Paul LeAnder Anderson, 80, passed away at the Hospice of Northwest Ohio on Thursday December 29, 2016.
He was born on May 22, 1936 to Evelyn and Gordon Anderson Sr. in Toledo, Ohio. He went to Libbey High School from 1951-1955. He then enlisted in the army and served until 1959. Paul was stationed in the 457th Airborne Field Artillery Battalion, Headquarters Battery in Munich Germany.
Paul was an extremely gifted, all-around athlete. He excelled in many sports including baseball, cross country, and basketball. But he was most known for his talents in track and field. Paul competed in countless track and field competitions in France, Spain, Brussels, and Germany. He specifically competed in the USAREUR Track and Field Championships in Nurnberg, Germany and the International Evening Sports Festival in Barcelona, Spain. Paul also competed in the World Military Track and Field Championships in Brussels in 1958, the same competition the renowned Jesse Owens participated in 23 years prior.
After his time in the service, he went back home to Toledo and worked at a local post office. In the late 1960s, he took his blue collar career to Doelher-Jarvis, where he worked his way up to a supervisory position. He retired from the factory in the early 1990s. In 1970, he met the love of his life, Kathryn Brown. They later married in 1971 and began their life together. They raised three children and remained married for 45 years until Paul's death.
Paul possessed other talents beyond athletics and manufacturing. In his spare time, he nurtured his deep love for music. He was a bass member of a local Doo-Wop group during adolescence and young adulthood. His passion for rhythm and blues, soul, and jazz music (especially Miles Davis and John Coltrane)influenced countless people, particularly his nieces, nephews, children, and grandchildren. He was the ultimate music man. It was normal to walk into Paul and Kathryn’s house and find the atmosphere full of music, as Paul sang aloud to the tunes by the Drifters, Gene Chandler, the Del-Vikings, and the Temptations to name a few. He possessed an impressive collection of old records and cassette tapes that remains unmatched. You name it, he had it.
Paul had a gentle and pure soul, and lived a full life. He was the neutral, calm force in the family; he took great pride in ensuring everyone’s happiness. He had a contagious and magnetic smile that remained implanted in your memory after just seeing it once. He truly touched everyone he came in contact with because he was so positive.
Everyone in the neighborhood loved Paul dearly, dubbing him as the “neighborhood dad.” He was very popular with the young and old alike, but especially among children. He really took the time to mentor the children in his neighborhood. Even as an adult, Paul was also known for racing kids and teenagers down the block. But no one could catch Paul! He could also outwalk anyone; he walked all over the city of Toledo, taking many of his nieces, nephews, children, grandchildren, and his beloved dog Marvin along with him on his journeys. He continued his daily, long walks until his early 70s.
Paul is preceded in death by his parents, Evelyn C. Chambers Anderson and Gordon Anderson Sr., and his siblings Martha Anderson-Green, Alfred Anderson Sr., Joyce Anderson Williams, Richard Anderson, and James Anderson. Paul is survived by his wife, Kathryn Anderson, sons Paul Anderson Jr. and Brian Brown, daughter Leslie Roberts, brother Gordon Anderson Jr., sisters Betty Long and Shirley Anderson Bills, his cousin Wilbert Anderson II (Red), grandchildren, Jasmine Roberts, Gabriel Roberts, Iesha Brown, Brian Brown Jr., and Jillian Jimenez, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
Funeral services will be held on Friday January 6, 2017 at First Church of God, 3016 Collingwood Blvd. in Toledo, Ohio. The wake will begin at 1 p.m., followed by the service beginning at 2 p.m.
To say he will be missed is an understatement.
“See you later alligator. After ‘while crocodile.”