William G. Anderson recently celebrated his 97th birthday on Sept. 26 with family. On Oct. 11, 2021, he died peacefully at his home.
Bill was born as a twin on Sept. 26, 1924 to George & Sophie (Schottenhammel) Anderson in Chicago. He graduated from Lane Tech College Prep High School in Chicago. He joined the United States Army Air Corps in 1943 where he served as an aircraft mechanic. In 1944 he married Lavergne (Luebbing) while he was stationed in Valdosta, Ga. They were married for 70 years before her death in 2014.
After the war, Bill & Lavergne moved to Three Lakes, where he worked as a carpenter for Cy Williams and helped build the current Three Lakes Performing Arts building. A few years later he returned to Chicago for further training and then returned to Three Lakes where he operated Three Lakes TV & Radio repair shop. During that same time he was known as the "Commander" by radio announcer John Wadd of WOBT-AM as Bill helped convert the station from AM to FM.
Bill's technical skills led him to Congressman Alvin O'Konski who hired him as engineer at Channel 12 television in Rhinelander. The station was located in Starks at that time and in November 1968, a plane hit the guy wires of the broadcasting tower causing it to collapse and demolish the building. Bill was one of two people in the building at the time and escaped serious injury by diving in a corner. He was instrumental in rebuilding the present Channel 12 in Rhinelander on Hwy G.
During those years in the Northwoods Bill served as Worthy Grand Patron of the Order of the Eastern Star and was a member of the Eagle River Masonic Lodge.
In 1970 Bill & Lavergne moved to Florida where he worked as chief engineer at Channel 5 television in West Palm Beach until his retirement in 1987. In 2003 they returned to the Northwoods and built a home in Sugar Camp where he lived until the time of his death.
In his retirement, Bill took up wood carving, particularly birds and fish. His ducks, pheasant and grouse became so realistic people often commented they thought his carvings were stuffed mounts. He and Lavergne also traveled extensively throughout the United States in their RV during those years.
Bill was preceded in death by his wife: Lavergne; son: Don in 2009; twin brother: George; and his parents. He is survived by his son: Bill (Jackie) of Sugar Camp; daughter-in-law: Deanne Anderson; grandchildren: Peggy (Charlie) Holmes and Lori (Jerry) Schmitz, all of Jupiter, Fla., Jill (Dwayne) Walkowski and Jeff (Ashley) Anderson, all of Sugar Camp; 10 great-grandchildren: Matthew, Steven & Hannah of Jupiter, Fla., and Cassandra, Skyler, Elsey, Brock, Kamryn, Trevin and Lincoln of Sugar Camp.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 18, 2021 at the Gaffney-Busha Funeral Home in Eagle River. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service with Pastor Peter Kufahl officiating. Burial will follow at the Three Lakes Cemetery.
The family appreciates Sharon Dehn and Pat Zernia who assisted the family with caregiving in recent years.
Arrangements by Gaffney-Busha Funeral Home, Eagle River. Online condolences may be expressed at gaffney-busha.com.
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