George Allen Anderson, a lifelong resident of the Moscow area, went home to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Monday, Feb. 22, 2021, in Pullman, after several years of failing health.
George was born in Lewiston on Aug. 28, 1936, the only child of Arthur and Nora (Solberg) Anderson.
In the early 1900s, George’s father worked alongside his uncle and grandfather to establish their family farm on Burnt Ridge, just east of Troy. George’s mother was a local schoolteacher, and he led an ordinary life on the farm until his father passed away when he was just 11 years old. With help from neighbors and relatives, his mother and George managed the farm together, slowly adding additional acres and equipment. Nora continued teaching, she and George rode the bus together into Troy each day, both working on the farm evenings, weekends and summers. George did most of the farm work during his last two years of high school and was allowed to start a month late in the fall, after the farm season was over. He did not plan to go to college, but Nora found help to run the farm so he could pursue his education at the University of Idaho. Since Moscow was nearby, he could still help at home on weekends and school breaks.
George majored in accounting at the University of Idaho, was a member of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, and was enrolled in the Army ROTC program. Following graduation in 1958, he went on to serve in the U.S. Army until 1960, remaining in the Army Reserves until 1965. George contemplated a career in the Army but returned to Moscow to begin graduate work in accounting. In 1961, he interviewed for several jobs in Seattle, and took an internal auditing position with Pacific Northwest Bell. Before long, the draw of life on the Palouse brought George back to Moscow, and he was hired as the internal auditor at the University of Idaho, a job he held for nine years. He earned his CPA in 1964, and a master’s degree in accounting in 1965. In 1970, George was promoted to the position of controller, a challenging and interesting job he thoroughly enjoyed for the next four years.
Although he was unaware of it at the time, George met his future bride on a blind date in 1963, arranged by a fraternity brother and his wife. It was several years later when he and Anne Yenni met up again and went on a second date. She was a local farm girl from Cavendish, a fellow Vandal, and was a schoolteacher, so they had much in common. The couple was married in Moscow on Dec. 27, 1967. They settled in Moscow for the next 10 years and welcomed their children, Amy, Connie and Keith, to the family.
In 1974, George decided to leave the office life and return full time to farming. In the years since his father passed away, his time/attention had been divided between two careers, and he determined his heart was in farming. In 1977, he and Anne built a beautiful home on Burnt Ridge with a 360-degree vista of the surrounding area. They raised their children on the farm, where they learned many life lessons, as George had done, including the importance of a good work ethic, taking a job to completion, and to be good to their word. George and Anne’s three children followed in George’s educational footsteps, by attending public school in Troy and then graduating from the University of Idaho.
George’s last official position at his alma mater was a two-year period in the late 1970s, after they had moved to Troy, when he served as an adjunct professor for the College of Business in the Accounting Department.
In 1981, George built a barn on the farmstead and purchased his first registered Polled Hereford cattle. The growing herd became a family operation as they raised and showed cattle at county fairs, and local, state and national shows. Among the highlights of the cattle years were winning the Champion Bull award in 1987 at the Lewiston Hereford Show and having four of the cows gain the status of Benchmark Dams with the Polled Hereford Association. George thoroughly enjoyed traveling to events and meeting many other cattle owners around the country.
With an interest in agricultural organizations and community service, George participated in many volunteer activities through the years. He was a member of the Moscow Jaycees, the Troy Lions Club and the Moscow Rotary Club; he was active in church life and was a member of the E-Free Church of the Palouse; George served on the boards of the Latah County Grain Growers, the Idaho Canola and Rapeseed Commission, the Latah County ASCS (FSA), the Idaho Pea & Lentil Commission, the Clearwater Propane Board, and the Polled Hereford Association. When the Anderson farm was recognized as an Idaho Centennial farm, it was an especially meaningful event to George since four generations of his family had lived and worked on the land.
After 30 years on Burnt Ridge and with his family grown, George retired from farming in 2008. He and Anne built a new home and moved back to Moscow. George maintained a shop near his grandfather’s original homestead and made frequent trips to Burnt Ridge with his faithful dog, Ty, just to check on things. He was an avid reader throughout his life, enjoyed fishing and boating, spent time with his extended family, and appreciated the many traditions of his Scandinavian heritage. Over the years, George and Anne made three trips to Sweden and Norway to visit relatives, taking their children with them on the last trip. In retirement, George followed the careers of his children with pride, and was grateful for the many hours spent with his six grandchildren.
George is survived by his wife, Anne, at the family home in Moscow; daughter Amy (Matt) Miller, of Windsor, Colo.; daughter Connie (Travis) Wambeke, of Moscow; son Keith (Cindy) Anderson, of Moscow; grandsons Ryan Miller and Triphon Wambeke; granddaughters Kirstin and Hailey Wambeke, and Hannah and Chloe Anderson.
The family would like to extend their appreciation to Lorna Shompole and the staff at Glenhaven Adult Family Home for their compassionate care of George the past four years, and to Kindred Hospice for their recent support.
A private family graveside service and burial is planned at the Burnt Ridge Cemetery, located next to the Anderson family farm. A memorial celebration of George’s life will be held this summer.
Memorial gifts to the following organizations would be welcome: Palouse Ice Rink Fund, care of Rotary Club of Moscow, P.O. Box 8021, Moscow, ID 83843; the Troy Ambulance Fund, P.O. Box 595, Troy, ID 83871; or the Santa Lucia Academy, care of Lorna Shompole, 2510 NW Parr Drive, Pullman, WA 99163. (The Academy is a private Christian elementary school in Kenya, sponsored by the Shompole family.)
Arrangements have been entrusted to Short’s Funeral Chapel, Moscow, and online condolences may be sent to www.shortsfuneralchapel.com.