April 17, 1930 – May 9, 2019
Paul W. Anderson ’55 passed away from pancreatic cancer on May 9, 2019. He was born in Janesville, Wisconsin, on April 17, 1930. He grew up in the small nearby town of Milton with his parents, Elmer and Helen (Kidder) Anderson, and two sisters.
Dr. Anderson graduated from Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, with a degree in biology in 1950. During this time, he worked summers at the Burdick Corporation in Milton. After graduating from medical school, he served in the U.S. Army and worked to help set up hospitals in France and Germany. He left the Army as a colonel.
Dr. Anderson had various adventures as a young doctor. He was a physician at the 1960 Olympics in Squaw Valley, California, and worked as a bush doctor in rural Alaska. He then graduated from Berkeley School of Public Health with his MPH in 1960. He became the director of public health in King County in Washington State and then filled the same role in Humboldt County in California. At age 50, he decided to change his specialty in medicine from public health to psychiatry. He worked at Napa State Hospital for 33 years.
Having a love for flowers, Dr. Anderson was director of the American Rhododendron Society for Offshore Chapters, was one of the founding members of the Eureka Rhododendron Society, and was instrumental in starting the Humboldt Botanical Gardens. He was also a longtime Rotarian in Napa, participating in and supporting many community activities. After his retirement at the age of 83, he volunteered as a driver for the California Highway Patrol for five years. He was a lifelong member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Dr. Anderson was preceded in death by his parents and his sister Karen. He is survived by his sister, Marilyn Jorgensen; brother-in-law, Jon Cole; three nieces and two nephews; and several great nieces and nephews.