Victor Anderson remembered

Local rancher and historian honored at internment at cemetery he had worked to save


Mike Armstrong

Nancy Anderson and granddaughter Lexie Mann put rose petals on Victor Anderson's grave.

At noon on June 9 at Carbon Cemetery, Victor Gabriel Anderson's life was celebrated by over 150 people. Victor Anderson was born on Dec 1, 1930 and passed away at his home in Coyote Canyon on March 3. There were several generations at the celebration of his life.

Wife Nancy started the celebration by telling how she and Victor first came together before their marriage in 1966.

"I was told (there was) a fella who lives in Coyote Springs, who may be calling and was that okay?"

Nancy continued, "I said it was okay and then I found out my friend Marjorie and Victor's sister Ella worked out this arrangement."

Nancy said six months later she got a call from this unknown person. "To this day, I can't believe he ever got up the courage to call me."

She said on their first date, she had to push the car to get it started.

"That should have given me some sort of warning," Nancy laughed.

She told more stories of her husband and then asked others to share memories. In between people coming forth to tell their stories, Saratogan Teense Wilford played music and sang.

The song Willford that brought laughs to the attendees was Victor's favorite song called "Mrs. Johansen." Victor sang it often, especially during the Christmas holidays.

Elk Mountain Mayor Morgan Irene said Victor was a quiet and kind man.

"He had an amazing strength and amazing way to deal with the pain he was going through, like it wasn't even there," Irene said. "One of the things that really struck me once I got to know him; he always had some little remark to stop and make you laugh."

Irene told the crowd, Victor was a man who loved his wife and daughter tremendously.

Victor's daughter, Rachel Waxweiler, told the participants of her father's way with animals.

"We had one cow we tried to get rid of for three years and we had the whole family and a truck driver trying to get this one cow," Waxweiler said. "It would always charge someone and jump over the fence, so the third year, he told us to all go inside because we were in the way and ten minutes later the cow was in the truck."

Rod Young, a nephew recalled an incident that happened when he was a young boy.

"I was about five years old and I was at the station and some man who was probably drunk was giving grandma a hard time at the cash register," Young said. "She called Victor and he came in right away, took the guy outside, his feet dangling off the ground, and Vic said something, but I saw the quiet man could be pushed to be really strong. Because he was such a quiet man, I am not sure many ever saw this side, but I did at a young age and I never forgot it."

Dozens of people gave recollections and then Nancy invited the crowd to go up the hill where her husband was buried to drop rose petals on the grave. Nancy told the crowd she had been saving petals from flowers that her husband had given her over the 50 plus years of them being together.

There was an ATV that took people up the hill to the grave site, but most of the crowd made it up by foot.

Irene led a the crowd in the Lord's Prayer before the line of people dipped in the bucket of petals and scattered them on the grave while Willford provided background music.

Once the petal service was finished the crowd made it back to enjoy a large spread of food, that was similar to a large family reunion picnic.

Victor was a charter board member of the Hanna Basin Historical Society formed in 1982. He was known historian, along with his wife. He was a rancher, but quite a few people knew him for how hard he worked to keep Carbon County history alive. In 2002, he was a member of the group that reestablished the Carbon Cemetery Association (CCA).

The goals of the CCA were to restore the original landscape, conserve the monuments, and gather information on the inhabitants of the Carbon Town Cemetery.

Several attendees said there could be no more better place for Victor to have his final rest than on top of the hill in Carbon Town Cemetery.

Even more said the words his nephew Young used when he concluded his story about his uncle.

"I am a better person for knowing him."

Mike Armstrong

The crowd attending the celebration of Victor Anderson's life at Carbon Cemetery June 9 told heartfelt stories about him.


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