Craig James Anderson
Craig James Anderson
  • April 21, 1935 - March 25, 2017
  • Phoenix, Arizona

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Bio for Craig Anderson:
James Craig Anderson Born April 21, 1935 in Phoenix, Arizona
Gone to Heaven March 25, 2017 Phoenix, Arizona.
Preceded in Death by his parents, Altagracia Bueno Anderson and Robert Hunter Anderson, his brothers, Irving Ross Anderson and Hunter McCormick Anderson.
Craig was a Native Phoenician. He went to High school at West High, then to Glendale Union High school. Craig continued his education and love of sports at Palo Verde Junior College, Fresno State College where he played football and earned a BSA in Education. Craig then did post graduate education at Arizona State University.
Craig was committed to his family. He loved his wife of 42 years, Cheryl Anderson, his 3 children, Lori Beth Burke, Douglas Craig Anderson, and Benjamin Ross Anderson. He had 4 grandchildren, Kathleen Burke, Bryan (Christina) Burke, Makenzy Anderson and Ashton Anderson, and 1 great grandson Briggs Burke. Craig loved following his grandchildren in their athletic endeavors. Makenzy swam since she was 4 years old and continued through high school. Katie pursued volleyball in high school. Bryan played football and wrestled at Payson High School and played football at South Dakota State University. Bryan is now teaching and coaching football and is head wrestling coach at Payson High School which gave Craig big smiles. Craig was devoted to all of his children and grandchildren. He loved them all very much!!
Cheryl and Craig enjoyed many traveling vacations together and also taking their grandchildren, in their younger years, on many vacations with them - San Diego, Puerto Vallarta, San Francisco, and Disneyland. Craig and Cheryl especially loved having family and friends over for holidays, birthday, or any other "made up" occasion for parties and barbeques.
They were known for their love of Saint Bernard's (6 of them), most recently Bogie, and subsequently 2 Dachshunds (Josie & Jafar) presented to them by their granddaughter, Makenzy. Craig's first reaction to the doxies, was, "they're little ants - look at those short legs." But Jafar and Craig soon became inseparable buddies. They loved taking Bogie and then the Dachshunds on "road trips". A favorite spot was to Xanadu Ranch, in Sonoita, the bunkhouse, horses and wineries. The last few years, Craig & Cheryl took Bogie then Josie and Jafar to Iowa for about 6 weeks in the hot summer month of July to visit with Cheryl's family in Rock Rapids, the farm and Lake Okobiji.
Craig started his teaching/ coaching career at Paradise Valley High school in 1960. He taught Industrial Arts and coached football, basketball, and track. However, in 1965, he convinced the PV School Board to start a wrestling program which he did and was head wrestling coach. Craig worked at PV for 14 years before moving to Shadow Mountain High School when it opened its doors. At SMHS Craig was the Athletic director and again started the wrestling program, was head wrestling coach and worked there for the next 23 years.
His achievements didn't go unnoticed, he received many honors. Craig was coach of the year 5 times and National Coach of the year in 1986. He was inducted into the Arizona High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame, Arizona Wrestling Hall of Fame, Arizona Interscholastic Athletic Administrator Association Athletic Director of the year, Shadow Mountain High School Hall of Fame, National High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame, Lifetime service to wrestling in 2007, National Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame, "You Paved the Way Award", from ACA in 2012. These honors are not all inclusive.
Craig loved athletics and giving. When most would retire, Craig was not done. He started working at AIA, where he was the activities coordinator for State Championship competition for Baseball, Basketball, Football, Golf, Soccer, Swimming and Wrestling from 1997-2007. However, following that "retirement" Craig continued his enthusiasm for wrestling working with AIA for the regional/state wrestling championships for almost the next decade.
A Celebration of Life will be held on April 22, 2017 1 pm- 5 pm (memorial at 3:00) at 6637 N. 13th St. Phoenix, AZ, their home - the home that Craig loved so much and did not want to leave.
Craig tried diligently to stay in touch with many of his students, athletes, and teachers by attending breakfasts, lunches, and reunions. Craig and Cheryl loved their relationships with neighbors and Granada Park friends. Craig was committed to the fullest to the AZ High School Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame, its members and its continued success. Craig will be truly missed, but his memory will last through generations of those left behind.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Arizona High School Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame (tax deductible). Checks made out to AHSACHOF and can be mailed to 1428 E. Marshal Phoenix, AZ 85014.
One Life Lived, So Many Lives Touched....