El Cajon Mortuary and Cremation Service

684 South Mollison Ave., El Cajon, CA


Donald William Anderson

August 29, 1931July 27, 2020

Donald William Anderson 1931 - 2020

Donald William Anderson had a gentle, peaceful passing on Monday, July 27, 2020. He was born on August 29, 1931, in San Diego, CA, the fourth child of Edna and Iver Anderson. He had three older siblings, Robert and Richard Anderson and Betty Herndon. Don was a Christian man, believing in God. He was a true gentleman. He didn’t swear, was well-mannered and polite, humble, a thoughtful man with a quick funny humor, a strong sense of right and wrong, positive attitude, and respect for everyone.

After graduation from Grossmont High School in 1950, Don started working bees with his father and Mr. Baker of Baker Honey Company. Shortly thereafter, Don bought his first hives of bees from Mr. Baker, and over the years grew his business to become a respected commercial beekeeping outfit with 1,500 hives at various locations throughout San Diego County. Annually, he produced vast quantities of 55-gallon barrels of honey, mainly buckwheat and sage honey, and negotiated annual sales contracts and crop pollination contracts in Imperial Valley for melon crops in the summer and in Bakersfield for almond growers in early spring.

As a commercial beekeeper Don was an adept meteorologist studying the weather patterns and its history for rainfall and drought. He figured out how to feed the bees in the winter to keep them healthy and how to make new queens.

The carpenter job Don began working as a teenager for Wilbur Schlehuber in the honey off season, turned out to be a fabulous, life-long partnership that set the stage for many of Don’s future accomplishments.

On June 17, 1951, Don married Joan Powell and they moved into their first home on Delta Street in San Diego where they settled in and started a family. On April 8, 1952, they welcomed their first son, Wayne Thomas. Three years later to the day on April 8, 1955, they welcomed their second child, Jennifer Joan, and on April 6, 1960, welcomed their third child, Donald Iver.

In 1954, Don built their first family home in Casa de Oro, CA. In 1968 he built a 2,200-sf family home in Alpine, CA. They sold that home after raising their family and Don built another home next door. In the fall of 1978, he built a vacation home in Taos, NM. Later, as he was getting up in years, he settled for overseeing construction of retirement homes in Lake Havasu and Wellton, AZ. As a father, Don imparted in all his children strong morals and work ethic, and lifelong skills for beekeeping, carpentry, automobile repair and general maintenance of just about anything.

Don loved his family, friends, deer hunting, water skiing, traveling, camping, driving his dune buggy in the desert, bowling, golfing, square dancing, community service as a proud member of the Alpine Kiwanis and Lake Havasu Elks clubs, antiquing but, mostly treasure hunting for the infamous goofus glass. He was an avid reader of cowboy stories both fiction and non-fiction. He was an impressive card player with a great memory for cards played and enjoyed the stiff competition he found with his children.

As a league and tournament bowler, Don had his 10 minutes of fame in 1972 in a big, publicized bowling tournament at La Mesa Bowl. To a huge crowd of tournament players and spectators gathered around his lane to watch the extraordinary feat, he bowled a perfect 300 game. As an amateur golfer, he worked hard to maintain a respectable handicap and played regularly with his fellow Elks members and Wellton buddies until the age of 81.

Don and Joan enjoyed extensive travels both within and outside the U.S. They saw the sights of Northern Europe, including the Anderson ancestral homeland of Oslo Norway and Sweden while celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. They travelled to the UK and to tropical locations, including Cancun, the Caribbean, Hawaii, and to Alaska three times to see the wildlife. They experienced the sights and culture of Australia and New Zealand and saw the sights of almost all 50 states.

Don was an achiever, a type-A perfectionist, he could fix anything, do anything. He had great energy and worked hard for his family. He loved his family and Joan with all his heart through thick and thin, good times and bad. Theirs is a love story of dedication and commitment to each other, even when it wasn’t easy. At age 75, Don began a valiant fight against two cancers, esophageal, then lymphoma. Joan provided all the much-needed caretaking for the remainder of his 89 years.

Don is survived by his wife of 69 years, Joan, three children, Wayne Anderson, Jennifer Danks, and Donald Anderson, their spouses, Marsha Anderson, Spencer Danks and Becky Anderson, 8 grandchildren, 14 great-grand-children, and sister and brother-in-law, Bonnie and Walt Dollard.


  • Visitation - Celebration of Life

    Tuesday, August 4, 2020

  • Graveside Service

    Wednesday, August 5, 2020


Donald William Anderson

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