When David Starr was working with the Lions and Rotary clubs to get a stage built in Cedaredge Town Park, Mark Anderson immediately volunteered his construction skills. From setting trusses to pounding nails, he jumped in and helped get the job done in time for AppleFest. It was a remarkable accomplishment, given that the project was handed off to David Starr just 29 days earlier.
"He was always eager to help," Starr said of Anderson. "On the first morning of AppleFest he was up there with power tools putting roofing panels on. I feel like he's a big part of that structure."
Anderson died of brain cancer in July, but his legacy lives on. In recognition of his contributions to the community, a plaque was placed on the stage during AppleFest festivities on Saturday.
Anderson was born in Kansas City, Mo., in 1954. He and his wife Brenda were married in 1978 and had four children, Aaron, Jesse, Kelsi and Katie, as well as two grandchildren, Hunter and Ella Anderson.
Anderson was known as a skilled carpenter, woodworker and contractor who used his many talents to serve the community, his faith and his family. He was also a fellow musician.
"We started playing together in 2002 or 2003," Starr recalled. "He was the most decent person I've ever known."
Although he couldn't attend the funeral service for Anderson, Starr asked Roy Martin to share some thoughts he'd jotted down:
"From playing music to working together on building my home recording studio, I observed in Mark a calm sense of purpose and preparation that was aimed at one thing -- doing the job right. My recording studio serves as a constant reminder of his dedication, creativity and craftsmanship. He literally helped build our community. Reminders of his steady hand are everywhere."
Craig Fuller worked with Anderson for 20-plus years. Asked by Brenda Anderson to speak at the funeral, he reflected on Mark's rare combination of strengths. He touched on three, beginning with Mark's physical strength, moving on to the strength in his head and his uncanny ability to problem solve, and concluding with the strength of his heart. "Mark had a compassion for people," Fuller said. "He was genuinely concerned for their-well-being. And his love for the Lord was huge. He had a rock solid faith that was established when he was young and formed a foundation he built his life on."