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airtwardo

Dennis Anderson ~ 8/11/10

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The first time i met Dennis i was doing my first tandem and he said to me "I was hoping for someone a little better looking." I said "i was hoping for someone alot younger!" We laughed and from that moment i had a friend for life. I haven't been able to jump for about 9 months due to a neck injury (non Skydiving related) and Dennis called me every week to see how things were going. I've never met someone who truly, truly loved there job but he did. You will be forever in my thoughts my friend...Luv Ya Brother!!!

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Since those articles have a lift, I'll cut/past here.

Rosharon resident killed in motorcycle accident

By KRISTI NIX
Updated: 08.12.10
ROSHARON – An accident on State Highway 288 left one dead early Wednesday morning. Dennis Wayne Anderson, 61, was killed when his motorcycle collided with a truck traveling east on CR 56 .

Witnesses say the accident occurred when a 2008 Ford F150 truck failed to yield the right of way.

Texas Department of Transportation investigators reported the driver of the truck as Rosharon resident Stuart Bryan Sanderson.

The victim, a skydiving instructor also from Rosharon, was driving a 2001 Suzuki motorcycle south on 288 when the crash happened.

Trooper Stephen Woodard was dispatched to offer assistance. Officials said the victim was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.




PEARLAND, TX - Dennis Wayne Anderson, 61, of Pearland, TX, passed away due to a motorcycle accident in route to Rosharon on Aug. 11, 2010. Dennis was born on Nov. 21, 1948, in McPherson, Kan., to parents Robert and June (Besecker). He married Denize Kelsch on April 29, 1983, in Great Bend, Kan. He moved to TX four years ago to work at Skydive Spaceland in Rosharon. His greatest passion was skydiving. He was a skydiving instructor, rigger and pilot.


Dennis was preceded in death by his father. He is survived by: his wife, Denize Anderson of Pearland; mother, June Anderson of McPherson; children, Traci Anderson of McPherson, and Eric Anderson of Houston; sister, JaNeva D'amico; and brother, Ron Anderson and wife Deb, all of McPherson.

Visitation will be held on Monday Aug. 16, 2010, at 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Froberg Funeral Home. Funeral Services will be held on Monday Aug. 16, 2010, at 7 p.m. at Froberg Funeral Home with Rev. Robert Magee officiating. Arrangements by Froberg Funeral Home, 115 North Hill Street, Alvin, Texas 77511.
Experience is what you get when you thought you were going to get something else.

AC DZ

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Or he'd tell the student they could undo their seatbelt because it was hard to skydive with an airplane strapped to their ass.



When Dennis left the Wichita area I figured that I could adopt some of his material. I use the "airplane strapped to your ass" every once in a while. You can bet that in the future if I use that line I'll automatically think of my friend.
Experience is what you get when you thought you were going to get something else.

AC DZ

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Been some 'talk' around the community here in Houston that there is a high likelihood that a suspected contributing factor to this truly tragic accident, was the use of a cell phone by the driver of the 2008 F-150.

I can see how that might happen, and Hell in truth we all are guilty of being distracted at times by that little electronic dog leash.

When a very upset Kealey called me shortly after Dennis's crash, I was driving with my son on the same highway that it happened, two minutes later Appel called...my son finally suggested I pull over and let him drive, as I was obviously upset, distracted and being dangerous.

I for one am going to make the calls from Walt & Crazy Larry be the last I'll answer while driving...hands free has nothing to do with it.

Not being distracted from safely operating a motor vehicle has taken on new meaning and importance for me, and I think I'm going to consider that the last in the multitude of valuable lessons Dennis Anderson gifted me.

That's me, what you do is your choice, but given the tremendous cost of one moment in time it IS something we all should think about.










~ If you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn? ~

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Agreed. Hands-free isn't gong to remove the distraction. I usually drive with one hand on the wheel anyway. It's what takes your mind off the road. Cell phone use while driving needs to be outlawed except in emergencies. Having said that, motorcycles are targets anyway. I ride one and you have to assume people will not see you and always be prepared for the worst and when you see a car anywhere, always have an escape.
How high are we going? Oh about 9000. Oh Mr. Pilot! How high are we going? Oh about 12000! That's the ticket!

