eric Anderson, A Bulldog For Life




There he is, right there. Number 12," points out Karla.
After graduating, Anderson fought in World War II. He then met his wife, Ruby in Richland, but ended up back in Spokane.
"He had friends that would get really frustrated with him because he always kept saying Spokane was God's country. But his heart was here, this was home," says Karla.
And Gonzaga was his school.
"You could never go wrong buying him something with the Gonzaga Bulldog on it," says grandson Eric. "Christmas, birthday, father's day, it was easy. You find something, put a Gonzaga Bulldogs sticker on it and he was good."
"Recently, we've been going to the alumni games, and he would always go and Mark Few was always so good, and they always acknowledged him, Dad, at the games and the players were really sweet to him. I think it brought all that back to him because it made him feel young again," says Karla.
Kind of like those walks he always took. That the one's who know him best, feel he's still on.

Zag 77
06-06-2012, 01:03 PM
http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/spokesman/obituary.aspx?n=eric-walter-anderson&pid=157947082

Correcting my error. He was in the infantry in WWII not the Army Air Force.

ZagFanInNC
06-06-2012, 01:57 PM
I have a really high level of respect for these vets who served in the World Wars, Vietnam etc. The things they went through were so much worse compared to what the troops go through now.

I was a door gunner on blackhawks in Afghanistan and rarely saw action, how long do you think the life expectancy of that position was in nam/ infantry soldier in the World Wars? Scary.

RIP

Bogozags
06-06-2012, 04:26 PM
I have a really high level of respect for these vets who served in the World Wars, Vietnam etc. The things they went through were so much worse compared to what the troops go through now.

I was a door gunner on blackhawks in Afghanistan and rarely saw action, how long do you think the life expectancy of that position was in nam/ infantry soldier in the World Wars? Scary.

RIP

I feel fortunate to be able to meet so many WWII, Korean War and Vietnam vets. At times I have an opportunity to just talk to these WWII vets and some of the stories they share just bring tears to your eyes. I recently spoke with one and he was sharing with me how much worse D-Day (68 years ago today) was then pictured in "Saving Private Ryan." Tarawa, Okinawa and Iwo Jima and most of the island hopping they did was just crazy...actual "meat grinders." Oh, least I forget the Battle of the Bulge...

Korea was another nightmare and Vietnam was no day at the beach...

I think the big difference between then and today is the body armour and medical treatment, as far as surviving an encounter/battle. The PTSD is the same but just wan't labled back then...think the common term was Battle Fatguie...

I am just really appreciative for all our veterans and the sacrifices they had to make...