Albert Lavon Anderson “Big Andy,” 96, passed away peacefully at his home on Ocracoke Island, NC on Sept.r 19, 2015. He was born on November 29, 1918, to the late Albert and Mabel Anderson of Frankfort, Indiana. Albert joined the United States Coast Guard as a young man and was stationed at Ocracoke, where he met and married the love of his life, Mary Elizabeth Styron Anderson. After leaving the Coast Guard, Albert and Mary were married on Nov. 24, 1945, and moved to his hometown of Frankfort, Indiana, where they resided until retiring from his successful farming career in 1993 and returned to Ocracoke.
Islander Chester Lynn, a long-time friend, spent lots of time with him during his waning years.
“We both loved antiques,” Chester said. “He hand-carved wooden ducks and was also a skilled furniture maker. He had some beautiful pieces in the house that few people have seen.”
James Barrie Gaskill, the son of his wife Mary’s sister, related how during the hurricane of 1944, Andy carried him when he was just one year old from near Styron’s Store to the safer lighthouse.
“The water was up to his waist when he carried me,” he said.
“He was a very nice man. Always going to church and helping people. He was one of the last survivors of World War II veterans connected to Ocracoke.”
Ruth Toth, former owner of the Atlantic Cafe noted that Andy would visit the restaurant every Sunday with his wife Mary. After she died, he would come on his own. “He would always order the same dish,” she noted.
In 2013, Andy was honored by being the grand marshal for the Ocracoke Fourth of July parade.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary who died on Nov. 26, 2007. Albert and Mary did not have children of their own, but he is survived by his nephew, Edward C. O’Neal, Jr. and wife, Stella O’Neal, both of Ocracoke, whom he considered his own children.
” ‘Big Andy’ was much more than an uncle to us and his death has left an empty place in our family,” said Stephanie O’Neal.
He is also survived by numerous other nieces, nephews and friends. The family also acknowledges the friendship, love and support given to him over the last 8 years by Loretta “Annie” Mann of Scranton, NC, and the last year by Araceli Gonzalez “Cheli” of Washington, NC.
Funeral services honoring the life of Albert Anderson will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 23, in the Ocracoke United Methodist Church. The church will be open for viewing beginning at noon. He will be buried at the Ocracoke Community Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Ocracoke United Methodist Church, PO Box 278, Ocracoke Island, NC 27960.
Twiford Funeral Home, Hatteras is assisting the family with arrangements. Condolences may be expressed at www.twifordfh.com.
Twiford Funeral Home (Hatteras)
Hatteras, 57156 Kohler Drive
Phone: (252) 986-2554