David Richard Anderson

David Anderson (84 years old), a long time Ellensburg, Washington resident passed away Thursday, March 4, in Kirkland Washington. A ceremony to celebrate his life will be planned for early summer in Ellensburg.

David was born November 6, 1936 in Peoria, Illinois to Herold and Agnes Anderson, one of four children. He was raised in a loving, extended family that encouraged family bonds and valued education. David went on to obtain degrees with high distinction from Bradley University (Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics and physics) and Duke University (PhD in mathematics). He began his teaching career at MIT and University of Wyoming before setting down roots at Central Washington University in Ellensburg. David met his wife, Marjorie, in Laramie in 1965 where they were both faculty members.

Athletically active throughout his life, David played championship volleyball with his brother while growing up, and was an avid mountaineer, hiker, skier and golfer, who even briefly tried his hand at amateur car racing.  David’s energy was an inspiration as he’ll be remembered for climbing snow covered peaks in a t-shirt and walking 3 miles each way to work for several years (his explanation for the walk – this let him reflect on the books he was reading for his Douglas Honors College colloquium). He even ran ultra-marathons at the age of 50.

David was a loving and supportive husband and father who was generous with his time and shared his passions for math and the outdoors.  He introduced one son to mountaineering and provided moral support to help the other son power through the challenges of competitive long-distance running and inspire a career as an actuary.  His sons fondly remember visiting the university gym with him while growing up, as well as hiking and cross-country skiing excursions which became family traditions.

As a professor of Mathematics at Central Washington University for 30 years, and an instructor for William O. Douglas Honors College at CWU, David liked to share his curiosity and love of learning. For him math was not simply about numbers, but was a language to explore and understand the world. His office was always open for his students to discuss math problems and he usually had a cup of coffee in hand with classical music playing in the background.

While at CWU David also served as Faculty Chair and was a cultural exchange professor to Shimane Women’s College in Matsue, Japan.

David’s interest in music and technology led him into a business partnership with friends as co-owner of Stereocraft which specialized in high-end stereo equipment (locations in Ellensburg, Yakima, Walla Walla, Pullman, and Spokane from 1972-1986).

David is survived by his wife, Marjorie, sons Todd and Douglas, and grandchildren Daenerys, Luna May, and Todd Jaden.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Alzheimer’s Association: act.alz.org.

Condolences and remembrances may be left online: BartonFuneral.com.

12 Responses to “David Richard Anderson”

  • Kay Forsythe says:

    Hello Marjorie and boys
    I remember fondly your time in Ellensburg and your participation in the United Methodist Church. I think of you when I see a sign about color-fashion interest! You were an integral part of the Sunday school when our kids were all young.
    My sympathy, Kay Forsythe

  • Gladys Knorr says:

    Dearest Marjorie,

    Our ongoing,close and wonderful friendship goes back to 1955 when we were in high school!
    My heart breaks for you, Todd, Douglas and the grandchildren! I Know God has all of you in his everlasting arms during this sad time in your lives. I extend my heartfelt condolences and you are in my prayers.
    I love you!
    Love,Hugs and prayers,

  • Mike McCloskey says:

    I was sad to read of David’s passing. Wishing you and your family peace during these difficult times.
    ~Mike McCloskey

  • Larry and Denise Williams says:

    He was the BESTEST brother in law imaginable.

  • Judy (and Dennis) Knight says:

    Marjorie: When we met in Laramie in 1965, David wasn’t in the picture yet. But within weeks you met him at a Wyouter’s event (remember that group? It “died” when all of us UW faculty organizers got married). I considered David my “ski meister” when you invited me to come along for those trips to Steamboat Springs and the Medicine Bow Ski Area while he was courting you and trying to turn us both into skiers. Then when Dennis and I became a couple, those memorable ski trips continued. It was a great honor and adventure to be part of your wedding in Florida in 1966. It’s so good that we’ve been able to stay in touch all these years—having you back in Laramie when our daughter Christy got married here in 2003 was wonderful, and so was our visit with you both when you lived in Idaho. We know that you and the boys will sorely miss the David that we all knew and remember as such a wonderful person to be around with the “joy of living” that he embraced.
    Love, Judy

  • Sue and Michael Booth says:

    Marjorie and Boys, We weren’t aware of Dave’s many accomplishments and interests as we lived very different lives over the years. However, you two were one of the few people to stop and visit us on our farm in Nebraska, and keep in touch with Christmas letters and impromptu visits if either of us came anywhere near where the other lived. That effort to stay connected was appreciated more than you know. We were so impressed with Dave’s humility and genuine friendliness from the first time we met him. He was such a sweet soul! God bless and keep you all…you have a new guardian angel on duty! Sue and Michael

  • Jay Johnson says:

    Marjorie, Todd and Douglas, I will always remember your dad for his kindness, sincere approach towards life. He was a visionary, who inspired others to excel in their passions and dreams. I enjoyed being neighbors so many years in Ellensburg and the chance to know your family as a kid growing up on Pioneer road. I will forever remember those good times and always recall cherished memories. May God grant you peace during this difficult time.

  • Mark Anderson says:

    Aunt Marjorie, Todd and Douglas,
    My deepest sympathy goes out to you during this season of loss and grief. Will always remember fondly Uncl Dave, and my father’s deep love and admiration of him as well. May joyous memories fill those tender moments as you celebrate his life.

  • TommieSue Johnson says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with you. – Tommie Sue

  • Todd Anderson says:


    You were the best father that I could have had. You taught me the difference between right and wrong. You gave me great advice whenever I asked for it. You encouraged me to follow my dreams. You made me laugh even when I thought your jokes were stupid. You were loving, supportive, caring, smart and a great leader by example. Basically, you were my very own super dad.

    I love you so much. Your son, Todd

  • Nadia Tene says:

    It was an honor to cross paths with you in the 3 short months that I knew you. I experienced your strength to walk and was happy that I was able to help with that. Seeing the sweet smile on your face was such a joy. You were so full of love. It was fun listening to music with you and sharing the yummy healthy foods that helped nourish you. I will always remember how quick with jokes and how cheeky funny you where. It was beautiful to see how much you loved your son and how you would light up every time Todd entered the room. I know that you will be watching over us as a guardian angel. You inspire me in more ways than one, especially the way you loved your family. I want to get out and see the mountains through your eyes and start running more. You have an amazingly strong spirit and proved it till the end. Marjorie, my heart goes out to you and I wish you full healing for you and the family.

  • Henry Hill says:

    I had the incredible good fortune to work for Dave and his business partners at StereoCraft. During my nine years with the company Dave was more than supportive of my efforts and provided me with a strong foundation to future my career. Dave was caring and generous but most of all was simply a very good man and I owe him a great deal. He made the world a better place and although I have not seen him for several years, I will miss him deeply.

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