Rodney Lawrence Anderson
May 7, 1927 ~ September 10, 2020
Rodney Lawrence Anderson, age 93, died September 10, 2020 of Parkinson’s Disease while a resident at The Posada at Whittier Assisted Living Facility in Whittier, California. Rodney was born on May 7, 1927 in Lewistown, Montana, to Helene Ehrhardt Anderson and Elmer Tosten Anderson. Rodney’s parents were born and raised in North Dakota. During Rodney’s childhood, his family moved from Lewistown to Great Falls, Montana, then to San Francisco, California, and finally settling in Ogden, Utah in 1942.
Rodney graduated from Ogden High School in June of 1944. On March 29, 1945, he enlisted in the United States Navy where he served as a Painter Third Class during the last year of World War II. When the war was over he was discharged from the Navy on June 28, 1946 at the Shoemaker California Naval Base near Dublin, California. During his short time in the Navy he went to boot camp in San Diego California then to Camp Pendleton for landing craft training. He was then placed on a troop transport ship destined for Okinawa where they were to wait for orders to invade Japan. The invasion was called off after the bombs were dropped on Japan forcing Japan to surrender. He then got orders to China where he spent the remainder of his enlistment helping the Chinese people recover from the Japanese occupation. After his military service, he decided to pursue a career as a commercial artist. In 1948, he moved to Lewistown, Montana to start his own sign shop. After several years, he moved back to Ogden and went to work for Marveon Signs of Riverdale in the early 1950’s. He quickly established himself as an excellent commercial artist, sign salesman, and sign design and layout man during the 20 good years he worked for Marveon Signs.
While working for Marveon Signs Rodney also did a lot of sign and painting work and 3D engraving jobs in his spare time to earn extra money. He did Law Office entry door lettering, restaurant menu design, window advertising and outside sign design and painting. He also designed and produced injection molds for the production various coinage. Some of the restaurants he worked with were Harmon’s Fried Chicken, Bob’s Big Boy, Piccadilly Fish & Chips. Rodney also worked with Pete Harmon, the owner of Harmon’s Fried Chicken restaurants, and Harland Sanders who eventually became known as the Colonel to establish the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in Salt Lake City. Rodney coined the name “Kentucky Fried Chicken” and Pete Harmon trademarked the phrase “It’s finger lickin’ good” during the startup of the advertising for the first Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant. Rodney designed and painted the inside menus and designed and painted the first bucket in his garage in Roy to be installed on a poll above the outside of the restaurant.
Then in the early 1970’s he relocated to Southern California where he and his son Joey Anderson eventually established a machine shop in Orange County. He and son Joey operated their machine shop for over 30 years until just a few years ago when Rodney retired. Their machine shop produced critical parts for various military aircraft and helicopters. The machine shop established the reputation of being able to produce highly detailed injection molds and machined parts that most other machine shops wouldn’t touch.
In August of 1946, he married Mary Marcelle Morgan in Ogden, Utah. Early in their marriage they moved to Lewistown, Montana for a couple of years and then moved back to Ogden. They lived in Ogden until 1958 and then moved to Roy where they lived until their divorce in the early 1970’s. While living in Roy they joined Our Saviors Lutheran Church. During the 1960’s as a member of Our Saviors Church Rodney served as the church’s Treasurer. As Treasurer of the church Rodney was involved in the planning and construction of the Sanctuary where Sunday worship services are held. Also during the 1960’s Rodney served as the President of the Lutheran men of Utah. During Rodney’s time in Ogden and Roy he and Mary had five children together; Sandra Anderson of La Verne, California; David (Lourda) Anderson of Lincoln, California; Bruce (Wendy) Anderson of Jacksonville, Florida; Joey (Cheryl) Anderson of Hacienda Heights, California; and Tyron (Gail) Anderson of La Verne, California. Rodney enjoyed fly fishing, deer hunting, camping, and coaching church basketball and little league football. After relocating to Southern California Rodney meet Isabelle Hansen and was married in February of 1972. Isabelle passed away in December of 2015 after 43 years of marriage.
He is preceded in death by his parents and siblings; June Alda Anderson Odenthal, Robert Eugene Anderson, and James Arthur Anderson. Rodney is survived by his first wife Mary Marcelle Morgan Campo of La Verne, California; brother Robert’s wife Nadine Pomeroy Anderson of South Ogden, Utah; brother James wife Georgia Anderson of Thousand Palms, California; and his children; 11 grandchildren; 16 great grandchildren; 1 great-great grandchild.
Cremation is under the direction of the Neptune Society in Southern California and graveside services will be held at a later date to be determined at the Lindquist's Memorial Gardens of the Wasatch, 1718 Combe Rd.. There will be Military Honors by the combined Veteran’s Honor Guard.
In lieu of flowers, please send your donations to the either the American Parkinson Disease Association, American Diabetes Association or to your favorite Veteran’s charity.
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