William “Bill” Wood Anderson.
On March 16th, 2016, Bill Anderson, 59, died as he lived–unexpectedly.
Bill grew up in upstate New York, in the small town of Norwich. He traveled extensively by thumb and box car as a youth before marrying Andrea Hughes in 1978 and settling into the lovely community of Duke Park in Durham, NC.
Bill was a man of many facets with such occupations as sign painter, rare coin dealer, pro skydiver, buyer’s agent, treasure hunter, real estate agent, marketing director, and community activist. It was clear to all who knew him Bill only pursued issues about which he felt very passionate. Once he set his sights on a issue he was truly tenacious.
As a board member of the Duke Park Preservation Initiative Bill fought ardently for the renovation of the Duke Park bath house for over two decades and was still fighting because he saw the potential the space could offer the community. During his tenure as Marketing Director for Council for Senior citizens he was instrumental in the creation of Durham’s Center for Senior Life, a resource that enriches the lives of Durham’s senior population. Bill’s overarching passion was fostering communities by keeping a constant dialogue with the members. In 2010, he was honored with the Citizenship award from the Durham Regional Association of Realtors. A more recent project in which Bill was instrumental was pocket neighborhoods. He was excited by the affordability and close knit community the pocket neighborhoods could offer Durham citizens.
Bill served in leading roles in the Duke Park Neighborhood Association, Durham’s InterNeighborhood Council, and Partners Against Crime (PAC) for District 2. He received a Special Recognition Award from INC of Durham as well as the Neighborhood Hero award from Kay Hagan in 2012. His dedication to his city and neighborhood is unsurpassed. Bill’s commitment to the community was also evident in his dedicated fight against crime, especially illegally posted signs and illegal dumpsites where he worked closely with law enforcement. In 2014 he received a community service award from the Durham Police Department.
His greatest pride was his family – his son, Jonathan and his wife, Jill Trufant, daughter, Jillian and her partner, Samuel Dalzell, grandchildren, Peregrin and Zephyr, and his wife, Andrea to whom he was married for almost 38 years. His sister, Carol Anderson, and her partner, Chuck Eppinette, and brother, Skip, his wife, Karen, also of Durham, survive. His mother, Joan Spicer, still lives in the town of Norwich. He was predeceased by his father, Robert, brother, John, and step-father, Bill Spicer. Other survivors include: his niece, Molly (Anderson-Birkhead) Parks, her husband, John, and daughter, Adeline, and niece Kate (Anderson) McNulty,her husband, Brendan, and their daughters, Eleanor and Penelope, all of Durham.
Bill would want to be remembered as a marriage maker, between for profit and nonprofit, business to business, and people to causes. He saw an endless set of possibilities, where all parties flourished in win-win relationships that would continually strengthen and improve the community. He spent his life showing how it can be accomplished, teaching us to reach out to people and never to be afraid to fight for what we believe.
This he left and asked to be passed unaltered:
“Meetchya at the Rock! Want to drag you all to the coolest place I ever found, the Rock of Gaspe. Worth a visit even if you can’t make my last party, no wakes or sad stuff please! Don’t miss Le Caves and Le Cravass, and don’t climb the Rock like I did, just cross the sand bridge, if it still occurs at low tide, and plant my butt at the base of the rock, I might drift with the sands, but what the hell will I care. Enjoy the undiscovered beauty, leave it as nice, or better, than you found it, as I tried to do. Love your brother, your neighbor, and yourself. Have a great party, and think of me the summer following my passing, call it Bill’s last party in Gaspe.”
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to: Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association of Durham (www.ellerbecreek.org) or call 919-698-9729.
A memorial celebration will be held on April 1st, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. at Duke Park. All are welcome to attend.