John Phillip Anderson, age 75, passed away on June 25, 2023, at Twin Cities Hospital in Templeton, California, after a three-year struggle with cancer. He died the same way he had lived his whole life – peaceful, content, with faith in God, and coming up with lists of things that still needed to be done.
John was born on May 7, 1948, in Bakersfield, California, to Marian and Marty Anderson. He spent his childhood playing tennis, playing the clarinet and saxophone, doing chores, ballroom dancing, and building contraptions with his brothers. In high school, he got the crowds cheering as the school mascot, Danny Driller. John attended UC Davis, where he met his first wife, Kathleen. He then earned his doctorate in Dentistry at Case Western Reserve in Cleveland, OH, before joining the Navy, where he served as an officer and the ship’s dentist for three years. After the service, John studied Orthodontics at the University of California San Francisco and graduated in 1979. Soon after, he started an orthodontic practice in Atascadero, California. Serving nearly every teenager in town, his patients were at the mercy of his Orthodontics chair, unable to escape his endless upbeat chatting as he checked and tightened their braces. He and Kathleen raised three children in Atascadero. John was active in his children’s activities and was always on top of current community events and local happenings.
Inspired by his French roots and a trip to Paris, John started making hooch out of his garage with other amateur wine-maker friends in the late 1990s. His “hobby” quickly grew, and soon he was planning his own vineyard. In 1996 he began dating Laural, whom he married in 1999. In the years that followed, they nurtured and developed quality grapes on his ideal plot of land. In 2007, John decided it would be a good idea to end his Orthodontics career (just as his grandchildren were reaching the age of needing braces) in exchange for full-time back-breaking labor and low-margin earnings as the founder and owner of St. Hilaire Vineyard and Winery. John’s meticulous attention to winemaking produced quality red wines earning accolades in local and regional wine competitions, including Best of Show at the Mid-State Fair.
John enjoyed tending the vineyard and reaping the benefits of his very fruitful garden. Friends and family were always welcome to enjoy some wine while hearing a detailed tutorial on the intricate process of making wine, though any interest of his was fair game for him to share in detail. He loved a good meal and playing games around the dinner table. When given a chance, he loved traveling with Laural and friends and experiencing
different places, cultures, and cuisines. John adored people, loved to get involved with different groups, and welcomed opportunities to practice his amazing ability to learn and perfect skills. This included joining Wines and Steins, which helped him perfect his craft, getting hooked on fly fishing, and flying remote control planes. For John, there was no such thing as a stranger; he would offer a helping hand to anyone that needed it. He has been a member and Elder of Bethel Lutheran church for 45 years, serving in many capacities.
John was preceded in death by his parents and beloved brother, Robert. He is survived by his wife, Laural; his children, Josh Anderson, Mollie Watkinson, Peter Anderson, Heather Reuterskiold, and Crystal Jensen; his sisters, Bonnie Green and Mary Harbor and his brother Tracy Anderson; his grandchildren, Nicholas and Stephen Anderson, Liam Murphy, Carina and Caitlyn Reuterskiold, Abraham, Lydia, and Caspian Watkinson and Gage Anderson; his brother-in-laws Wayne Green and Terry Harbor; son-in-laws Jack Watkinson and Dave Reuterskiold and daughter-in-law Gretchen Anderson and many beloved nieces, nephews, and extended family members.
A celebration of life will be held for John on July 9th, 2 PM @ Atascadero Lake Pavilion (9315 Pismo Ave. Atascadero, CA 93422)
Arrangements are under the care of the Chapel of the Roses in Atascadero.
Online condolences and memories may be shared by visiting https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/atascadero-ca/john-anderson-11347413.
Please make a donation in lieu of flowers to any of the following organizations:
Hope Spring Community
American Cancer Society
Women’s Sports Foundation
Bethel Lutheran Church of Templeton