Obituary: Harold Robert Anderson

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Brian, Gaylene, Harold and Eric Anderson (Courtesy photo)

On Saturday, March 4, 2023, after listening to his last Giant’s game, Harold Anderson passed away peacefully with loved ones at his side at 204 Russell Street in Winters, Calif. — the city he most loved and to which he dedicated his life to serving. There was no place else he would have rather been in the world.

After Graduating from Winters High School in 1961, the son of Sybil and Abe Anderson obtained his law degree from the McGeorge School of Law. He also served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War. In his free time, Harold lived an incredibly active lifestyle: he enjoyed backpacking, camping, fishing, hunting, gardening, Rotary, cycling, volunteering, coaching, walking his dogs, working on automobiles, attending baseball games and meetings, serving on committees and organizations, listening to sports radio, and mostly, watching games in his living room with his wife and boys.

Collaborative, active in the community, and — in his own words, “just trying to make Winters a little better place” — Harold gave steadfastly and unselfishly with everything he could. He served seven consecutive terms on the Winters City Council from June of 1994 all the way through the pandemic to January of 2023, and as the city’s mayor for two terms from 1988–1990 and from 2002–2004.

In 2003, he was honored as the Winters Youth Day Parade Grand Marshal and in 2005 he was honored as Citizen of the Year. During this lengthy period of time, Harold represented Winters proudly, serving as a steady hand and driving force while working with countless others to help realize some of the city’s more remarkable achievements, such as the downtown revitalization, the Putah Creek Car Bridge project, rehabilitating the railroad trestle bridge, the forming of the Putah Creek Council, the Putah Creek Restoration Project, and the extension of utilities to the I-505 to support the new PG&E Gas and Training Center and freeway-serving commercial center, which created new vital revenue sources for the city.

His impact, according to his former colleague and dear friend John Donlevy, is “all around us, all the time.” When asked about such achievements in a 2005 Winter’s Express article, he said “They’re not really my accomplishments. It’s more a group effort.”

During this time, Harold also served on numerous other organizations, such as Winters Rotary, the Sacramento Area Council of Governments, Yolo Solano Air Quality District, the Yolo County Transportation District, as well as on the Boards of Winters Little League and Winters AYSO, to name just a few. He was the type of person who would tamp and rake the Little League and High School baseball fields, before the game, when no one was watching.

None of this, of course, could have been possible without the unwavering support and sacrifice of his loving wife Gaylene. Perhaps most astonishingly, while committing himself to the various meetings and obligations associated with all of the aforementioned achievements, Harold still managed to be there for his family as a gentle, supporting, and loving father and husband.

He drove his kids to their practices, attended their games with Gaylene, and guided his sons throughout his life, encouraging them to pursue their educations and to live the types of lives they wanted to lead. Harold coached every one of Brian’s Little League and Senior League teams and even soccer teams. When asked by his wife what he wanted for Christmas in December of 2022, Harold said simply “I just want the boys to be home.”

He is survived by his brother Ralph Anderson, his two sons Brian and Eric, and his wife Gaylene — all of whom know he is up in the bleachers, cheering and rooting them on, clapping and shouting “Playball!” Irreplaceable and one of a kind, Harold will be missed deeply and daily, but with us always.

Love, Eric, Brian, and Mom

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