George Kenneth (Ken) Anderson, 89, who moved to Laguna Beach from Detroit with his wife, Bette, in 1987, died Dec. 18 at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach. The cause of death was septic shock, following partial recovery from an ischemic stroke in November 2008.
Anderson was born in Detroit, Michigan, on Oct. 14, 1921, and served as a B17 pilot in England in World War II and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters and two Battle Stars. He was a B29 pilot instructor and flew in the Michigan Air National Guard, remaining in the Air Force Reserve as an Academy liaison officer until his retirement in 1971 as a Lt. Col. His civilian career included management positions in marketing and sales with the Ford Motor Company until 1987, and his educational background included a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan, an MBA from Wayne State and an associate degree in fine arts from Saddleback College.
After relocating to Laguna Beach, he pursued his lifelong interest in art. A gifted photographer, he also studied and created watercolors, sketches and sculpture. He supported and/or became active in a number of local art organizations, including CAP, LOCA, Orange County Art Museum (as a docent), the Festival of Arts and the Laguna Art Museum. He served on the City's Arts Commission and was a board member of both LANO and Neighborhood Watch. He was a member of Village Laguna and active in the DFC Society.
Survivors include his wife, son Merrill and grandsons Aaron and Evan (Iowa), his sister Marion (Florida) and a number of extended family members in Michigan. His final wishes included cremation and burial at sea. In lieu of flowers, any contributions can be sent to Friendship Shelter, Laguna Beach Community Clinic or R.U.F.F.