Former ACBL President Virgil Anderson died June 19 at the age of 92. Anderson, who represented District 15 on the ACBL Board of Directors for many years, was ACBL president in 1994. The same year, Anderson won his sole NABC title, the Leventritt Silver Ribbon Pairs, playing with (then) fellow Board member Jayne Thomas of Florida. Anderson, of Springfield MO, was an Emerald Life Master.
Current District 15 Director Phyllis Harlan says, “The bridge world has lost a truly dedicated, outstanding leader with the passing of Virgil Anderson. His contributions to bridge included his service as League president, District 15 president, a member of the World Bridge Federation Executive Committee and chair of numerous tournaments.
“He loved to laugh and to make others laugh with his wry sense of humor and quick wit. His unique Christmas cards were eagerly awaited each year by the recipients to see what he had devised for that year’s greeting.
“In addition to his bridge ability, he was an extremely talented amateur actor and appeared in starring roles in numerous Springfield local productions.
“Virgil loved bridge and was especially interested in getting young people to play the game. He treasured the many, many friends he made throughout the bridge world. We all loved and respected this exceptional gentleman and will miss him very, very much.”
Anderson was taught bridge by his parents at age 8, but only became addicted to the game after he played his first duplicate game in 1955. He received a degree in economics from Drury College. After a few years of teaching speech and theater, Anderson attended Missouri University Law School. A few months later he was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives, where he served one term before joining the legal department of State Farm Insurance. In 1953, Virgil and his father organized Anderson and Son, a manufacturer and distributor of truck equipment. Anderson retired form the business in 1994.
Anderson is survived by his partner, Leslie Gritzmaker.