OBIT: Don Anderson, Don Anderson Haulage

STOUFFVILLE, ON — Don Anderson, the founder of Don Anderson Haulage, died at his Stouffville home July 1 at the age of 80.

“Through all the successes of his life, my dad always retained a sense of  integrity and humbleness,” company president and son Michael Anderson said in a statement released shortly after his passing. “We are comforted in knowing his legacy lives on. In fact, his name lives and will continue to live in each and everything that we do. From our dedicated employees and loyal customers to our signature big blue trucks, his legacy will remain. Don Anderson Haulage will continue to do what we have always done and that is to deliver exceptional customer service to our valued customers.  In fact, we will continue to do what my dad would order us to do — and that is to keep on trucking.”

Anderson started out with a single gravel truck in 1960, and expanded to service more specialized industries such infrastructure, oil and gas, and energy. In 2006, he was awarded the Ontario Trucking Association’s Service to Industry Award.

“Don Anderson was the embodiment of everything that is good about the trucking industry — dedication, hard work, honesty, a loving husband and family man, a sense of humour. Donnie, as he was affectionately known, had the respect of his industry peers and they had his,” says David Bradley, Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Trucking Alliance. “He and [his wife] Maris, and you couldn’t think of one without the other, were a wonderful couple and an incredible team until the very end. Donnie was larger than life — I wouldn’t have wanted to be skating down his side of the ice — with that huge smile and even bigger presence.” 

In addition to his success in trucking, Anderson was part owner of the Kingston Frontenacs and helped develop several real estate ventures in the Stouffville area.

A few of his most cherished memories were at the family cottage and his Florida home where he was always surrounded by his children and 12 grandchildren, a few of which have also worked for the family business.

Don spent much of his free time travelling in his motorhome to the Indy 500 and NASCAR races.  He enjoyed salmon fishing in BC and spent hours at the blackjack table in Vegas.

Later in life, Anderson suffered from multiple illnesses, having survived prostate cancer, macular degeneration, and an AAA (abdominal aortic aneurysm). He did, however, fight these battles like a champion, remaining optimistic and positive throughout, the company notes. Three years ago he was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer.

Even when facing chemotherapy and radiation treatments, though, he often conducted business from his bedside.

He is survived by his wife Maris and their four children: Michael, Elizabeth, Jane and Susie.

 

John G. Smith is the editorial director of Newcom Media's trucking and supply chain publications -- including Today's Trucking, trucknews.com, TruckTech, Transport Routier, Inside Logistics, Solid Waste & Recycling, and Road Today. The award-winning journalist has covered the trucking industry since 1995.

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