May 11, 1922 ~ February 12, 2017

Born in: Buncombe Co.,
Resided in: Asheville, NC

John Sumner Anderson, 94, of Asheville, died peacefully at the John F. Keever Solace Center, surrounded by angels on February 12, 2017. John was born May 11, 1922 in Asheville to the late Professor Charles B. Anderson and Lela Sumner Anderson. In addition to his parents, John was also preceded in death by his wife, Ruby Lee "Arel" Anderson, and sister, Nancy Downton (Charlie). John was a flight engineer for Pan American World Airways for 40 years. At the pinnacle of John's career, he was Pan American's Director of Flight Engineering. After retiring from Pan Am, John spent an additional 13 years as the Chief Flight Engineer for Tower Air. In addition to his career, John's passions included photography, automobiles and, of course, his family. John is survived by his daughter Dixie Barkdoll (Ken), of Weaverville, NC; daughter Penny Carriere (Ed), of Asheville, NC; his son, John Anderson (Janette), of Southern New Jersey; grandchildren, Richard, Jennifer, Michelle, Jeffrey, Kerry, John, and Kenton; and several great-grandchildren. Family and friends are invited to celebrate John's life on Saturday, February 18, 2017, at Groce Funeral Home, 1401 Patton Ave., Asheville. Visitation will begin at 10:00 a.m., followed by the memorial service at 11:00 a.m. Inurnment will take place immediately after at Riverside Cemetery. Flowers are appreciated or memorial donations may be made to the John F. Keever, Jr. Solace Center, P.O. Box 25338, Asheville, NC 28813.

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  1. I will always have fond memories of having the privilege of working with John at Tower Air; he epitomized the term professional. My thoughts and prayers to the entire family, on the loss of a true gentleman.

  2. I want to express my deepest condolences to John’s family. although my mother and John divorced many years ago, I have many fond memories of John and the holiday celebrations we had in their Boca Raton house. John was a kind and funny man who loved life and knew how to enjoy it! I know he is in a better place. May your memories of him bring you great comfort. God Bless-

    Suzanne Thomas-Hall

  3. Our hearts and prayers are with you at this difficult time. Mr. Anderson is now flying above us forever.
    We will enjoy a ‘Manhattan’ in his honor.

  4. I am very sorry for your loss. My thoughts, love and prayers are with you all. Mr. Anderson was a great, funny and genteel man. He will be greatly missed by everyone. Now he is free to move about the cabin, fly anywhere, no plane needed. I’m sure it’s a wonderful feeling. Love to all

  5. We wish to extend , to all the family, our deepest sympathy for the loss of your father, grandfather and friend. He was a wonderful man and so welcoming. Always there with a hug, a kiss hello and a warm handshake.
    Thank you for the video. So special. Watching it made us feel close to him and his family. Love shines. The distance melted.
    Our prayers and thoughts are with you.

  6. I’d like to extend my condolences to John’s family at his loss. I remember him as a gracious, generous, fun and intelligent man. They don’t make them like that anymore! I’m glad to have known him.


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