Wesley Michael Anderton


September 19, 1944  –  March 14, 2024


image of Michael Anderton

Michael Anderton

Wesley Michael Anderton (78) passed away Thursday, March 14, 2024. He resided in his Marysville, WA home of some 63 years prior to moving to Olympic Place, an assisted living community in Arlington, WA, December 26, 2023.

Mike [Mickey] was born September 19,1944 to Charles Wesley and Catherine Faye Anderton in Glendale, California where Charles [Wes] was completing pilot training in the U.S. Air force. After spending his early years in California & Texas, the three of them moved to Marysville, Washington where Wes took a teaching position, Mickey started school and the family grew to include siblings Pam and Allen.

Soon Wes was recalled back into the Air Force and sent to Okinawa as a Second Lieutenant stationed in officer housing on the air force base there for roughly a period of one year more or less.  Fortunately, the family was allowed to go too and departed on a ship from San Francisco and met up with Wes and other service men on their way to Japan. The men boarded and Wes accompanied his family the rest of the journey there. Both Mike and his sister shared many vivid memories from that time and culture and the voyage over and back.

On their return to Washington, the family found housing in Lake Stevens and the kids attended Mt. Pilchuck Elementary school where Wes was also now the principal of not only that school but also of several others before he retired. It was during this time that Mickey became Michael or simply Mike.  He attended and was confirmed in the Ebenezer Lutheran Church there.

In 1960, Mike’s family once again moved back to Marysville into a new home of their own that his mom and dad built next to his grandparent’s property. Mike continued to attend Lake Stevens High School and graduated Valedictorian in 1962. At age 15 Mike was recognized for his math skills and became a trusted and loyal statistician for both Lake Stevens Football and Basketball teams, becoming a member of the Lake Stevens Hall of Fame, keeping team statistics for over 65 years. He proudly served in this capacity and was able to celebrate recent back-to-back Football State Championships with his beloved Lake Stevens Vikings.

Post high school Mike attended Everett Junior College as it was then known, there he met and impressed several key teachers and other notables with his writing talents and mature friendship, He became lifelong friends of local actors and academic Bob and Ruth Prins. Mike attended the University of Washington for his Junior and Senior years, then briefly joined the Army for a time that took him back to California where he resided for a year or two.  Mike was a truly one-of-a-kind individual that made and kept his own friends wherever he went. He traveled very frugally around much of the world, often alone but occasionally with others, including several trips to Hawaii with his beloved Grandma Anderton. Friends from Ireland, Russia, Canada and Australia all made their way to his door too. These trip adventures sometimes resulted in travel articles for the Lake Stevens’ Journal. Often Mike wrote and introduced himself as Derrick Montenala, a pen name, but some knew him only as that name.  It was just part of the persona he explored as a young adult.

All during these young adult years, Mike had many diverse interests and writing about them provided a highly creative and sometimes profitable outlet. Film reviews were another passion and were sometimes published in local papers. The Seattle Film Festival was an annual highlight. The occasional film star also crossed his path now and then and a delightful story usually followed. Starting in his youth, Mike also quickly and easily made lasting friendships with senior citizens in particular. He often had an engaging connection with them. His love and interest in Antique Glass grew out of this and served him very well in both speaking to and visiting various antique glass clubs in the area and maintaining a small booth of such himself for several years in the Snohomish Antique Mall.  Later he concentrated his glass business in the family home and over time, became a knowledgeable and profitable expert in Antique Glass and was proud to be known as Mr. Glass for many, many years.

image of Michael Anderton

Michael Anderton

Mike loved deals and steals, and free food especially. He did love to eat.  Collecting coins and stamps were favorites early on. He also was very kind and was known by name in the community.  He occasionally helped in the church food bank and drove food to people with Aids.  Always on the look out for a worthy Scrabble or Monopoly partner – few could beat him and he sharpened his mind game skills every night with game shows like Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy.  His only sadness was the passing of so many of his older friends before himself.

He loved life in all its forms and expressions. Free form gardening became another later in life passion of his and he found much joy in planting and arranging arty objects the way HE wanted them to be, it might have looked odd but everything was always placed with intent. He also loved to gift to others things he had both grown and found.  A constant gardening companion and later devoted caretaker, his nephew Eric shared many of his same interests and nice days would often find them tramping through preserves, exploring local ice caves and rivers, visiting any and all nearby plant nurseries rescuing useable discards, shooting baskets or practicing putts.

Animals of course were very high on Mike’s list and he was never without a dog or cat companion stretching back to the entirety of his life.  He was a colorful character and a quirky and devoted uncle who NEVER showed up without gifts of candy, wine, coffee, trinkets, and other finds of value or not, and loved to add to your own collections and hobbies.  He loved all holidays and family birthdays and gifted and sent cards to as many as he could out of his own abundance. He loved his siblings and extended family and warmly embraced all newcomers as they married in and gave him many nieces and nephews.  Mike became UNCLE MICHAEL or UM in short and was one of his favorite titles.

As his cancer advanced and slowed Mike down, matters of Faith and love of God became his last great passion—-it was late but not too late, he had saved the best for last and requested and joyfully received the promises of forgiveness and salvation and Baptism along with his nephew Eric, just after the New Year in his cozy room at Olympic Place.  Several times we prayed the childhood prayer our mother taught us in part, if I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. He then lived and slept solely for the day God would call him to the gates of Heaven and waited patiently and painfully and expectantly for that prayer to be answered.

Mike was preceded in death by his parents and younger brother Allen. He is survived by his sister, Pam Schroeder (Pete), nephew Eric Anderton, niece Kimi Gregory, his aunt Joan Anderton, and several local and scattered cousins.

3 Responses to “Wesley Michael Anderton”

  • Julie Lovewell says:

    I’ll miss you, Cousin Mike. Always interesting and funny. Always loved your family. I have several beautiful pieces of antique glass and I think of you every time I see them!!! Hugs to all our family.

  • Kathy Tiedeman says:

    This is a childhood friend, Kathy Tiedeman. I remember Michael coming over to our house and being thrilled with mother’s’ homemade wild mountain BlackBerry pie. Always complimentary, always full of witticisms,laughter, and kindness. I will miss him.

  • Niels Aalen says:

    I was very distressed to learn only today of Michael’s death. I first met him in 1970, when I was seven years old, on Lopez Island in the San Juan Islands where we were on holiday in Ireland. Mike introduced my sister and I to the glories of the local dump and my mum would comment in the years to follow how nowadays one would never entrust a seven year old and his five year old sister to the care of a man we’d only just met. But Mike was different, and a gem of a human being.

    Decades later I recall him getting along famously with my Irish mother-in-law over a posh afternoon tea at The Ritz Hotel in London.

    Occasionally in life one comes across someone who you feel genuinely and unequivocally cares about you, and Mike was one such person. I am deeply distressed to have lost him and regret that I did not get to see him again. Rest In Peace, Mike.

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