SOUTH RANGE - Albert Anderson, a resident of South Range, passed away peacefully with his family at his side on Thursday, November 29, 2012, at Portage Health.
Al was born on December 11, 1926, in, Ironwood, Mich., a son of Albert and Mae (Eplett) Anderson. He graduated from L.L. Wright High School in Ironwood in 1944.
Al then entered the U.S. Navy, serving in the Asiatic Pacific Theater during World War II. He was honorably discharged as Rank MM 3/C in 1946. Following his discharge, he returned to Ironwood to attend Gogebic Community College. He then attended Northern Michigan University in 1952. He also did graduate work at the University of Michigan and taught school in Detroit.
Later, Al worked for General Motors Truck and Coach Division in Pontiac, Mich., as an Efficiency Expert for nine years. He then returned to the U.P. and taught in the L'Anse school as an Elementary Teacher. In 1963, he was hired as Elementary Principal at the South Range Elementary School and remained in that position until his retirement in 1989. After retirement, Al worked part time for the office of Hearings and Appeal as a Court Reporter for the Upper Peninsula.
Al served on many professional committees. He was a member of the Principal's Round Table, and served as president. He was awarded in appreciation for 28 years of dedicated service to the youth of the Copper Country through the Elementary Principal's Round Table. In 1983, he was awarded Regional Honors-Region 14 from the Michigan Elementary and Middle School Principal's Association in Traverse City, Mich.
Al was a member of the Retired Michigan Education Association. He was a lifetime charter member of the World War II Memorial Society in Washington, D.C.; a member of American Legion Post 5 in Ironwood, a former member of the Lions Club, in which he served as president. Al also programmed a Leader Dog for a year and a half and served as the U.P. Leader Dog Program contact person.
Al was a beloved husband, father and grandfather. He enjoyed spending time with his family and will be missed very much.
He is survived by his wife, Ann (Petcoff) Anderson. They were married in Bessemer, Mich., at the St. Sebastian Church in July of 1963. Al and Ann were blessed with two children, Beth (Dr. Ron) Fisher; Boyd; and a special granddaughter, Emily Fisher. He is also survived by a sister, Corinne Holst; brother-in-law, John Petcoff; sister-in-law, Charlotte Petcoff; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Mae and Albert; sisters Marilyn Mannikko, Bethel Kolar, Audrey Anderson, and Mavis Anderson; brothers-in-law, Paul Kolar, Dean Holst and Crist Petcoff.
Al enjoyed spending his summers at his cottage at Little Girls Point with his family and friends. He especially enjoyed spending time with his granddaughter, Emily, and attending her activities. Al was an expert swimmer, and he enjoyed playing horseshoes, and doing carpentry and gardening at his cottage. He was a lifelong fan of the Detroit Lions, Detroit Tigers and other sports. Al was also an avid reader. The highlight of Al's life was touring throughout the country visiting National Parks with his travel trailer and his family.
A Memorial Mass will be held on Wednesday, December 5, 2012, at 11 a.m. in Holy Family Catholic Church in South Range, with Fr. John Martignon as celebrant. Visitation will be one hour prior to Mass on Wednesday at the church. Military rites will be conducted by the Copper Country Veteran's Association. Spring burial will be in the family plot in the Lakeside Cemetery in Wakefield, Mich.
Arrangements are being handled by the Mountain View Mortuary of South Range, Antila Funeral Service, Inc. Online condolences may be expressed to the family at antilafuneral.com.