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Dale W. Anderson ’65

Dale W. Anderson, co-owner of Aztec Media and grandfather extraordinaire, died on Thursday, August 16 from a heart attack. He was just 77; it was too soon and we all wanted more.

   Dale was the co-owner of Aztec Media, along with his best friend and business partner, Anna Chavez. Dale and Anna established the company in Aztec, New Mexico, in 1988 at the start of digital design and photography. Ever curious, he transitioned from traditional film photography to the new digital path, always marveling at the technology. He reveled in storytelling, whether his own stories, historical, or his family's tales. And he never hesitated to poke fun at himself or present his own children/grandchildren as heroes (who didn't always deserve that status!).

  As a father he never lost his temper even in times of grand screwups, ocean storms, poor parking, and bad boyfriend choices by his daughters. Dale valued everyone and their opinions, and had the ability to convince us all that we were better, braver and more capable than we thought we were.

  With a touch of Tom Sawyer he could inspire people to do much more than whitewash the fence. He was a big man with a big heart who thoroughly enjoyed his family and the Four Corners, the history, cultures and the people, and politics. He loved it all.

  After graduating from Antioch College in Ohio and working there in administration in the late 1960s, he and then wife, Jessica, and their three girls moved to Durango, Colorado, in 1971, where he was the Director of Cooperative Education at Fort Lewis College. Seeking adventure in 1975, Dale, Jessica and the daughters sailed on the East Coast and the Caribbean for a year, then returned to Durango. Dale made Aztec his home in 1987.

  Dale is survived by his partner, Anna Chavez; three daughters Charlene Anderson (Ed Mosimann), Belinda Swope (Pat Swope), and Amanda Edgerton (Eric Edgerton). He was the proud grandfather of James Swope, Danielle Swope, Kyle Edgerton, Becca Edgerton-Frings (Matt Frings). He is also survived by: his former wife and mother of his children, Jessica Anderson; stepson Paul McDonald; five nieces and nephews; and more friends than we'll ever know. A celebration of his life will be held soon, and details will be at In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Aztec Museum, 125 N. Main Avenue, Aztec, NM 87410. Dale's family would like to thank the caring employees at Blake's Lotaburger, the emergency responders, and the staff at San Juan Regional Medical Center who all worked valiantly to help. Dale (our Popo) would have put his hand out to shake yours and said, "Put it there. You done good, kid."