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Shit. I've known Dennis since my first year in skydiving. Man he was a character and the world was better for it.

Blue Skies Dennis. See yah later.

Ok I have to edit to add:

Dennis, you did this to me on purpose. Just yesterday my wife (skydiver) was telling her daughter that the drive to the airport is more dangerous than skydiving. I said well, I've seen an accident happen at the entrance to the airport (Greater Kansas City Skydiving Club where I met Dennis when he visited) but that it really wasn't apples to apples. Well, hell, Dennis it seems driving to the airport is way more dangerous than skydiving. I am feeling more hurt in the chest each minute now after learning of your death. You are truly one of the reasons so many found skydiving fun.
Chris Schindler
www.diverdriver.com
ATP/D-19012
FB #4125

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I first met him when I started diving in 1977. I've always known him as a cheerful joking kind of guy, very pleasent to be around. Fond memories of the days him and Garin Broadway would start singing "Those Amazing Men In Their Flying Machines" at the after jump parties. Now THAT'S something I wish I had on video!
How high are we going? Oh about 9000. Oh Mr. Pilot! How high are we going? Oh about 12000! That's the ticket!

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thank you Dennis for your friendship and for all the times you came to my trailer to have a beer and a chat Ill remember things you told me and thanks for giving Eboney her puppy treats everytime you came back from the dz she would see you and come a running just so you would give her a treat from her uncle Dennis love yaa man miss you forever you where a GREAT person and a great man to know Kevin & Eboney

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The first time i met Dennis i was doing my first tandem and he said to me "I was hoping for someone a little better looking." I said "i was hoping for someone alot younger!" We laughed and from that moment i had a friend for life. I haven't been able to jump for about 9 months due to a neck injury (non Skydiving related) and Dennis called me every week to see how things were going. I've never met someone who truly, truly loved there job but he did. You will be forever in my thoughts my friend...Luv Ya Brother!!!




Two seperate times I asked Dennis if he could make repairs to my rig. Each time he would tell me its done and waiting for you in the rigging loft. Both times he said, Its on me, no payment required. I would have to insist that I pay him and almost force the money in his hands. There is so much about this man and with reflection he was a better friend to me than I was to him. I'm not much of a drinker, but I'm raising a glass in his honor tonight at dinner.

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Been some 'talk' around the community here in Houston that there is a high likelihood that a suspected contributing factor to this truly tragic accident, was the use of a cell phone by the driver...



That road and intersection is wide open and flat, with no visibility obstructions of any kind. You can literally see traffic on Hwy 288 coming a mile away. There is NO excuse for this jerk not seeing Dennis, and yielding the right of way. The news story did not mention any charges being filed against the driver, like negligent homicide. Does anyone know if that's happening? The guilty party's name and home town is in messages #26 and #30. What police department is in control in that area?

Another thought. The Texas highway dept. allows roadside crosses to be erected at accident sites, to remember the victims, and encourage safety by others. How about one for Dennis, adorned with flowers and ripcords? It's one that just about everyone driving to Skydive Spaceland would see every time they go jump.

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There were so many skydivers attending the service that seating ran out and many skydivers stood. What an excellent and well deserved showing.

Over the last year I have been frequenting the rigging loft at Spaceland to tinker and learn as much rigging as I can. Dennis was certainly a pleasure to be around and he always seemed to be filled with smiles and great stories. During a conversation today it was discussed that Dennis would have been perfect for a "Can you stump Dennis" rigging game, where if you could find a rigging question he didn't know the answer to you would win $5. He seemed to know everything!

I'm going to miss his laugh and that big curly mustache. Blue skies Dennis and see ya on the other side!
108 way head down world record!!!
http://www.simonbones.com
Hit me up on Facebook

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My report on the Memorial Service for Dennis.

The weather was bad prior to the service, with heavy thunderstorms moving through the Houston area. Many people suffered two to three hour drives in bad traffic getting to the funeral home in the small town of Alvin, south of Houston.

