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John R. Anderson ’84

John Robert Anderson, Jr, 61, passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, February 14, 2024. John was born on September 15, 1962 in Portland; he was the son of the late John Robert Anderson Sr. and the late Carolyn (Maslen) Anderson.

John, affectionately known to all who knew him as “Bub”, grew up in South Portland, attended Willard Elementary School, Mahoney Middle School, and graduated from South Portland High School in 1980. After high school, he attended and graduated Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, Maine, following in the footsteps of his beloved cousin Mark Hellen. John would go on to spend the next 25 + years moving up from Third Engineer (Crest Oil Tankers), to Second Engineer (Kingston, Jamaica, Barahona, Dominican Republic Independent Power Consultant) to First Engineer (Keystone Shipping Company) and quickly to Chief Engineer for Alaska Tanker Company. As most mariners will tell you, a career of 75 days on duty and 75 days off takes its own toll as it requires a faithful commitment. However, there was something about the open seas that lured and captivated Bub. Sailing gifted him with a clarity, a self knowledge that his one value in life was family.

The pride and the joy that Bub knew his whole life began in a simple cottage on Highland Lake, built by our grandfather Anderson, Uncle Louis, and dad – John Robert Anderson, Sr. Encircled by birch and pine trees and the love of our parents and cousins, Bub learned the life lessons that would chart his entire life. Family always came first. Friends fast became the “chosen siblings” to add to the four sisters he would love, fiercely defend, and grow alongside. He loved us, and we, him. When one is loved by Bub, there is no mistaking his wide acceptance, huge grin, and laugh that came from deep within. So when he began his own family, married Jamie, Bub’s life revolved around his boys: Johnny (III), Ben, and Jack. They were his dream, realized.

When speaking with long-time colleague and friend Michael Halligan, he shared, “I lost my best, true friend.” In fact, every person who had the good fortune to know Bub, was drawn in by his “putting others first,” his “jolly laugh,” and “even bigger smile.” Wherever Bub was, well, it soon became a celebration because he and you were together. Just seeing cousins, an old friend, family, was the reason to put out a spread, raise a glass of scotch or a beer, and delight in gathering. Whether he was running through a weekend “to-do list” given to him by Holly, shooting a quick text off to acknowledge one of the nieces’ accomplishments, dog-sitting for Candy, grabbing pizzas for Jack’s friends, mowing and caring for his and Jamie’s beautiful home, or making a Dunkins run on the way to see Johnny “The Mini Fridge” take on an opponent at Roller Derby, Bub did the most ordinary of things extraordinarily well. For he did it all, willingly, with love in his heart for whomever the task or errand or favor was necessary.

Bub was predeceased in death by his daughter-in-law Kerri (Hazel) Anderson, stepson, Benjamin Blais; his younger sister, Susan (Anderson) Fyler, and his brother-in-law John Richio.

Bub is survived by his wife of 19 years, Jamie (Blais) Anderson; son John Robert Anderson, III (partner Amanda Dyer), and Jack Anderson. His surviving siblings include Heidi (Anderson) Kasle (Rob), of North Reading, MA; Candace Anderson-Ek (Matthew) of Windham, Maine; Holly (Anderson) Richio of Standish, Maine, and brother-in-law William Fyler of Porter, Maine. He is also survived by 7 nieces and nephews,1 grand nephew and 2 grand nieces, many cousins, and a lifetime of friends who are more like family.

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