BELLFONTAINE — Russel Blaine Anderson, 93, passed away Friday, Aug. 14, 2009, at Logan Acres.
He was born in Columbus to Russel H. Anderson and Lena Gilmere Anderson of Centerburg on April 17, 1916.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Clarissa Elizabeth (Ralls); a son, Timothy Blaine Anderson; and a sister, Virginia Janiece Ginn.
He is survived by his daughters, Marlena (Dennis) Elliott of Sacramento, Calif., Brenda J. Billhimer of Cincinnati, and Marcella J. Clark of Bellefontaine; a son, Thomas R. (Renee) Anderson of Forest; brother, Marvin H. Anderson of Centerburg; sister, Phyllis Joan Whetsel of Dublin; 10 grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
While in his teens, he started working at Rockwell Orchard in Mount Vernon, eventually becoming manager. He enlisted in the Army during World War II, trained at the Hampton Institute to become a surveyor and eventually became a sergeant and chief warrant officer. He was discharged after the war ended and returned to managing Rockwell Orchard. He went on to manage three other orchards, Wildes Orchard in Harveysburg, Weavers Fruit Farm in Owensville and the Skylane Orchard in Worthington. Famous for his special blend of cider, which he made for Ohio State football games for many years.
In 1965, he and his wife, Clarissa became owners of Brookside Fruit Farm, Bellefontaine, until he retired from active participation in the orchard. Never one to be idle, in the early 1950s he received his private pilots license and throughout the years, owned and piloted several small airplanes. He was also director of the Fruit Growers Marketing Association, and a trustee for Jefferson Township in Zanesfield. He was awarded Zanesfield Citizen of the Year in 2007.
He knew no strangers, he loved people, loved to laugh and joke and never turned away anyone looking for help.
The viewing will be held at Eicholtz Funeral Home, 321 N. Main St., Bellefontaine, on Tuesday, Aug. 18, from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Private burial will be in Mound View Cemetery, Mount Vernon.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.