Philip Scholl Anderson

Philip Scholl Anderson

Died August 19, 2010

Phil Anderson probably knew he wasn’t going to make it to old age. With the encouragement of Arthur Ashe, he underwent quadruple by-pass surgery when he was just 40, despite the fact that he was a marathon and ultra-distance runner. Thereafter, he described his health as “reasonably good” without bothering to mention his double hip replacement. None of which slowed him down. But then Phil never could take a hint. He was an undersized, so-so offensive lineman in high school, but he went out for and made the Yale freshman team.

Phil was a joiner. When he took up running, he founded the Washington Road Runners Club. Midway through his career in insurance, he founded the Insurance Old Timers (IOU), a group of insurance agents in the D.C. area. He obsessed about breaking 80s, but golf was really just another chance to network. Through one of his clients, Phil bought a farm in upstate Vermont and immediately volunteered to serve in local service organizations like the Sheffield Food Shelf. “He loved learning about the lives of other people . . . from the haymaker in the field to the man who oversaw the local dump,” Rivon Shaneyfelt, his companion for the last decade of his life, says.

The only solitary activity he seemed to enjoy was horseback riding, but he was probably whispering to the horse.

He had a fascination with animals. In addition to his dog Odie, he kept sheep and chickens on his farm. He vacationed annually at his father’s (Carl Anderson ’36) condo in Florida and during each visit Phil made it a point to stop at the local feral cat colony, the turtle hospital and the local animal rescue shelter.

In August of 2010, Phil made the 10-hour drive from Washington up to his farm. When he arrived, he phoned his companion, Rivon Shaneyfelt, and left her a voice mail which said, “It’s incredible up here. It’s a beautiful sky. All the critters are here. . . Sitting outside and having a drink. . . Everything’s good. Take care.” Later that evening, his daughter Rachel called to tell him he would become a grandfather for the first time. He awoke at 4:30 the next morning, put on a pot of coffee, and wrote in his journal that he was experiencing chest pains and really needed to do a better job of sticking to his diet. Phil went back to bed and died in his sleep of a massive heart attack on August 19, 2010. He was buried in Orange, Massachusetts, next to his parents. On the day of his funeral a group of hang gliders unexpectedly appeared overhead, filling the sky with colors.

George Manger remembers: Phil was a good friend from my Prep School days in Bethesda Md. I was the best man in his wedding and maintained fairly close contact over the years. He was always upbeat in spite of serious cardiovascular problems. I miss his enthusiasm and zest for life.