The chapel was chock full - I estimated about 170 people in attendance, with all the pews full, people standing lined-up around the walls, and spilling out into the alcove. About 90% of those people were skydivers. Some people came from as far away as Kansas.

Dennis was laid out for viewing, but I did not approach the casket, as I've learned that I prefer for my last mental image of someone to be from when they were alive, and not the often different-looking person who ends up on review. But from where I sat, his head was peeking up over the edge of the casket, and he was wearing sunglasses and a ball cap. There were displays showing photos of him from childhood, and at various stages of his life, skydiving photos, as well as his first and last jump logbooks, and his black Protec helmet with sock sticking out the holes in the top. Someone also had a copy of the May, 2010 "Blue Skies" magazine which featured Dennis on the cover (can someone scan and post that here, please?). There were many flower arrangements on display, contributed by the various groups of people who have known him - one was from the West Point Parachute Team.

The service was very nice, traditional style, with a religious theme. More than a dozen people mustered the self-control to stand up and tell stories about Dennis, and testify to the goodness of his life. Dennis was one of the full-time riggers at Skydive Spaceland, and is credited for many "saves" from reserve parachute deployments which he packed. Someone asked for a show of hands of how many people in the room had been saved by Dennis' pack jobs, and amazingly, about one-third of the people in the room shot their hands up into the air. A proposal was put forth to collect donations in Dennis' name for the fund-raising effort for the National Skydiving Museum, to purchase a brick in his name that would be on display when the building is constructed.

At the end they played "Rock of Ages", and then there was a quiet pause, and everyone wondered what was going on. The silence was then broken by the sound of the music from the movie "Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines" with its chorus of "They go uppity up up, they go downdity down down." Everyone laughed.

The crowd lined up to pass by the casket for one final view, and then out the side door to gather in the parking lot, where everyone stood and chatted for about an hour, before drifting home.

It was an amazing show of love from the skydiving community, and this kind of friendship is a big part of what makes this sport so special.

Attached: The memorial service handout

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Here's the scan, that was me with the magazine, which I actually didn't have a personal copy of until a very nice lady I've jumped with at Spaceland gave me hers last night.

That photo of Dennis is the one I wrote about above, where we 'made' him tape his son's blue helmet to match our white ones...'ya never know when a pic may get published.'

The photo was taken by an EAA photographer during last years Air Venture Oshkosh...it was also used in this years airshow program.



~I was one of the many that spoke during the service last night.

I said how I felt like I was one of the more fortunate people at the gathering because it was my good fortune to spent 7 days with Dennis performing at the airshow a couple weeks ago.

How from the time I picked him up at the airport until I dropped him off there a week later, all he did was talk skydiving & airplanes....FOR SEVEN DAYS STRAIGHT!

I recalled how I kept thinking as Dennis & I shook hands and he walked away, how FAST the week seemed to have gone...he was that kind of guy, you just never got tired of being around him.

They called the sevrice last evening a celebration of Dennis Anderson's life.
I've been to funerals before that made that claim, but never was it so true as yesterday.

A room full of the entire spectrum of skydiving society, young to old, suits & ties to tee shirts & tevas...and all of us feeling the same thing.

Shock and sorrow at the unexpected loss of such an amazing man and and good friend.

The thing that struck me finally, and helped to put things into perspective, was the obvious and absolute strength Dennis's family showed.

They knew him best, and as the various stories were told, they laughed, they smiled...they understood.

It truly WAS a celebration of Dennis Anderson's life, a life he celebrated himself every moment he was with us...and that was the strength his family got from him.

Last night when I got home, I pulled Dennis's riggers seal off the reserve of the rig he jumped at Oshkosh and stuck it in my wallet.
Knowing Dennis these past 20-25 years made me not only a better skydiver but a better more tollerant person...I want to carry a reminder of that with me for a while.

If you didn't know Dennis Anderson...ya missed your chance, and I can honestly say~

I'm very sorry for YOUR loss.










