Jim Anderson

James Lee Anderson was born Aug. 13, 1947, in Brookings, S.D., to Arthur N. and Olga (Wold) Anderson.
He spent most of his career as a guidance counselor working with underprivileged children in Nevada and South Dakota.
One of Jim’s proudest accomplishments was when three of his student groups received the Take Pride in America Award, which recognizes groups for activities involving caring for public lands. The students were invited to the White House. He borrowed passenger vans and solicited funds so all the kids could go, regardless of financial means.
One of Jim’s Take Pride Award groups was a Boy Scout troop who poured concrete to stabilize the mining head frame in what is now the Tonopah (Nev.) Mining Park, as well as get the land for the park donated to the city. He also took students on a variety of interactive field trips, including touring Beale Air Force Base (California), exploring Burt Rutan’s SpaceShipOne, and riding in a B52 on a refueling trip at Ellsworth AFB (South Dakota).
Jim also helped to facilitate a cultural exchange between students from Barrington High School in  Chicago and the Crow Creek reservation of South Dakota Students from Barrington visited Crow Creek annually, and Jim enjoyed witnessing the interactions among the students.
Jim often visited his pilot brother Paul, in Alaska, where they took many airplane trips using wheels, skis and floats. Jim enjoyed going to his niece Brianna’s activities, and they had many adventures in Alaska.
Jim did not like possessions. When visiting him we brought our own towels, because he only had one. He did get kind of extravagant in his later years by having two towels.
Jim was a storyteller, especially about history. Though he was known to repeat some of these stories maybe a few too many times, and sometimes corner a newcomer who didn’t realize Jim wouldn’t be offended if they insisted on a break, his stories are something that will be sorely missed. A few famous folk appreciate his tales, too—among his possessions were a signed picture of Roy Rogers addressed to Jim, a signed picture of Richard Nixon thanking Jim for the long chat, a signed picture of Ronald Reagan when he was governor, a picture of him and Jimmy Carter at Habitat for Humanity, and an email from Nathaniel Philbrick thanking him for the conversation of Native Americans.
Jim was never shy to start up a conversation, which led him to friendships with some interesting characters, including Roy, a hermit and hard rock miner in Nevada. Roy lived in a one-room shack in the Nevada desert with no running water, electricity or phone.
Jim used to stop and have lunch with Roy; the first few times Roy left his pistol on the table, but Jim knew he’d become a trusted friend when he started leaving his pistol on the bench instead. After doing his dishes Roy poured the water on his tree, which was the only tree for miles.
Jim’s impact on students can be summed up by this article a student wrote about him in their school newspaper:
“Mr. Anderson is the counselor for Nye County schools. Throughout the week, he travels between Round Mountain, Tonopah, and Gabbs schools and rises early in the morning to travel these distances.
He is often seen cruising up and down the hallways at “mach 4” with a pack of eager students following one step behind. Mr. Anderson gives a lot to Gabbs. He has a project of some sort for everyone, whether it be a trip here or a phone call there, he never leaves anyone out. He tends to be a bit forgetful but considering his workload, it’s not surprising.
Mr. Anderson is a great guy who doesn’t get enough credit for all the work he does. However, being Mr. Anderson, he doesn’t ask for anything in return. In spite of his chaotic schedule, Mr. Anderson can always be found with a sunny disposition, eager to make a bet for a “six-pack of pop.”
Jim passed away April 6, 2022, at Fall River Hospital in Hot Springs, S.D. He was 74. 
He was preceeded in death by his parents; and brother, Art. 
Jim is survived by sister-in-law Sue; brothers, Paul and Glen (Elaine); nieces,  Michelle, Kristi (Sergio), Christine and Brianna; nephews, Jeff (Staci) and Jon (Melanie); and several grand and great-grand nieces and nephews.

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