The Center Mourns the Passing of Longtime Friend and IAC Member Gary Anderson

With grief and grateful memory, the Center notes the passing of Gary Anderson, a longtime friend of the Center and, with his wife, Lynn Fechser Anderson, member of the International Advisory Council. After a beautiful and successful life, including 57 years of marriage to Lynn, Gary passed away May 27, 2017 at age 79, following a long, courageous, and optimistic battle with Lewy Body Disease. Gary graduated from Brigham Young University after serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Brazil. He then earned a law degree from the Berkeley Law School. While a partner with a San Francisco law firm, Farella, Braun and Martel, Gary served on the Board of Visitors for the BYU Law School, as chairman of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society for the San Francisco Bay Area, and then International Chairman of the JRC Law Society. Gary was also inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers. Gary is survived Lynn and their his children, Cory (Stacy) Anderson, Britt Calufetti, and Leslie (Scott) Manwaring; grandchildren, Lauren (Jacob), Christian, Michael, Rachel, Kyle, Tyler, Steven, Sara, and Sadie; great-grandchildren, Daniel, James, Sterling, and Belle; and his four siblings, Richard Anderson, Tom (Lynn) Anderson, Charlene (Greg) Rynders, and Annette (Gary) Ashton. He was preceded in death by his parents, Golden and Charlet, and by two of his and Lynn’s children, Chuck, and Christine.

Notes from Gary’s obituary:  Gary embraced his life and the people in it. He worked, served, studied, and played with exuberance and conviction. Gary wasn’t a jogger — he was a runner, always trying to push the pace. He danced and played the piano with similar gusto, in a manner that may have lacked finesse but always exuded energy and joy. And as a trial lawyer, Gary was a dynamic and spirited advocate — laser-focused, meticulously prepared, quick on his feet, and unshakably ethical. 

But Gary was at his very best in the roles that mattered most — those of a son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, friend, counselor, and servant. He was, in those capacities, a generous provider of love, wisdom, friendship, and encouragement. 

Gary was born on August 29, 1937 in Green River, Wyoming, the first of five children to Golden and Charlet Anderson. When he was seven years old, Gary’s family moved to Provo, Utah, where his father took a job at the Geneva steel plant. Gary fondly recalled his childhood years in Provo — reading comic books (Superman and Captain Marvel), listening to radio serials (The Shadow and Jack Armstrong), and playing neighborhood games (Kick-the-Can and Hide-and-Seek). He especially enjoyed family road trips and gatherings, which typically involved lots of singing. 

Gary’s teenage years in Provo revolved largely around one person  —  Lynn Fechser. Gary and Lynn dated and danced their way through Provo High school, spending most of their Saturday nights at the Avalon Ballroom in Salt Lake City, which featured Al Sedgley’s Big band and some of the best dancers in the area. Gary and Lynn more than held their own with their lively jitterbug and swing dancing. 

Gary and Lynn’s romance endured a three-year hiccup as Gary embarked on several life-changing adventures. In 1955, Gary graduated from Provo High School and began his college career at Brigham Young University (two years ahead of the younger Lynn). The following year, Gary fulfilled his military obligation by serving two months of basic training at Fort Ord, California and another four months at the Army Intelligence School in Baltimore, Maryland. And just two months after returning from the military, Gary boarded a ship to Brazil, where he served the next 2 ½ years as a missionary for the Mormon Church. Although Gary and Lynn corresponded only sporadically during Gary’s mission, they quickly and excitedly reunited upon his return, and within a month they became engaged. 

On August 25, 1960, Gary and Lynn were married in the Salt Lake Temple. They both recalled feeling a surge of love and gratitude that day  —  and of faith that their marriage would be a strong and happy one. 

Gary was a serious student and graduated from BYU with honors. He and Lynn then left Provo for the vastly different environment of UC Berkeley, where Gary attended Boalt Law School. This marked the beginning of Gary’s long and distinguished legal career, one in which he spent 32 wonderful years as a trial attorney for the San Francisco law firm of Farella, Braun and Martel. Gary loved his job and the people he worked with. He also proved to be an exceptional attorney, earning the prestigious selection as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. 

Gary reached even greater heights as a husband and father. He and Lynn raised five close-knit children (Chuck, Cory, Britt, Leslie, and Christine), all of whom loved their home and adored their parents. To his children, Gary was a superhero  —  a fearless and wise protector of the family, and a champion of all that was good. They watched him intently and admired his example  —  including his unabashed love and loyalty to Lynn, his professional excellence and integrity, his devoted church service as a bishop and stake president, his strong commitment to the gospel of Jesus Christ, and his insatiable desire to learn and improve.

Gary derived his greatest joy from his personal relationships. He always said that his happiest moments were those with Lynn by his side. To the very end of Gary’s life, he cherished the interactions and activities that he and Lynn shared with their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren  —  especially their joyous gatherings over Christmas and Thanksgiving. Gary and Lynn also enjoyed extremely close relationships and countless festive occasions with their siblings, nieces, and nephews. And throughout Gary and Lynn’s 57-year marriage (including their final retirement years in Provo), they forged many deep and lasting friendships that enriched their lives immensely.