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John E Anderson

Born: 7/15/1943, Richfield, Utah
Death: 1/14/2015, Moab, Utah
Service: Private

The great shooting range in the sky welcomed John Anderson early in the week of January 11, 2015 from his home in Brownʼs Hole, Utah. Capable of great charm as well as rugged stubbornness, John was an out-of-the-box thinker who lived his life on his own terms, with tenacity and fierce independence. John could walk talus with the grace and speed of a mountain goat, was a master repurposer of all things seemingly obsolete or worthless, and an avid herb gardener. He will perhaps be best remembered for his gift as a talented wood craftsman, as evidenced by the custom furniture and cabinets he created for fine homes and businesses throughout the Moab area. Few could equal his skill and artistic eye when it came to woodworking. It was a passion that he continued up to the day he died.

Born in Richfield on July 15, 1943, John was the third child of Clyde J. and Rozina Simms Anderson. He spent most of his growing up years in Salt Lake City, graduating from West High School in 1961. After serving in the Army National Guard as a surveyor, John began a career as a computer operator at Hill Air Force Base. This was in the days when one computer filled an entire room. Such a traditional life was not to Johnʼs liking, however. He spent several summers as a wrangler at Spirit Lake in the high Uintahs and as the manager of the North Rim Inn at the Grand Canyon. After this,John focused on his gift for woodworking and the commitment to be self-employed. In 1978, John moved to Moab, where he worked briefly for Tag-A-Long Tours as a 4-wheel drive guide, often changing the agenda in favor of adventure, much to the chagrin of the owners, and to the delight of the tourists. In 1983, he purchased his place in Brownʼs Hole, where he lived off the grid until his death, surrounded by the wildlife and open land that he loved. At Brownʼs Hole, he established one of the areaʼs first organic gardening operations, securing a distribution contract through City Marketʼs corporate headquarters, in addition to supplying area restaurants. Although he scaled back his farming operation in his later years, he continued to find great pleasure in his garden.

He is survived by his sisters: Bernice Johnson and Lois (Duane) Kopelin; his exwife,Mary Lynne May; his long-time partner, Jean Eardley; and his children, David (Michelle) Anderson, Kelly (D.J.) Ivie, Marnie Anderson, and Kara Lark Anderson.

A celebration of Johnʼs life will be held this summer at his home in Brownʼs Hole.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Huntsman Cancer Institute. At long last, John can be with his beloved Cheryl.

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