Renowned retired senator, Loveland native Fred Anderson dies Thursday
By Pamela Dickman Reporter-Herald Staff Writer
Posted: 12/23/2011 10:44:38 AM MST
Renowned state senator, water law expert and Loveland native Fred Anderson died of a heart attack at McKee Medical Center on Thursday afternoon.The 83-year-old had just finished shoveling a path from the house to the curb when he began to feel ill and suffered from a heart attack as paramedics were on their way to his Loveland home. He was well-known throughout the community and state for his activism, for his even-handed representation in the Colorado Senate and for his impact on state water law.Even after his retirement from the Senate in 1982, Anderson stayed active and interested in water issues. His wife recalls him having a telephone conversation about the South Platte River on the day of his death.
“He was really passionate about the work he did,” said Anne, his wife of 57 years. “He cared very much about his family and Colorado. It’s a wonderful legacy in growth.”
Anderson was instrumental in integrating ground and surface water rights and restructuring the state water laws in 1969, which Eric Wilkinson, general manager of Northern Water, called “a milestone in Colorado history.” He also helped achieve in-stream flow water rights, which affect water supply in Colorado today.
“There are 8,000 miles of streams in Colorado protected by that,” said Wilkinson.
Anderson, whom his wife called Freddie, was a fourth-generation Lovelander. His great-great-grandparents were indentured servants from Sweden who met in Masonville and married the year Colorado became a state.
A young Anderson grew up on a farm in the Loveland area and served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. On a trip to Rome while stationed in Germany, he met Anne, whose father was serving there in the foreign service. He asked to call her when they both returned to Colorado, and he did, the beginning of a 57-year marriage.
Together, they raised three sons (Todd, Mark and Eric) and one daughter (Mary Kathryn) and enjoyed seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild, all who survive Anderson. He also is survived by a brother, Dean.
When they first married, Anne and Fred farmed and raised cattle on acreage on East First Street.
He was elected to the state Senate in 1966, when he was 38, and served 16 years, retiring in 1982 at the age of 54. For eight years, he was senate president.
He was active in water issues across the state, and for about six years, served on the U.S. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations — a post he was appointed to by President Jimmy Carter.
“He was a mediator, a person who could take people from different sides and bring them to compromise,” said Anne.
Anderson also helped launch the House of Neighborly Service and Project Self-Sufficiency, was an active member of Trinity Lutheran Church, where he sang in the choir, and for many years chaired the Loveland Water and Sewer Board.
“He loved Loveland and was always up on the things that would make Loveland better,” said Anne.
“He was instrumental in helping plan for Loveland’s water future,” added Wilkinson. “Fred was a wonderful, wonderful person, always positive.”
Bill Kaufman remembers meeting Anderson in 1976 when he first moved to Larimer County and became active in the Republican Party. Despite his prominence, Anderson took him under his wing and they became long-time friends.
“He was a star,” said Kaufman. “He represented his district, but he also was looking out for the whole state. He was a true statesman.”
And while he was a hard worker and a tough negotiator, he wasn’t all work.
“He was fun,” said Jim Johnson of Fort Collins, friend and fellow legislator who was serving in Washington, D.C., while Anderson was in the state Senate.
“He was a good guy. He was hard worker. He was really a distinguished senator.”
Services will be held 10 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 27, at Trinity Lutheran Church, 33rd Street and Duffield Avenue, in Loveland. A second memorial service will be held in Denver next month.
Memorials may be made to Trinity Lutheran Church, the House of Neighborly Service or Project Self-Sufficiency.