June 3, 2020, marked the end of 74 years dedicated to the pursuit of a life he could be proud of.
Mark Irwin Anderson began life on Oct. 29, 1945, in San Francisco. His parents, Walter and Virginia Anderson, taught him the value of family, hard work and honorable principles. Graduating from Leigh High School in San Jose in 1963, Mark continued his education at San Jose State. While earning a BA degree in law enforcement and administration in 1968, he formed lifelong bonds with his Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity brothers.
On July 26, 1967, a handsome young police officer visited a small dental office where Patricia Heer happily worked on his smile. In Pat, Mark saw a loving mother to future children and a partner to walk through life. They were married 50 years ago on March 7, 1970, in Los Gatos, California. The early years of their relationship endured a deployment to Vietnam as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Upon Mark’s return from military service, he and Pat focused on building a family and providing the best environment possible, choosing to make their home in the Redwood forest of the Los Gatos mountains. Continuing a life of service, he returned to the San Jose Police Department, then became chief of security at the San Jose Airport.
In 1979 he moved his family to an idyllic town in Washington state. Lynden needed a police chief, and Mark fit the bill. He was able to make improvements in areas such as officer radio communication, 24-hour police service and patrol car logos, while respecting the atmosphere of this special town. He was the Lynden police chief for about two years.
Mark was a valued member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Lynden. He was active in teen education at the church and coached Lynden youth sports. An avid reader, he loved to connect with his grandchildren via literature, from picture books through the entire Harry Potter series.
Mark is survived by his loving wife, Patricia; his children Tiffanie Tagner (Neil) and Thor Anderson (Samantha) and five treasured grandchildren; his brothers Ross Arkell (Judith) and Chris (Jeree) and sister Elizabeth Garrison (Duaine); as well as family in California.
He valued the friendships he made over the past 40 years in Lynden, at the church, the gym and on the sidewalk. He was proud of the community he called home. Mark will be remembered for his quick laugh, stories on any topic, and the ability to connect and leave you laughing.
We are enormously grateful to the professionals, friends and family who have supported Mark. To the many who have lifted us up in prayer, thank you so very much — each one was felt.
Dad was fond of saying: “All anyone fears in life is change. All there is in life is change.” His passing is a big change in our lives, and his memory will see us through.
A private funeral Mass was held on Monday, June 8. Mark was interred at Lynden Cemetery with military honors.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Joseph Catholic Church at 205 12th St., Lynden 98264; or Whatcom County Hospice, 3001 Squalicum Parkway #11, Bellingham 98225.
Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Gillies Funeral Home and Cremation Services.