In Memory

Bill Anderson (St Flying Tigers)

Bill Anderson

July 20, 1925 - February 20, 2013

Coach Bill Anderson


Legendary football coach Bill Anderson passed peacefully from this life on February 20, 2013 at the age of 87.

Billy Joe was born in Smith Springs, Texas in Erath County on July 20, 1925 to Madera Maude (Crunk) and Fred Anderson. His early years were shaped by life on a family farm during the Great Depression. His father worked to subsidize the farm at a feed mill in Stephenville, and, after his father bought the mill, the family moved into town where Billy Joe ("Blub") attended high school and played football. Joining countless other young kids from farms, small towns, and cities across America in the war effort, Blub enlisted as soon as he was eligible in 1943. The war ended before "Tex" was sent overseas, but those years in the Army Air Corps - training in West Virginia, Wisconsin, Florida, and finally California as a tail gunner on the B-29 - were some of his most memorable. After the war, Bill came home with his new wife to attend Tarleton Junior College. Offered a chance to play football at what was then George Pepperdine College in Los Angeles, Bill was happy to return to California and renew many of his war time friendships. In his first season, the fledging Pepperdine team, composed largely of ex-GI's, was named the 1947 National Small College Champions.

After three seasons and his graduation in 1950, Bill brought his family back to Texas and began a coaching career that spanned more than half a century. Greatly loved and highly respected, Coach molded young lives with tenures at Stamford, Rising Star, South Taylor, Graham, Palestine, Riviera, and Hereford. In his eleven years as a high school head coach, he coached four district champions and three runner-up teams. People knew him as a superb educator, mentor, motivator, role model, and coach. He especially loved the people of Stamford and his beloved Bulldogs. Big Bill Anderson was a major force in Stamford's four state championships and multi playoff wins in the '50s and '60s. Colleges recruited him, and he coached at Abilene Christian, West Texas State, Cisco Junior College, Howard Payne, and Tarleton. At Howard Payne, he was blessed to be able to coach with his son, Bobby.

Bill won numerous teaching and coaching awards, but the two that meant the most to him were the dedication of the Stamford football stadium as the Bill Anderson Stadium and his induction into the Texas High School Coaches Hall of Honor.

While Bill loved football, nothing was more important to him than his family. Family gatherings at his place on the Colorado River near the Suspension Bridge at Regency were his greatest pleasure. Playing in the river and the waterfalls, walking together across the bridge, and canoeing trips are etched in our minds and hearts forever. He would always say, "Let's go make some memories!" We did...thanks Papaw.

Bill is preceded in death by his son Charles (Chuck) Anderson, wife and mother of his children, Rosalie (Raino) Anderson, wife Peggy (Gamblin) Anderson, his sister Martha LaRue, brothers Robert Hicks and Arris, and his parents.

Survivors include his wife Helen, as well as his daughter Kathleen Barnett and husband Jerry of Austin, son Bobby Anderson and wife Orinda of Bangs, daughter-in-law Terri Anderson of China Springs. His grandchildren include Chloe Barnett of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, Ryan Anderson of Cisco, Robert Anderson and Richard Anderson of Bangs, Lorianna Anderson of Austin, Charlcie and husband B.J. Eythe of China Springs, and Matthew Anderson of China Springs. Bill was especially proud to have known his great grandson, Jaxon Charles Eythe of China Springs. Bill's extended family includes his brother-in-law, Bobby Gamblin and wife Martha of Arlington, and his wife Helen's children, Larry Benningfield and Vicki Moraw.

The funeral will be held at 3:00 p.m. Monday, February 25, 2013 at the St. John's United Methodist Church in Stamford with Eugene Weldon officiating. Burial will follow at the Highland Memorial Cemetery in Stamford under the direction of Tankersley Funeral Home of Stamford. The family will be receiving friends at the church on Monday from 1:00 p.m. until service time.

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Published in Abilene Reporter-News on February 24, 2013