John W. Anderson Sr., who enjoyed a distinguished career in agribusiness, is among the five Andalusia High School alumni being honored this week as AHS Outstanding Graduates.
5 to be recognized as outstanding grads
Anderson, a 1953 graduate of AHS, joined his family’s business, Anderson Peanut Co. in Andalusia, after graduating from Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn), and two years of military service.
He served as president of the company from 1963 until 1969, when the business was sold to Alabama Farmers Cooperative. During his years in Andalusia, he was Rotarian, chaired the Water Board, and was on the board of Andalusia Hospital, the LBW Foundation, Andy Cable and Commercial Bank of Andalusia.
After the family business sold, Anderson worked with the Pike County Development office, overseeing the construction of a peanut shelling operation in Goshen.
He returned to Alabama Farmers Cooperative in 1970s to oversee the company’s peanut operations in Andalusia, Opp, Hartford, Ariton and Jay, Fla.
In 1989, he moved to Decatur to become chief financial officer of AFC, and became CEO in 1990. At the time, in addition to the Alabama Coop stores, the company owned a trucking company, Red Panther Chemicals, Bonnie Plants, Red Fox Fertilizer and various grain elevators and feed mills.
He received numerous service awards, and was inducted into the Alabama Agricultural Hall of Fame at Auburn in 2002. He died in 2014.
“I believe that John Wayne Anderson Sr. is emblematic of the type of Andalusia High School graduate deserving of this award,” wrote his nominator, John Vick.
Anderson and his wife Evelyn retired to Destin in 1995. He died in 2014.