Donald Warren Anderson of Naples, Florida was reunited with his beloved wife of 65 years, Marilyn (Dixon), on April 12, 2018, at Agrace Hospice in Fitchburg. Don affected lives in many ways through his generosity, compassion, and guidance, from the board room to the trout stream.
Don met Marilyn at Ripon College, his alma mater, in the spring of 1940 on Friendship weekend. They were married December 12, 1942. For the next four years they traveled to Army postings. Upon his discharge from the Service, they returned to Madison, Wisconsin where Don continued graduate work in the Business School at the University of Wisconsin.
He was a co-founder of Dairyland Insurance, and upon retirement from the company, he and his brother Robert started Viking Insurance. In 1982 he sold Viking Insurance. Later he became a partner with John Zimbrick in Dane County Title and was joined subsequently by Tom Rostad.
Don continued investing in and serving on various profit and nonprofit boards in both Wisconsin and Florida throughout his life. His life of giving of both himself and his financial resources has led to building over 100 homes for Habitat for Humanity in Naples, Florida; funding the residential facility for Agrace Hospice (originally known as the Don and Marilyn Hospice Center); the Carbone Cancer Center Graft versus Host Disease program; and programs and buildings for Ripon and Edgewood Colleges. He lived is life according to Churchill's principle of "we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give".
Among Don's other passions were a love of all things wild. At the age of 97, you were more likely to find Don fly-fishing on a salmon stream in Alaska, bow hunting on his farm, or rowing a drift boat down the Madison River in Montana. His skills in the outdoors were legendary bordering on mythical. Don's willingness to share his knowledge and love of the outdoors with the young and old made him an icon in the wilderness.
He is survived by his children Susan Ruedisili, Martha and Andrew Van de Ven, Karry and Nadine Anderson, Kathryn and Robert Switzky, and Ronald Anderson and Linda Metoxen; grandchildren Stephen Ruedisili and Anne Harbison, Robert and Heidi Ruedisili, James and Debra Van de Ven, John Van de Ven, Adam Switzky, Baylee Switzky and her fiancé Eric Brockman, Collin Switzky, Juniper Anderson, Sequoia Anderson, and Cypress Anderson; great-grandchildren Hanna Rose and Zachary Ruedisili, Charlotte Ruedisili, and Benjamin Van de Ven. Don was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Marilyn, son-in-law Lon Ruedisili and great-grandson Benjamin Stephen Ruedisili.
Visitation will be held at the Cress Funeral Home, 3610 Speedway Road, Madison on Wednesday, April 18, 2018, from 5 to 7 p.m. A memorial service will be held on Thursday, April 19, 2018, at 11 a.m. at First Baptist Church, 518 North Franklin Avenue, Madison.
A reception will follow.
In lieu of flowers, Don would appreciate memorial gifts to the Carbone Cancer Center or Agrace Hospice Care Foundation.
Please share your memories.
Cress Funeral & Cremation Service
3610 Speedway Road Madison
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My most sincere condolences to Don's family. He was an amazing person, lived life to its fullest and was a wonderful friend to my Mother, Lucy Hall. We will all miss Don.
Valerie Hall Connolly
My sympathies to the entire Anderson family. Don was a wonderful person whose memory will live on through his generous contributions to so many organizations. I am especially grateful for his support of Habitat for Humanity Dane Co. and in Florida. every home that is built is a reflection of his contributions to his community.He will be missed but never forgotten.
Kathy. I am so sorry to hear this news. I so enjoyed knowing both your parents. I can still picture you as a little girl in my class at Muir ....with great fondness. How I would love to see you now all grown up with a family. Lovingly, Elaine Boehlke.
Although I only spent a few visits with Don I came to know what a kind and dear person he was to my mother-in-law Lucy, We shared a love of Badger sports and I enjoyed hearing about his hunting and fishing adventures. He truly lived a very full life and I feel blessed to have know him.
Linda and I wish to express our deepest sympathy to all of Don's family.
We met Don on a fishing trip to Orca lodge in Alaska and quickly became friends. We then scheduled our trips to coincide with the Anderson's for many years after.
What great times we had together fishing and making fun of one another when foul weather kept us off the stream and don gave as easily as he recieved .
I do believe he cheated at cards, no one wins as often as he did.
