Talon News - Good Local News

By Jacque Ritchie

AZTEC Visionary Dale Anderson Passes at 77


September 7, 2018

By Jacque Ritchie, TALON

Aztec is still reeling from the news of the sudden death of local entrepreneur and community leader, Dale Anderson. Anderson suffered a heart attack on Thursday August 16. "Dale's passing is a huge loss for the community not just Aztec but Farmington and Bloomfield too," said Library Director Angela Watkins who served on the Aztec Museum board with Anderson for many years. Watkins describes Anderson as her friend, her confidant and her supporter, "He worked well with everyone, he always had a suggestion or a solution for everyone." Watkins said Anderson was an effective mediator and used his experience to advocate for education, advancing tourism and the over-all quality of life in Aztec, "He may not always agree with what you say, but he would never close his ears or his heart to anyone." Watkins spoke about Anderson being a passionate and outspoken advocate for promoting local history. Anderson served as the president of the Aztec Museum Board and was instrumental in creating the Pioneer Village, "He was really Mr. Museum and a role model for people...what I admired about him the most was that he never hesitated to step-up regardless of the challenge, he may have been the president of the board but he would always be the first to lend a hand no matter what the task." Watkins summed up her feelings by saying, "Dale's sudden passing should remind us that life is short and we should appreciate our time and strive to make a positive difference in the lives we touch as he did."

A true visionary Anderson established Aztec Media Inc. in 1988, Aztec Media is located at 101 Main in the heart of historic Aztec. Anderson wrote, photographed and filmed the Four Corners landscape, people and businesses for 40 years. The company has provided website design, advertisement and media management services for 30 years. Aztec Media team members include his long-time best friend and co-owner Anna Chavez, Daniel Hise and Stephan Nash. Reportedly Chavez will keep the business open.

"Everyone that has had the privilege of knowing him will say the same thing...he always uplifted me and inspired me to be the best. It's that feeling he gave everybody he came into contact with," said museum volunteer Lindsay Castillo.

Local historian and author of five books of historical record Catherine Davis knew Anderson well and worked in concert with him in her role as San Juan County Historical Society Archivist, "You never doubted where you stood with Dale. He always made no bones about where he stood on an issue and he was not bashful about letting you know what he thought." The historical society is located on Main street next door to the museum, "There has always been a good cooperation between the two entities due in no small part to Dale." Davis reflected, "It was a total shocker that this happened to him, he was so fit, always walking and hiking and working out but I guess it' typical of men, they never want to go to the doctor they think 'I feel fine so...'" Davis solemnly noted, "His passing is a great loss to the community, but the Aztec Museum will feel his loss most of all, he was always fixing machinery and all kinds of things, he really kept the museum running and in order."

The family of Dale Anderson invite everyone to come to a celebration of Dale's life on September 15, at 4:00 p.m. at the Aztec Museum, 125 N. Main, Aztec. The gates will be open at the lower end of the museum grounds for parking. The family invites everyone to come early and tour the museum and, "Bring a story a tale or a yarn to share. Light refreshments will be served."


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