James Samuel Anderson, DDS, 99, of Ilion, passed away peacefully on April 5, 2017 at his daughter's home in Winchester, MA. He was born in Wilkes Barre, PA on March 27, 1918, the son of James S. and Charlotte Birk Anderson. He moved with his family to Ilion in 1935 and graduated from Ilion High School in 1936.
During World War II, Jim enlisted in the United States Army and served with the Army Air Force as a flying officer in the Eighth Air Force. He was a navigator on a B-24 Liberator. After his plane was shot down over France, he was a prisoner of war in Paris for many months. He was awarded the Air Medal and Purple Heart.
Following the war, Jim attended University of Buffalo for six years, graduating from its School of Dentistry with honors in 1951. While at the university, he met and later married Phyllis J. Decker, of Kenmore, NY, on July 9, 1949. He opened his dental office in Ilion in September of 1951 and continued his practice until his retirement in 1983.
In addition to his dental practice, Jim was involved in many professional and community organizations. He was a member of the American Dental Society and other dental societies in New York State. He was a director of The Manufacturers National Bank and the Ilion Savings and Loan Association. He served as a trustee and treasurer of the Cogar Foundation. He was a member of the Ilion Conversation Club. He was also a member of Church of the Annunciation in Ilion.
Jim served as a trustee of the Ilion Central School Board and as its President for two years during the rebuilding of Ilion High School and the construction of the new Barringer Road Elementary School. In 1966, he was appointed as a member of the Founding Board of Trustees of Herkimer County Community College and served as Board Chairman for twelve years. In 1999, he was one of nine people who were named the first recipients of the HCCC Torchbearer Awards. He was also named to the HCCC Emeritus Board of Directors. Recently, Jim was honored as one of eight inaugural inductees to the Central Valley School District Hall of Fame.
Jim embraced life and daily dedicated himself to healthy living practices. He enjoyed his family and friends and a variety of sports including golfing, sailing, bicycling, hiking, and skiing. He was an avid reader and shared his love of reading with his wife, Phyllis, a retired librarian. He also enjoyed photography and travel.
Jim is survived by his wife, Phyllis, a daughter Laura Henry and her husband Douglas of Winchester, MA and their children James and Sarah, a son Philip Anderson and his wife Joni of Nevada City, CA and their children Teresa and Sean, and a daughter, Christine Anderson and her husband Michael Grady of Fort Bragg, CA. He is also survived by four nephews. He was predeceased by his brothers, Father William P. Anderson in 1963 and, Carl J. Anderson in 1998, his sister, Rita M. Tucker in 2006, and his niece, Kathryn A. Tucker in 2016.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, May 6, at 10:30am at Church of the Annunciation, 109 West Street, Ilion. A reception will be announced at the conclusion of the mass.
Interment will take place privately at Calvary Cemetery in Herkimer. In lieu of flowers, friends are asked to consider memorial gifts to the General Scholarship Fund, Herkimer County College Foundation, Attn: Jan Fuhrer, 100 Reservoir Road, Herkimer, NY 13350 or Doctors Without Borders USA, P.O. Box 5030, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5030. Envelopes will be available at the Whiter-Hendrix Funeral Home, Inc., 100 Otsego St., Ilion or at the Church of The Annunciation at Mass time. Arrangements are with the Whiter-Hendrix Funeral Home, Inc.
To leave an online condolence and light a candle please go to www.whiter-hendrix.com.