Peter Rafael Anderson Sr.

October 24, 1947December 30, 2020

Peter Rafael Anderson, of Sacramento, passed away peacefully on December 30, 2020.

Born on October 24, 1947, Peter was the son of the late Elmer Harold and Joan Katherine (Treacy) Anderson of Greenbrae.

In addition to his parents, Peter was predeceased by his sister Patty Weber and niece Valerie Calegari. Peter is survived by his former wife and close friend, Kathleen Campbell of Novato, their sons, Ryan “Gabe” (Jennifer) Anderson of Saratoga Springs, NY and Peter Jr. (Sierra) Anderson of Sacramento; and three beloved grandchildren, Grace, Finn, and Eichler Anderson. He is also survived by siblings Michael (Suellen Miller) Anderson of San Anselmo, Tracy (Andy) Armanino of Capitola, Joseph Anderson of S. Lake Tahoe, and many cousins, nieces and nephews.

Peter graduated from St. Joseph’s High School in Mountain View in 1965 and earned a B.A. in Philosophy from St. Patrick's College in Menlo Park in 1969. Peter then entered California politics, organizing two U.S. Senate races.

From 1976 through 1980, he wrote a column for the Pacific Sun. In 1978, he became a daily columnist for The Sacramento Union, covering an array of controversial issues, humorous musings and celebrity interviews. In 1985, he returned to Marin to write a similar daily column for the Marin Independent Journal. In 1990, he wrote 100 Faces of Marin, a book profiling Marin luminaries, then followed it with a 2004 edition.

Peter spent his remaining years writing dozens of articles and books on topics ranging from celebrities to unsung heroes, mentoring, alcoholism and drug addiction. A gifted writer who excelled at bringing out the best in everyone he interviewed, he brought wit, insight, and empathy to his colorful human interest stories. His words affected many lives. He dedicated his life to social justice and telling stories with profound insight, compassion, and a sense of humor. He never missed a deadline.

Peter lived for his family. He was an extraordinarily loving and supportive father and grandfather, an avid SF Giants and 49ers fan, and an unbeatable Scrabble player.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Memories of Peter may be shared via


Peter Rafael Anderson Sr.

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Anita Garner

January 14, 2021

May his soul rest in peace and his memory be a blessing to all. Condolences to Peter's family. He spoke of you with such devotion. I met Peter during his Sacramento Union days and we stayed in touch over the years, from Sacramento to Marin County. Love and light to Peter on his transition.
...Anita Garner

Janie Mcquillan

January 7, 2021

Peter and my husband Pat McQuillan were such good friends over the years...... In the seminary and years after. I was so very sad to read of Peters passing. I am sure that they are both in heaven with God . Janie McQuillan

Gabe Anderson

January 7, 2021

I'm heartbroken that my Dad is gone from the world—too soon. He was an incredible father, grandfather, and friend, and I hope I told him that enough.

He always put others before himself, and he loved his family more than anything. I think it's fitting that he had this quote at the top of his Facebook page:

"To love another person is to see the face of God.”
— “Les Miserables”

We saw “Les Miserables” together when I was a kid (late '80s or early '90s), and we also loved the soundtrack. We used to cruise around and blast the soundtrack. The song that most reminds me of my Dad, however, is "New York, New York" by Frank Sinatra, one of his favorite singers. My Dad, my brother, and I used to have so much fun singing that song and dancing together when my brother and I were kids.

My Dad was truly a kind, genuine, and compassionate soul. He had so much love to give, and so many wonderful stories to share, in person and in writing.

My Dad's legacy will live on through his loving family and the gift of his writing that he left the world.

I look forward to reading other memories from family and friends.

Rest in Peace, Dad. I love you. ❤️