We will miss you Mr. Donald Warren Anderson
Frank and Linda morris
After Tom Rostad's passing a few years ago his wife Genie gave me a few CDs of Tom, Don and their group fishing salmon out of Orca lodge in Cordova Alaska. I was enthralled, so I booked a fall salmon trip to Orca.
Also at Tom's memorial service Don approached me and proudly told me he tied all the flys for those trips. So before my trip I asked Don if he would tie a few for my
group. He gave me 15 of those pink and green "woolybuggers"-we caught so many
salmon our arms were weak!
I came back and asked Don if he would show me how to tie those special flys. "Of course, when could you could come over?" was the response. So I watched and learned. I took those flys to Hidden Cove last fall and used them in Don's hole-with much success.
How many men do the guides name a hole after you on a remote river in the Copper river delta while you are still alive? Only one.
I am going back for as long as my body will allow with those flys and warm memories of Don A-truly a life well lived, john albert
I first met Don in 1986. A group of conservation minded folks were establishing a Natural Resources Foundation and we were looking for well recognized individuals to serve on the initial Board. Don was asked and immediately accepted, thus beginning a period of great leadership for the program and a friendship for me. We traveled the state together, discussing Wisconsin's environmental beauty and preservation. Ultimately, that led to the creation of a Donald and Marilyn Anderson Sandhill Outdoor Skills Center, a pprogram which is flourishing today. Many memories live on and I will always be greatful for them and the gifts of the Andersons.
Ronald Semmann, Co-Founder, Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin
My condolences and deepest sympathy for all Dons family and friends. A wonderful man.
An end of an era has come to the Orca Adventure Lodge Family. Don and his friends and family have fished with us for well over 20 years. It has been a privilege to watch him inspire generations of nature and fish enthusiasts. Our hearts are now with the family as they deal with the loss of this generous, enthusiastic Nature lover and Coho Slayer. You will be missed Don. Thanks for letting us share a little piece of your life.
Sincerely, Steve and Wendy Ranney
We wish to extend our deepest condolences to all of Don’s family.
He was my mentor and friend and a great example of how to live life.
Don did so much for so many that his life will live on for generations. He will be terribly missed by many.
Ron Johnson and Ellie Morgan
To Don's Family - Please except our sympathy in the passing of Don. Enjoyed our visit with him and your mom, Marilyn back when we had the Forbes reunion in Sturgeon Bay some 25 years ago. He had a great life and shared with everyone.
Butch & Barbara Forves
I met Don when he was on the board of the M&I Hilldale Bank. He was a great sounding board for me as he lived a life looking to help others Through Agrace, the United Way and many community services.
Don and I met more than 30 years ago when we joined Paul Carbone to advance the Cancer Center. Don understood human suffering and his life was devoted to helping others. He and Marilyn were kind and generous souls. Don called me last week to say "goodbye" and we reflected on our adventures together, including those afield. He was thankful for his "long and great life." I thanked him for all that he did. We were blessed to walk with him on such an amazing journey.
What a gem of a human being. Don and Marilyn became our friends
in 1998 when my husband Dr. Richard Botham and I met them through
their important and generous donation to springboard the building of the
fiirst Agrace (D. & M. Anderson Center). My husband and I were the co-chairs
of the Campaign to build a Hospice inpatient center. We were always
amazed at the continued generosity of Don and Marilyn and their wonderful
on- going support of the center. Don and I served on the building foundation
for Agrace for some years after that.
Now, Don, Marilyn and Richard have all been cared for and died at the
Don and I spent time together on SUnday afternoons on many occasions
playing cribbage both in Bishops Bay and in Florida where we both spent
winters. I have met many, but not, of the Anderson family and enjoyed a
few outings with Don at the farm that he dearly loved.
I was fortunate to be able to talk with Don on the phone briefly
this past week. Something told me to check in with him from Florida
since he was not able to be here this winter. I will relish our brief conversation
and the wonderful memories of Marilyn, Don and times spent together.
I was also fortunate to learn of his Habitat for Humanity generosity here
in Florida when a few years back he invited me to be his guest at
their annual donors dinner.
He was such a wise mentor of life in general and will not be forgotten.
His good works will be rewarded and has already rewarded so many
people ....how good of him and Marilyn to share their life blessings with
so many of us.
I know his family loved him very, very much.
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