Les Anderson, WA4SWE
Lester Soule Anderson was 85 when he died peacefully at home in Issaquah, January 24, 2000 of pancreatic cancer, 7 months after being diagnosed. He was born in Evanston, Illinois, December 1, 1914 to Grace Etta (Soule) and James Taylor Anderson. He had an older brother James T. Jr. Les was driving a ca before his l2th birthday and was disappointed to give it up when the family moved to Bound Brook. NJ when he was in the 8th grade. They subsequently moved to Ridgewood, NJ where Les was a Ridgewood High School cheerleader, graduating in 1934. Les and Katherine Barber Porter met on Halloween, 1935 and married June 8, 1940. He mostly worked for Curtis-Wright Corp. Aeronautic Division from 1936 to 1957. He served his country in that vital industry during WWII. Most important to him, however, were the 17 years he spent as a Foreign Service Officer with the Department of State. Accompanied by his wife and 2 daughters, ,he served in Costa Rica from '58-’62 and '66-’70 and Guatemala from ‘63-'66 and ‘70-74. He worked on projects such as: government reorganization for the President of Costa Rica; laying the customs groundwork for the formation of a Central American Common Market; and exportation of winter fruits and vegetables to the US. He retired in December 1974, after appearing in the first Who’s Who in Government in 1972.
After retirement, Kay and Les lived in Largo, FL; Searsport, ME; Brewster, MA and, since 1990, Issaquah, WA. Les' hobby of longest duration was photography, which persisted until the end. As a boy, he collected famous aviators' signatures, which number over 600 now. He loved the theater, he acted, sang, directed, produced and even wrote a "revue" as a fund-raiser. He had a wonderful singing voice, loved to whistle and knew all the words to the songs. He always enjoyed classical music. He learned Spanish, fluently, in his 40's. Les enjoyed people, loved parties and telling stories and jokes in both languages. Together Kay and Les were beautiful dancers and loved to entertain the wonderful friends they made every place they lived. He became a "ham radio" operator in the early 60's, and over the years operated as T12LSA, TG9SK, WB6AWD, and most recently WA4SWE.
He loved talking to people all over the world, and helping wherever he could. His most recent hobby was computers and he managed to mix this interest with ham radio. In his final years, he helped organize the emergency response team for Providence Point. He belonged to several organizations: American Foreign Service Association, National Association of Retired Federal Employees, Issaquah Amateur Radio Club, American Radio Relay League, AARP and was a Red Cross WA State, King County and City of Issaquah Emergency worker. Les was best known for his sense of humor and always ready with a new joke. All the children who knew him, some now in their 60's, remember his "magic coin trick". He worked on several political campaigns, wrote to his representatives and local newspaper editors regularly, and also to organizations, all with the common theme of making things better for everyone. His interest in politics and world affairs never lagged, he watch the evening news 3 days before he died. He was a loving husband, a fun and supportive father and grandfather, a good friend, a helpful neighbor, a thorough and diligent committee member and he was a proud patriotic citizen of this nation, which he took very seriously. Even when it wasn't easy, he always took good care of his family, who miss him very much.
- Memorial Handout, January 2000