Longtime Beloved Los Altos Resident and Optometrist
On Wednesday March 8th, 2018, on his 77th birthday, Steve Anderson passed away peacefully surrounded by family and friends. Steve battled autoimmune disease valiantly and successfully for most of his life, starting with Lupus as a young man and Inclusion-Body Myositis over the past decade. A series of related setbacks compromised his remaining strength and he was admitted to hospice care at the VA of Palo Alto on March 7th. He dearly wanted to make it to his 77th birthday. His wish was granted.
Stephen Jordan Anderson was born on March 8, 1941 in Bend, Oregon to Roland Norman Anderson and Francis Jordan Anderson. He was the oldest of three boys and his father owned the town grocery store, Rolie’s Market. Steve loved going back to Bend to visit family and friends and to smell the juniper.
After high school, Steve attended Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon for both his undergraduate and his optometric degrees. Upon graduating in 1964, he enlisted as an Officer in the United States Army and became the first Optometrist in Vietnam during the war. He was ultimately granted a medical discharge due to his Lupus.
In 1969, Steve set up his Los Altos Optometric practice, moving buildings in 1973 to 133 Second Street, where it remains today. There, he practiced for 42 years before retiring in 2011. He deeply loved his practice and his patients and would have continued to work had his Inclusion-Body Myositis not compromised his fine motor skills.
In 1967, Steve married Marianne McKenzie, whom he had met at Pacific University. They had Jennifer Jill Anderson in 1973, and Jordan McKenzie Anderson in 1987. Marianne died in 1990. Nine years later, Steve married Cathy Cosgrove and became stepfather to Brooke Cosgrove.
Over the years, Steve was incredibly active in the community. He was a longtime member and past president of the Los Altos Rotary Club, and the youngest Optometric Society President ever elected. He was an active board member for the Los Altos YMCA and the Villa Sienna Foundation, as well as a councilman for the Enivronmental Society of Los Altos. In 2009, he had the great honor of receiving the Walter Singer Award, Los Altos Chamber of Commerce’s most prestigious community-service designation.
Steve made friends wherever he went, and he loved his buddies dearly. He had a regular men’s breakfast group and poker group, along with many friends with whom he cheered on his favorite teams, the Giants and the 49ers. Before his diagnosis of Inclusion-Body Myositis, Steve was an avid runner and golfer. He always loved to travel, especially to his favorite spot of Kauai. He loved nothing more than good wine with friends and family and a good belly laugh.
When he died, he was surrounded by friends and family, love and music. March 8th will forever be Steve Anderson day, the day the world was blessed with him, as well as the day he was blessed with peace and eternal life.
Steve is survived by his beloved wife, Cathy Anderson, as well as children JJ Elliott (Anderson), Jordan Anderson and Brooke Cosgrove, son-in-law Tim Elliott, grandchildren Miller Elliott and Lincoln Elliott, and brothers Dave Anderson (Margaret) and Jim Anderson (Jean).
A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, March 21st at 10:30 am at St. Simon Catholic Parish,1860 Grant Road in Los Altos, presided over by Father Warwick James. Donations in Steve’s honor may be made to The Myositis Foundation at www.myositis.org.