Founding Evergreen firefighter dies at 93 in Delta

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By Vicky Gits

One of Evergreen’s original firefighters, Frank “Buster” Anderson Jr., died suddenly Jan. 1 at age 93 at Delta County Memorial Hospital. He had moved to Delta a little over a year ago to be closer to his son, James.

Anderson was one of the 47 original founders of the Evergreen Volunteer Fire Department in 1948. He was a member of the department from 1948 to 1973 and served on the fire board from 1949 to 1978. We was a charter member of the Evergreen Elks.

He worked for the Clear Creek County Road and Bridge Department and had retired about 26 years ago.

The fire department pioneers bought a four-wheel-drive Dodge Power Wagon outfitted with a hose and pump from the Colorado Forestry Department. They built the first fire station on Highway 74 across from the Little Bear on land donated by Mary Quaintance.

A third-generation Evergreen resident, Frank lived on the Anderson family ranch on Upper Bear Creek for 60 years, until he moved to Delta.

Frank Anderson was born March 6, 1914, in Denver and graduated from Evergreen High School in 1933. He worked at Hammond Hardware, which was later Evergreen Hardware. He married Bridget Rupp in 1936 in Golden.

“He liked being on the ranch and working. He cut his own firewood up until a few years ago,” said his nephew, Pete Anderson of Evergreen.

Frank Anderson’s mother was Pearl Spencer, born in Denver in 1895 and partly raised in a Catholic orphanage. She married Frank Anderson Sr. in 1913 and moved into his three-room house in Parmalee Gulch, according to “Evergreen, Our Mountain Community.”

In 1917, Frank Sr. and Pearl with two boys moved to Frank’s parents’ ranch on Upper Bear Creek. The couple delivered mail between Brookvale and Troutdale for 35 years. Pearl died in February 1985.

Frank Anderson Jr. is survived by his wife, Bridget “Sis” Anderson of Delta; brothers Walt of Evergreen and Harold of Denver; and son James and his wife, Rosemary.

Bridget and Frank had two children, James Anderson of Delta and Merle, who died 15 years ago. Frank Anderson is also survived by four grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements are pending as of Friday Jan. 4.