CUMBERLAND — Richard M. Anderson, 83, of Cumberland, died peacefully Thursday in his home, surrounded by family.
Anderson was born July 12, 1929, in Cumberland Center to Clifford G. and Hazel Hoey Anderson. Better known as “Dick,” he grew up in North Yarmouth with his brothers Robert, Lewis, and Dana and his sister, Janet.
He graduated from Greely Institute at 16, and then attended Cornell University, earning a bachelor’s degree in economics. In 1951, he married Rachel Grant and spent the next two years in the Army, stationed in Baltimore as part of the Counterintelligence Corps. After being honorably discharged, he and his wife returned to Maine where they raised three children in Cumberland.
Anderson joined the family business in North Yarmouth with his father and brother, Lewis. Throughout his life he was a natural entrepreneur, and eventually Anderson & Sons Inc. expanded from building snowshoes, baseball bats, and lobster traps to being the largest manufacturer of wooden lobster traps on the East Coast. At its peak, the company produced 50,000 traps per year for lobstermen from Maine to New Jersey.
He later became a lobsterman himself and passed along that love and knowledge to his sons and grandsons. After retirement, he settled into the role of being the world’s greatest grandfather, attending all the major events in which his grandchildren participated and flying back from Florida every winter to make sure he never missed Christmas or a birthday.
Nothing delighted him more than having his family gather at his home for holidays, birthday parties, cookouts around his pool, and every New England Patriots game. He was a superb host providing lobster, clams, grilled foods and homemade chili and stews. But the specialty of the summer family gatherings was croquet golf, a game the Andersons adapted and perfected over the years. He was excellent at games of all types, particularly bridge and cribbage, and was a fierce competitor, always getting better when the stakes were highest. This last quality served him well in his many hobbies which included golf (he was one of the original members of Val Halla Golf Club in Cumberland), bowling, skiing, snowmobiling, and as a young man, basketball. Other favorite activities were gardening and being a lifelong animal lover, each new lucky pet more spoiled than the last.
Most of all he was a born-and-bred Mainer. He was a brave, proud, hard-working man who was loved and admired by his family and friends, and who will be greatly missed.
He is survived by his two sons, David and Richard Anderson; his daughter and son-in-law, Karen and Ralph Hutchinson; his grandchildren, Devin Anderson, Derek Anderson, Samuel Hutchinson and Victoria Anderson; his granddaughters-in-law, Karyn Anderson and Natalie Dean;, and his great-grandson, Keegan Anderson. He was married to the late Rachel Anderson for 55 years.
A memorial service will be held in his honor 1 p.m. Saturday at the North Yarmouth Congregational Church. In lieu of flowers a donation to the Harvest Hills Animal Shelter on 1389 Brighton Road, Fryeburg, Maine 04037 is suggested.