GLADSTONE, MI. - Harold Edward 'Babe' Anderson, age 95, of 1723 Montana Avenue, Gladstone, passed away Saturday morning June 14, 2014 at his residence in Gladstone.
Harold (Babe) was born October 13, 1918 the son of Annie (Steinbrecher) and Charles Anderson of Munising, Michigan, the youngest of their eight children. Harold graduated with academic honors from Mather High School in 1939. His athleticism led to a scholarship offer from college coaching legend C. B. Hedgecock of Northern Michigan University, where "Babe" excelled not only in basketball, but football and track as well. He earned his B.S. degree in Education (1943) and later received a Master Degree in Administration.
He served in the Army Air Force Air Transport Command during World War II, where he was stationed in Tezgaon, India, to stage fueling for C-54's flying over the Himalaya's to supply air bases in southern China. Ancillary to his military duties, he played basketball for the championship team representing the China-Burma-India Theater, where his skill was tested against some of the top basketball players of his era. After his discharge from the service he played one season of professional basketball as part of the Syracuse Nationals organization of the National Basketball League (the predecessor to today's NBA) before returning to the U.P. in 1947 to marry his college sweetheart, Dorrine Petersen of Ishpeming.
Babe's career as an educator began with the Nahma Township Schools, where he developed many life-long friendships while working as a teacher, coach and administrator. During his thirteen years as coach, Nahma's record-setting basketball teams accumulated 4 Central League championships, 3 undefeated seasons, 3 State Class E championships and a cumulative record of 192-70. Babe was named the U.P. Basketball Coach of the Year in 1959, his last year as coach. He always made every effort to mentor players in life as well as basketball, and took great pride in former players staying in contact with him throughout his life.
In 1960, he joined the staff of Gladstone High School where he served first as a teacher and then assistant principal before retiring in 1981. Throughout that time, he continued his involvement in high school sports by officiating basketball games for 30 years. Babe Anderson's recognition as an outstanding high school and college athlete, and then successful coach, culminated with his induction into the NMU Sports Hall of Fame in 1981 and Upper Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame in 1983.
Babe enjoyed both bowling and golfing in retirement, and also was active in many local, regional, national and global organizations.
Babe was preceded in death by his wife Dorrine and son David.
He is survived by sons Brian (Patti), Kent (Colleen), Bruce (Connie) and Tim; grandchildren Erik (Kara), Amy, David and Kyle; and great-grandsons Evan and Tyler.
Babe Anderson appreciated the great opportunity he had in dedicating his career and life to teaching. He loved working with young people, and held an unyielding belief that the lessons he shared would help students find their way in life-always steadfast in his confidence that they, too, would be given the chance to make the world a better place.
Harold's family would like to acknowledge the special care and dear friendship that caregivers Teresa Murray, Gayla Ansell, Sarah Zimmerman and Jennifer Robinson provided over the past several years.
Please help us celebrate his generous and full life with visitation on Thursday June 19, 2014 from 4:00 to 5:45 PM at the First Lutheran Church in Gladstone. Military rites conducted by the Gladstone American Legion Post #71 will follow at 5:45 PM. Funeral services celebrating the life of Harold 'Babe' Anderson will follow with Rev. Peggy Rose officiating. Luncheon will follow in the First Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall. Burial will be held on Friday at 9:30 AM at the Gardens of Rest Cemetery in Wells, MI. Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer's Association- Upper Peninsula Region or the Nahma Historical Society, envelopes will be available at the Skradski Funeral Home or the First Lutheran Church. The Skradski Family Funeral Homes of Delta County are assisting the Anderson family. Please visit skradski funeralhomes.com where you can express your sympathy to the Anderson family.