MAUMEE, OHIO, US — Richard P. (Dick) Anderson, former chief executive officer and chairman emeritus of the board of directors for The Andersons, one of North America’s largest agribusiness companies, died on March 1 at his home. He was 90.
“Dick Anderson spent his entire life serving others and truly embodied The Andersons’ values and principles,” said Pat Bowe, president and CEO of The Andersons. “He was a pillar of our company and our community, serving both with the utmost integrity. His absence will be felt by many, but his legacy and values will continue to live on throughout our business, our industry and our communities.”
Anderson was an integral part of The Andersons for more than half a century, beginning when he and his five siblings helped their parents found the company in 1947.
Starting as a crew boss on the construction of the first grain elevator in Maumee, Ohio, Anderson worked his way up through the company and was appointed managing partner in 1984 and later president and CEO when it restructured in 1988. He was named chairman of the board in 1999 and chairman emeritus when he officially retired in 2009. While retired, Anderson remained involved in the company, attending employee town halls and representing The Andersons at community functions.
Anderson was an active leader in community and civic affairs throughout Northwest Ohio. He served on numerous community boards, including those of the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, the Toledo Museum of Art, the Toledo Community Foundation and Sauder Village. He was also active with the Boy Scouts of America, who dedicated the Richard P. Anderson Pioneer Boy Scout Reservation in Pioneer, Ohio, in his honor in 2010.
Throughout his career, Anderson received numerous academic honors and awards for his achievements in business and service to the community. In 1999, he was awarded an honorary doctorate of commercial science from The University of Toledo. He was also granted an honorary doctorate in public service in 2005 from Lourdes University, Sylvania, Ohio. He is a member of the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame and the Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame with his wife, Fran. He was a recipient of the 2001 Governor's Award – Ohio Arts Patron distinction and a 2016 Toledo area Jefferson Award.
Anderson received his bachelor's degree in agriculture from Michigan State University. After college, he served as a first lieutenant in the US Army Infantry before returning to work at the family business.
“Dick was a great friend and mentor to many of us at The Andersons, but especially to me,” said Mike Anderson, chairman of the board for The Andersons. “He always led by example and was a strong believer in the Golden Rule. His kindness, positivity and overall love for life was and will continue to be an inspiration for us all.”
Anderson is survived by his wife and best friend of 65 years, Fran, along with their six children, 24 grandchildren and several great grandchildren.
The Maison-Dardenne-Walker Funeral Home in Maumee will be handling funeral arrangements, which were incomplete as of Monday morning.