Emily Anderson Stewart could go on and on about the honors bestowed upon her father. There are boxes of plaques that reflect his contributions to golf and to the Central Oregon community.
Yet according to those who were close to him, Terry Anderson preferred to avoid the spotlight. Rather, he channeled credit elsewhere, to highlight the achievements of others. That was the kind of person Anderson was, through his long tenure as the director of golf at Eagle Crest Resort in Redmond, and as the PGA head professional at Black Butte Ranch, up to last Saturday, when the 74-year-old died at St. Charles Bend after a three-year battle with bladder cancer.
“Terry was my dad, but he was also my first soulmate and best friend,” said Stewart, the second of Anderson’s four children. “I am learning how to live my life without his physical presence. It is going to take me a very long time to adjust, if ever.”
Anderson was born Aug. 28, 1943, in Spokane, Washington, where he was raised. He was the first director of golf at Eagle Crest, arriving there from Columbia Edgewater Country Club in Portland. When he started at the Redmond resort in the mid-1980s, Stewart recalled, there were no houses at Eagle Crest, only a dirt road that led to a trailer that served as the clubhouse. Gene “Bunny” Mason, designer of the Resort Course at Eagle Crest, brought in Anderson, who helped secure the land onto which the resort expanded, and where John Thronson later built the Ridge and Challenge courses.
“Terry’s hand was more in the development realm and creation of the resort’s expansion that today is enjoyed by thousands every year,” said Ron Buerger, Eagle Crest’s director of golf, who worked with him at the resort before Anderson became the head professional at Black Butte Ranch near Sisters in 2003. “I get to look out of my office window every day and appreciate what he helped develop.”
Buerger also gets to see the wide-reaching influence Anderson had in the area. And he is not alone. Asked if she could offer the names of people who could speak to her father’s contributions, Stewart began compiling a list but soon stopped, recognizing the futility.
“I can come up with a thousand people who would love to help,” she said. “If you asked one person a day (about Anderson’s positive attributes), it would be job security for life.”
Anderson was a man who willed the betterment of others’ lives and experiences. He maintained strong junior golf programs at Eagle Crest and had a hand in beginning the popular and decades-old Central Oregon Junior Golf Association. He took pride in hosting charity golf tournaments, and, Stewart said, “helped unwavering” with the KIDS Center, a child abuse intervention center based in Bend. Adding to his list of contributions, Anderson, voted the Pacific Northwest’s PGA professional of the year in 2001, was a co-founder of the Central Oregon Golf Forum and the founder of ShareLinks, which, until shutting down, had raised money for area charities for more than 10 years since its inception in 1993.
“There are so many wonderful things he did that I could keep going,” Stewart said. “This would not even come close to expressing who he is to me.”
Stewart, a golf pro at Black Butte Ranch, is pursuing a Master Professional status in the PGA, which, according to the association’s website, recognizes PGA members who “make a significant effort to improve themselves as golf professionals and maintain the highest degree of excellence for themselves and their operations.” Stewart is doing this, she said, “only because” of her father and the love he had for the game that she has come to share.
John Bushnell, president of Central Oregon Restaurants Inc., said that Anderson was “so instrumental in so many people’s lives.” And the outpouring of grief following Anderson’s death was almost overwhelming.
“I posted something about his passing on my Facebook page, and I’ve had a series of people responding saying, ‘He touched so many lives and helped so many people,’” Bushnell said. “And the thing about Terry, he was always very humble about it. You would never know he had that kind of influence. … With that unassuming air that he had, he reached out and touched everybody’s life that he came into contact with. ”
Bushnell recalled a recent conversation with a friend.
“I heard from Mike Smolich, from Smolich Motors, and he said, ‘You know, that guy always made me feel like I was a king every time I was around him,’” Bushnell said. “He said, ‘I knew he was making everybody else feel the same way, but it didn’t matter. When I was with him, he made me feel like the most important person in the world.’”
That is just another example of Anderson’s positive influence on others.
“Terry was a tremendous supporter of the game, in just about every facet, and he touched the lives of generations of Central Oregon golfers, even if they didn’t know it,” said Zack Hall, golf writer for The Bulletin from 2007 to 2014. “More than a few times he would offer me a helping hand for a story, or tell me an off-the-record funny anecdote about this golfer or that golfer, or critique something that he felt I could have done a better job with. But it always came from a genuine place, and he never wanted attention. He never really wanted to be quoted, and he would always defer to younger pros so they would get the credit. That was the kind of guy he was. He was very much an ambassador of the game in Central Oregon.”
Anderson’s sincerity is what sticks with Buerger, who worked with Anderson for a decade. Buerger recounted his colleague’s ability to brighten anyone’s day, regardless of the situation. Anderson, Buerger said, simply “had a gift of engaging people. He could make anybody feel a little bit better just by being in his midst and in the same room with him.”
Anderson was not one to forget a person’s name, Buerger said, and he would routinely shake hands or exchange hugs.
“It was really somewhat remarkable,” Buerger said of Anderson’s ability to seemingly remember everyone he met. “In that particular area, he’s easily one of the best I’ve ever seen and have ever been around. I’m fortunate to have had that time with him, for sure.”
Anderson is survived by his wife, Christine, to whom he was married for nearly 50 years, and three daughters (Sara, Emily and Jessica).
Anderson served in the Marines and was a PGA Life Member. A private service was held for immediate family earlier this week, and a midsummer celebration of life is being planned (which, Emily Anderson Stewart said, will be a social gathering followed the next day by the Anderson Golf Tournament).
Family, friends and former colleagues are left with memories of Terry Anderson — and his everlasting influence in Central Oregon.
“I can only try to do the right things in the face of eternity,” Stewart said, noting how this was a phrase her father used when facing difficult decisions.
“It puts your heart in perspective with your mind. He lived and breathed doing good things in spite of circumstances, and let me experience true friendship next to his side since I was a child.”
— Reporter: 541-383-0307, firstname.lastname@example.org .