Eric Anderson: a Bulldog for life
SPOKANE, Wash. This was Eric Anderson’s final teammate. The walker the 96 year old used on his famous hour long treks around his south hill neighborhood.
“When he was working for the government, he would either swim every day at lunchtime or play basketball,” says Karla Anderson, Eric’s daughter. “And then when he retired, he decided he wanted to do something else, so he would walk.”
It’s the walks, and other quirks about him that have kept daughter Karla, and grandson Eric smiling, while remembering in the few days since his passing.
Says his grandson, Eric, “His fingers, like this, at the end, were split like this.” Adds Karla, “Make a Y… We never knew who he was pointing at.”
Basketball would be to blame for the broken fingers. Anderson and his twin brother, Emil, played for GU from 1936-39.
“There he is, right there. Number 12,” points out Karla.
After graduating, Anderson fought in World War II. He then met his wife, Ruby in Richland, but ended up back in Spokane.
“He had friends that would get really frustrated with him because he always kept saying Spokane was God’s country. But his heart was here, this was home,” says Karla.
And Gonzaga was his school.
“You could never go wrong buying him something with the Gonzaga Bulldog on it,” says grandson Eric. “Christmas, birthday, father’s day, it was easy. You find something, put a Gonzaga Bulldogs sticker on it and he was good.”
“Recently, we’ve been going to the alumni games, and he would always go and Mark Few was always so good, and they always acknowledged him, Dad, at the games and the players were really sweet to him. I think it brought all that back to him because it made him feel young again,” says Karla.
Kind of like those walks he always took. That the one’s who know him best, feel he’s still on.