John Burton Anderson was born May 17th 1930 to Clarence Wilford Anderson and Mabel Burton Anderson. He was raised mostly in Riverside, CA. He was a little tow-headed boy, with glasses, the youngest of five children, with one sister and three brothers. Sometimes he was called “the little prophet” by older relatives because he was honest and earnest of heart and asked many questions.
John played football in high school. His beloved mother died when he was 16. He received an athletic scholarship to Brigham Young University and attended there for a year before he went to service as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in the New England States Mission. Upon the conclusion, he returned to BYU to finish college and play more football. He graduated from BYU in 1953. He found and married his “Sweetheart”, Shirley Anne Wilson Anderson on September 4th, 1953 in the Salt Lake Temple, laying a firm foundation for a strong family.
John served in the Army as Pentagon Agency Personnel, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Myer, VA for two years. While there, he received a telegram that his first baby girl Julie was born. Shirley Anne and the baby flew to Washington, D.C. in the spring of 1955 to be close to him.
After his honorable release from the Army, John attended the University of Utah Law School, and soon he and Shirley had two more little girls. They lived in Stadium Village Apartments during this time and he worked in a cement plant.
In time John became a corporate attorney and the couple bought a home in Sandy; he worked for Beneficial Life Insurance and then Prudential Federal Credit Union as consulting attorney. He and his beloved Shirley Anne had a total of six children, one son and five daughters. He felt raising a great family was his most important achievement. The family was raised at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, in Sandy, Utah. They skied, rode horses, had a boat, and built a barn.
During this time, John was called to be a Bishop, then a Stake President in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He and Shirley Anne gained many lifelong friends. The couple had the longest, funniest, happy banter of conversation between them, that created a loving atmosphere and standard for successful marriages for their children. He played the harmonica, built a barn as the couple went through all the struggles of family life, parenting teenagers, being a wonderful example to their family and friends. There were so many celebrations, reunions, parties, trips, and missions within the family.
Shirley Anne died at the age of 86. John missed her so fiercely, but lived to the age of 91 in the home of his daughter. By then he had total hearing loss, most of his eyesight and some dementia, but continued faithful, hoping in the Lord’s promise of him being reunited with “his Sweetheart”. As his health waned, he made many beautiful wooden canes and walking sticks. John died on April 29th, 2022 at 1:00 am in the Beaver Valley Hospital surrounded by family.
John is survived by his six children and their spouses Julie (Craig) White, Denece (John) Stillings, Karilee (Kevin) Olsen, Laurie (Terry) Gale, Doug (Julie) Anderson, Amy (Thad) Waddoups; and a brother-in-law Doug (Jeannette) Wilson; grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Preceded in death by his wife.
A viewing will be held on Thursday, May 5th from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. Funeral services will be held on Friday, May 6th at 11:00 AM with a viewing one hour prior all services at Larkin Sunset Gardens, 1950 E. Dimple Dell Road (10600 S.), Sandy. UT. For those wanting to virtually attend services through zoom please visit https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82118351981 where you will be promoted to sign into your zoom account. To create a free account, visit the zoom sing up page and enter your email. You will receive an email with instructions on how activate your account.
With sincere gratitude we thank Craig and Julie White for their loving and constant care of our dad for the past 20 months. Special thanks to the Beaver medical professionals for dads’ care in his final hours.