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David Neil Anderson continued his eternal adventure on January 11, 2023 with his family by his side. David was born August 24, 1931 at his grandfather’s home in the community of Enoch, Utah to Roland J. and Ellen Chaffin Anderson. He was the third son of ten children. He was raised in the Enoch Valley, kicking sunflowers while riding Old Harold, and hitching the cart to the donkeys. He spent hours going from one side of the valley to the other with his four brothers. David loved dancing, which was integral to his childhood, teenage years and on to adulthood. He enjoyed dancing to the music of the Enoch band and learning to waltz from Mary Jones, whose husband played in the band. In his teenage years David would travel with his friends from community to community all weekend long dancing from Parowan to the Touquerville exit. He begged to have dances after MIA during the week. Even to this day all his daughters will say he was their favorite dance partner. If you lived in Enoch, you ice skated in the winter. Many hours were spent with his ward family. He graduated from Cedar High in 1950.
David was drafted into the army during the Korean conflict. Between his basic training in Texas at Fort Hood and deployment to Germany, he met his eternal companion and love of his life, Mary Alice Shamo. They dated in that short time and began a letter relationship until he finished his time in the service in December of 1953. He came home and they got engaged in January 1954. They were married on March 12, 1954 in the St. George Temple and started an eternal family that has grown from two to 173. His family and posterity were his most cherished possessions. He stressed the importance of family and marriage to all his children. He came home from their honeymoon, gave back the tires he had borrowed, and returned his dad’s car. He had $12.50 in his pocket, no job, and no education.
After a spring of shearing sheep, David and Mary began his education at the College of Southern Utah in the fall of 1954. They plotted a plan to complete his education as quickly as possible and moved forward to complete his industrial arts and math teaching degree, graduating from Utah State College in the spring of 1958. While in college they had three children: Betty Ellen, David Jay, and Christine. They lived in the lambing sheds that had been converted to married student housing and met lifelong friends there.
His first contract took him to Alamo, Nevada to teach at Pahranagat Valley High School in the fall of 1958. After his first year, he became the principal with an additional staff of three. This began his administrative career. They loved Alamo and added three more children to their family: Robert Brent, Janet, and Kendall Dean. In Alamo he helped create the Pahranagat Valley Federal Credit Union with his account being account #1. He served as bishop of the Alamo Ward. He was active in the community, serving in the Lions Club and Fire Department. He began working with the principal at Virgin Valley High School, Blaine Allen, with the Western States Small Schools Project. After working for five years on this project, Blaine convinced him to make the transition and move to Mesquite, Nevada.
In 1967 David and his family moved to Mesquite. He taught at Virgin Valley High School and worked on the Title 3 program. This was their final big move. There they added their last two daughters: Machelle and Andrea. David started his own electrical business in 1972. He juggled teaching and contracting until he became the principal of Virgin Valley High School in 1979. At that time, he stepped away from contracting until he finished his educational career in 1986. He was always active in the community, serving on the town board, fire department, and Overton Power District. He grew his electrical company after retirement from Clark County School District and purchased land to begin other ventures. In 1999 he built his final home in Bunkerville, building next door to his children.
David and Mary served two missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which were such wonderful and fulfilling experiences. They served the people of Tonga from January 1994 to November 1995. They served at Liahona High School and associated with and met many amazing people. His love for the Polynesian people grew and never stopped. He paved the way and helped license the first native Master Electrician in the country of Tonga. After returning home they prepared and served in Melbourne, Australia, working with the Church Educational System from October 2001 to March 2003. They always had students in their home, playing cards and eating treats; but most important to Elder and Sister Anderson was teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. David and Mary served as temple workers after their missions and enjoyed many more callings in the Church. They loved the Lord and instilled that love in their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
David loved Mary and he demonstrated it in every action. He always sat next to her with no children between them. He brought her flowers and wrote her poetry. They loved weekend getaways and traveled usually by car so they could see the country. As age brought on the frailties of life, he still always showed that love to her. He would put on Mom’s shoes daily, have nightly prayers, and show affection with kisses. Their example is one for all their posterity to follow.
David is survived by his wife Mary, and their children: Betty (Gary) Brown, Orem, Utah; David (Lynne) Anderson, Mesquite, Nevada; Christine (Robert) Foisy, Alamo, Nevada; Robert (Karma) Anderson, Cedar City, Utah; Janet (Darryll) Dodenbier, Bunkerville, Nevada; Kendall (Celeste) Anderson, Bunkerville, Nevada; Machelle Johnson, Truckee, California; Andrea Tilton, Bunkerville, Nevada; 37 grandchildren and 83 great-grandchildren with more to come; siblings, Keith (Emily) Anderson, sister-in-law JaNeene Anderson, Lona (Lynn) Mitchell, Roland (DeAnna) Anderson, Steven (Sally) Anderson. He was proceeded in death by his parents; siblings John (Donetta) Anderson, Boyd Anderson, Kent Anderson, Marie (Dick) Talbot, and Patsy Anderson; son-in-law Jeffery Tilton; and grandchildren Tami and Troy Dodenbier.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, January 21, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. in the Mesquite Nevada West Stake Center, 100 N. Arrowhead Lane, Mesquite, Nevada. Viewings will be Friday, January 20, 2023 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. and again prior to services from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m., also at the stake center. Interment will be at the Bunkerville Cemetery.
A Zoom broadcast link for the funeral can be found at https://www.mesquitenvstake.org/meetings under the Mesquite Nevada Stake tab.
Friday, January 20, 2023
6:00 - 8:00pm (Pacific time)
LDS Stake Center Mesquite
Saturday, January 21, 2023
9:00 - 10:30am (Pacific time)
Saturday, January 21, 2023
Starts at 11:00am (Pacific time)
Saturday, January 21, 2023
Starts at 12:00pm (Pacific time)
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