Anderson’s final days

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

By Jessie Burchette
KANNAPOLIS ó For weeks, City Councilman Richard Anderson hadn’t felt well.
A pack-a-day cigarette smoker for most of his 73 years, breathing had become increasingly difficult.
After a series of tests, Anderson and his wife, Marion, got the news Oct. 31.
He had lung and liver cancer, and it was widespread.
Anderson checked into Carolinas Medical Center-NorthEast in Concord and began chemotherapy ó after he got a nicotine patch. Marion said he understood his situation and was reconciled to it.
But that didn’t stop him from talking city business. He asked her to bring his list of cell phone numbers and checked in with officials attending a conference in San Antonio, Texas.
He had planned to go to the Kannapolis City Council meeting Nov. 9, but the doctors and his wife overruled it.
On Friday, Kannapolis Mayor Bob Misenheimer visited Anderson and got a message to look out for small-business owners.
Late last week, Anderson was doing well enough that he was scheduled to go home for a few days. They had home care lined up.
Marion said at one point while waiting for tests results, Anderson joked, “I think I’ll get up and go smoke.”
Then he got pneumonia, and the antibiotics couldn’t stop it.
His condition worsened Saturday night.
The Andersons had agreed that no mechanical means would be used to keep him alive. He was moved to critical care Sunday morning.
“He never spoke after Saturday night,” Marion said.
Anderson took care of one final item for his wife of 52 years. He planned his funeral.
“He prepared for everything,” she said. “He was always Mr. Prepared.”
The Anderson family will receive friends from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday at Whitley’s Funeral Home.
Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Friday at Trinity United Methodist Church, with burial at Carolina Memorial Park.