~ If you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn? ~

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In 1972 Dennis and I parachuted into Scotland together, where we then got to static line out of balloons at 800 ft.. I have a bunch of pictures I took of our old stomping grounds that I was going to show him, but I missed that chance.

Dennis was a mensch, and I really do not like knowing I will not get to spend time with him again.


Blue skies and gentle breezes my friend,

Winsor

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I knew when I 1st learned of what happened to Dennis, that there had to be more to this story. I spoke with his son Eric and he told me this; Dennis was following behind a service truck that had a large box mounted on the back. This vehicle made a right turn in front of Dennis and the other vehicle that was on the same street pulled out to make a right on to 288. They didn't see him behind the turning truck. It appears this was just a terrible tragedy. I also understand this was a young family with 2 small children with them. The fact that we all lost a dear friend shouldn't be overshadowed by the terrible guilt that they will have to live with. Dennis was one of the most kind-hearted and forgiving people I ever met. I think I could hear him say" Oh Shit!" Followed by" Fuck It!" Love the idea of the roadside memorial.

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I've been riding motorcycles since 1977 and have a couple close calls to my record. My heart goes out to Dennis and his family. Dennis was always an entertaining guy and a great pilot.
How high are we going? Oh about 9000. Oh Mr. Pilot! How high are we going? Oh about 12000! That's the ticket!

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I knew when I 1st learned of what happened to Dennis, that there had to be more to this story. I spoke with his son Eric and he told me this; Dennis was following behind a service truck that had a large box mounted on the back. This vehicle made a right turn in front of Dennis and the other vehicle that was on the same street pulled out to make a right on to 288. They didn't see him behind the turning truck.



Thanks for those details.

For those unfamiliar with this intersection, I've posted two aerial views so you can understand what happened here.

The first is the macro view, with 4-lane divided Hwy 288 running north-south, and County Road 56 running east-west. The CR56 intersection takes a zig-zag path, because Texas didn't want to spend the money yet for an overpass and cloverleaf interchange, in such a rural area. But as you can see, it's flat and open, and there's no excuse for not seeing someone coming, in my opinion.

The second image is the micro view. For traffic heading south, like Dennis, there are deceleration lanes on both sides of the dual traffic lanes, for anyone turning left or right. So it sounds like the truck in front of Dennis would have been in that deceleration lane to make his right turn, and Dennis would have been in the traffic lane. That would put Dennis in a blind spot for the pickup truck pulling out from the west side of CR56.

Does that excuse the pickup truck driver from negligence? Not in my mind! He still has a duty to make sure traffic is clear before pulling out. It sounds like he only assumed it was clear, and couldn't be sure, because of the blind spot. He should have waited until the truck was out of his way and he could actually see, without just assuming, that they way was clear.

I can understand how it happened, but that doesn't mean that the pickup truck driver didn't screw up. And since his screw-up killed someone, he should have to bear some responsibility for that.

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I learned in driving school, you stop behind the stop sign, then if your view is obstructed you slowly creep out until you have a clear view and can see the lane is clear. It sounds like this guy failed to do the latter and just zoomed out there when he ASS U ME'd the lane was clear. Of course, I've seen people look right straight at me, then pull right out in front of me. I agree, there is no excuse for the driver of the F-150 to not have seen him, especially since bikes travel with headlights on.

EDIT: After looking at the Google Earth map, there is a lengthy acceleration lane for traffic pulling out onto 288. The F-150 obviously was not using this acceleration lane as he should have and crossed the solid white line into the travelling lane which is illegal. This causes the driver of the F-150 to be totally at fault. This is the way it looks to me. Thanks for posting the maps.
How high are we going? Oh about 9000. Oh Mr. Pilot! How high are we going? Oh about 12000! That's the ticket!

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:(:(I firet met Dennis when I moved to Wichita Kansas. I was jumping at Lyons and had a question about my Racer, Everybody agreed talk to Dennis. The DZ called him and he was more then happy to answer my question.

To many memories to list here. The hog jump was great.

Lorrie and I thoughts and prayers go out to his family. He loved talking about his kids.
Skip

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