It is with profound sadness and heartache, that we mourn the passing of Donald “Don” L. Anderson Sr., of Cromwell, CT, age 83, who passed away on Thursday, July 23, 2020, at his home surrounded by his loved ones. Following a long battle with dementia, Don was finally reunited with his beloved wife Josie, the love of his life.
Born on June 29, 1937 in Middletown, CT, he was the son of the late Albert “Gillie” E. Anderson, Sr. and Madeline (Brown) Anderson. Don graduated from Middletown High School Class of 1955. Don and Josie were high school sweethearts, who were married for almost 55 years.
During the summers of Don’s high school years, he followed in his father’s footsteps by working at A.N. Pierson Inc., known as the largest world-wide “rose” grower and distributor. He worked in the greenhouses cultivating the roses, and learned to speak Italian fluently with Italian immigrants. This second language came in handy when he met Josie and his future in-laws.
Don attended Fairfield University, achieving an Associate’s Degree in Mathematics before being commissioned as an Officer of the U.S. Air Force as a fighter pilot. Upon accomplishment of his service, he was a member of the Air Force Reserve until completion in 1964.
While working at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), as the Chief of Data Processing, he attended University of Hartford, earning an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration. He worked for the DMV for 17 years, while earning his B.A. from Holy Apostles College, in Cromwell, CT. He was instrumental in the development and the implementing of the Connecticut On-Line Law Enforcement Communications Teleprocessing (COLLECT)/ National Crime Information Center (NCIC)/National Law Enforcement Telecommunications Systems (NLETS) database working jointly with the FBI Department of Justice, State Police, and DMV to incorporate a national system, which is still used today.
He then went on to work as the Director of Criminal Justice for the State of CT. After many years there, he was promoted to Chief of Administrative Services and Resource Management for the State of CT. After he retired in 1992, he was called back to service on multiple occasions for his valued expertise.
He was an active member of the Cromwell Lions Club, the Knights of Columbus, the American Legion, Cromwell Historical Society, Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Italian American Club, and the Hillside Cemetery Committee in Cromwell. He enjoyed playing softball for many years until his late 40’s. Don was a life-long member of St. John’s Church in Cromwell, where he was a volunteer parishioner for the Perpetual Adoration of the Eucharist, along-side his dear friend, John Croasdale, who he referred to as “Brother John”. He also enjoyed spending many weekday mornings playing pool at the Cromwell Senior Center.
Don was an avid basketball fan, who loved to watch and attend UConn Women’s and CT Sun’s basketball games. He enjoyed traveling with Josie throughout their marriage and their many retirement years together visiting states in the U.S. and numerous trips to countries all over Europe; Switzerland being one of their favorites. Although Don was a hard worker and dedicated employee for many years, his greatest joy, and most important passion in life was his loyalty, dedication, selflessness, and love in caring for his beloved wife and his family.
Don is survived by his daughters Kristie-Rae Damiane of Cromwell, Karen Pettiford (Michael) of Maryville, TN, Kathleen “Katie” Moran (John) of Cromwell, Karleen Anderson of New York; and his son Donald (Donny) L. Anderson Jr. (Mercedes) of Costa Rica; eight grandchildren Steven Burnham, Rachel Buonanducci (Glenn), Jamie Burnham (Jeff), Justine Burdick (Jeremie), Alan Anderson, Kayla Zadjura (Zach), Kerri Duque (Juan), and Ashley Pettiford; a great-granddaughter Natalia Sales and eight great-grandsons Luke Stennett, Cadence Sales, Miles and Evan Burdick, Dominic Anderson, Colton Burnham, Carson Zadjura, and soon to arrive Mateo Duque.
He leaves behind his sister Madeline (Anderson) McDermott; his sister-in-laws Haruko (Nigima) Anderson, and Shirley (McDermott) Johnson along with many nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was predeceased by his wife Josephine (LoGuidice) Anderson, his parents, and his brothers Albert Jr., Roland, Gilbert, and his adopted brother, Kenneth Johnson.
Family and friends may call on Friday, July 31st from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm at the Cromwell Funeral Home, 506 Main Street, Cromwell. A graveside service will be held on Saturday August 1st at 11:00 am in Hillside Cemetery West, 29 Hillside Road, Cromwell where full military honors will be accorded. A Mass of Christian Burial will be private. Face Masks and Social Distancing will be required at all events.
In lieu of flowers, friends may make memorial donations in Don’s name to Padre Pio Foundation of America, 463 Main Street, Cromwell, CT 06416; Holy Apostles College and Seminary, 33 Prospect Hill Road, Cromwell, CT 06416; Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, 322 Eighth Avenue, 16th floor, New York, NY, 10001.To share memories or send condolences to the Anderson family, please visit www.doolittlefuneralservice.com
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