William (Bill) Nelson Anderson, age 97, of Mars, passed away on Friday, May 12, 2023.
Born in Saltsburg, PA, on January 30, 1926, he was the son of the late Stella Heimberger Anderson Rupert and Thomas Anderson, who passed in a coal mining accident when Bill was just an infant. He was raised by his mother and family on the family farm in Saltsburg along the Kiskiminetas River.
He enlisted into the Armed Forces before graduating high school and served in the United States Army Air Corps, stationed in Japan during WWII. Once home, he started his career in the civil engineering field and married his late wife Cordella Mae Simpson Anderson on January 13, 1951. He and his family moved around for his work until finally settling in Mars in 1956.
He worked for Mashuda Construction, as well as Richardson, Gordon & Associates during the construction of the Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania Turnpikes and a few of the Pittsburgh bridges. In the 1970s he started his own company, Anderson Drilling, and proceeded to do core drilling throughout Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania, working on projects that included Forbes Field and Three Rivers Stadium. Bill also worked for Consolidated Coal and then Wright Engineering as a soil consultant and inspector as well as Code Enforcement Officer for Adams Twp., Forward Twp., and Seven Fields Borough.
Bill loved his work and was not shy about telling anyone that met him all about what he’d done. He retired at the young age of 89 and spent the next eight years tending to his property, gardening, feeding the extensive wildlife, and visiting with family.
For many years he was active in community service with the Mars Kiwanis, Boy Scouts, Pine Valley Church Camp and the Butler Conservation Committee.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Cordella Mae Simpson Anderson, his son, William Grant Anderson, his daughter, Debra Lynn Anderson Zilla, his daughter-in-law, Jacqueline Brick Anderson, his stepfather, Earl David Rupert and his brother and sister-in-law, James and Patricia Anderson.
Surviving are his children: Kenneth T. Anderson of Vietnam, Douglas N. Anderson of Arizona, Mark A. Anderson of Mars, Tamara L. Jones (John) of Callery, Timothy S. Anderson of Mars. Also surviving are his son-in-law, Dennis A. Zilla of New Castle; his grandchildren, Andrew D. Zilla of New Castle, Kendall L. Chuk (Michael) of Simpsonville, SC, William L. Jones (Caitlyn) of Bellevue, and Alexandria S. Anderson Jacobs of Springfield, MO. He also leaves five great-grandchildren: Lily C. Chuk, Benjamin W. Chuk, Hazlett W. Jones, Martin P. Chuk, and Micheline C. Jones.
Throughout his life, William was known by many names: Billy, Bill, WNA, Dad, Grandpap, Dirt Dr., Quick Silver, Silver Fox, Willy Man, Pappap, and GG Butt, but he was known by most as “Wild Bill,” a nickname that perfectly expressed the kind of character he was.
A private family graveside service will be held in Twin Valley Memorial Park in Delmont. In lieu of flowers, memorials in his memory may be made to Good Samaritan Hospice, 116 Browns Hill Rd. Suite 100, Valencia, PA 16059. Arrangements are under the direction of the McDonald-Aeberli Funeral Home, Inc. 238 Crowe Ave. Mars, PA and condolences are available at www.mcdonald-aeberli.com.
A Celebration of Life is being planned to be held at a later date.