Walter Leroy Anderson

The Rev. Dr. Walter Leroy Anderson, of Ridgecrest went home to be with the Lord March 28, 2018, at the age of 86.

Services for Rev. Anderson will be held on April 9 at the All Faith Chapel, China Lake, at 11 a.m. A reception will follow.

Dr. Anderson passed from this life to the next, peacefully surrounded by loved ones at Ridgecrest Regional Hospital.

Born Aug. 19, 1931, in the family home in Alliance, Neb., to Leo Clarence and Lois Scott Anderson, he was the younger brother of Leo Clarence Anderson, Jr.

Dr. Anderson attended Bakersfield High School where he met, and then married in 1952, his wife of 64 years, Avery Dell Goodman. He attended Bakersfield Community College earning an A.S. degree in electrical engineering.

He began a long career with Pacific Gas & Electric Co., working his way up to industrial power engineer, for California’s Central Coast Region. He completed his undergraduate degree at Williams College.

He then attended Defenders Seminary earning a master of divinity, and then Valley Christian University earning a Ph.D. in counseling psychology.

After an early retirement from PG&E, he was ordained into the Evangelical Free Churches of America. He served as an interim pastor for many churches in his district. He also opened the Christian Counseling and Research Center Los Osos and continued it in Ridgecrest.

A veteran of the Korean War, he enlisted in the Navy in 1950, serving aboard the destroyers USS Stormes and USS Pritchett. He was discharged from active duty in 1954 as a third class torpedoman.

He earned the U.S. Navy Commendation Medal for his service aboard USS Stormes. He also earned the Korean Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal and the Navy Good Conduct Medal.

He and his wife, Avery, spent many years in Bakersfield, raising four children. They eventually moved to Fresno and then San Luis Obispo. Upon his retirement from PG&E, they moved to Ridgecrest to be near family.

Dr. Anderson was a great lover of the outdoors and was an avid hiker. He especially loved the Yosemite National Park trail system and spent many years hiking and camping in the backwoods of the park.

During his retirement, Dr. Anderson, continued to stay active as a well-respected member of the clergy. With Avery, in her trademark Sunday hat, he faithfully attended services at the Naval Air Weapons Station. Dr. Anderson occasionally filled in as an interim clergy for the Navy chaplains when needed.

Along with being a warm and loving father, he was a lifelong student of God’s word. He was a teacher, counselor, mentor and gifted apologist.

His family lovingly called him Walter Gibraltar because of his tremendous strength as the family patriarch.

But first and foremost, they knew he was simply a man of God. Dr. Anderson knew he was a sinner in need of a Savior, and because of his walk with the Lord, he had Blessed Assurance.

1 John 5:11-13

And the testimony is this that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.

It was that assurance that kept him at peace right up to the moment the Lord called him home. With pure joy and open arms he entered into the presence of the One he loved so much.

Dr. Anderson is survived by son the Rt. Rev. Ian Dartland Anderson (Robin) of St. John’s, Florida; and daughters Cristi Catherine Rivera of Ridgecrest Clarice Eleene Anderson of Belmont, Calif.

He is survived by grandchildren Chaunda Celentano (Borya), Jacqueline Anderson, Joshua Anderson (Tami), Tyler Zumbar (Krissy), Anthony Joseph Ballesteri (Jennifer), Bethany Anderson, Sergio Rivera, Carmen Larson, Emily Larson and Mariah Rivera.

Dr. Anderson is also survived by geat-grandchildren Alexandria Anderson, Cameron Anderson, Kimberlyn Anderson, Jazmyne Anderson, Trynt’n Anderson, Wyntur Anderson, Tallula Celentano, Penelope Celentano, Jayden Rivera, Laveah Rivera, Jasmine Rivera and Benjamin Zumbar.

Dr. Anderson was predeceased by his wife, Avery Dell Anderson, daughter Alesha Dell Zumbar, and brother Leo Clarence Anderson, Jr.

— Submitted by the loved ones of Walter Anderson

Story First Published: 2018-04-06