Wilfret Lewis Anderson, Sr. was born to the late Louise and Lewis Anderson, Jr. on January 5, 1937. He was called to his Heavenly Home on August 3, 2021 with his family by his side. He accepted Christ as his Savior at an early age and was a faithful member of Pratt Memorial United Methodist Church in Jackson, Mississippi.
Anderson was a member of the Jim Hill High School choir, football team, and track team. He graduated from Jim Hill High School in 1956. He received his B.S. in Physical Education in 1962 and M.S. in Physical Education in 1978 from Jackson State College. Throughout his childhood and college years, he excelled in sports, which served as a significant foundation for him as a successful coach for many years. While at Jim Hill, he was on the school’s first football team.
Upon graduation from college, Anderson accepted a teaching position at Jim Hill High School, where he was the first graduate to return for a teaching position. He spent over 25 years as a dedicated teacher, coach, mentor, and father figure to many students while teaching and coaching at the old Jim Hill High School (Blackburn Jr. High School), Whitten Jr. High School, Jim Hill High School, and Provine High School. Coach Anderson used his platform as a teacher and coach to impact a very diverse group of students, especially during integration. Wilfret Anderson was better known as “Ole Man” and “Coach” by his students and by his college friends as “McArthur”. He was also the only teacher and coach to carry a paddle in a holster at work.
Additionally, for many years, he could have easily been the face of his favorite chewing tobacco company, Red Man. He loved to get a chew. During the summer months, Coach Anderson invested a significant amount of time painting houses with his four boys as his painting crew.
Coach Anderson was a man with many talents, and he wore many hats. Known as a reasonable disciplinarian, he always maintained a very uplifting, encouraging, and humorous personality. He was by far an extended version of a people-person and always concerned about the well-being of his family, church members, co-workers, and students. He will be missed by many but never forgotten.
Wilfret Lewis Anderson, Sr. leaves to cherish his memories: a devoted wife of 25 years, Geneva Hunt-Anderson; seven children, Cynthia (Travis, Sr.) Ricks of Detroit, MI, Lynette Myles of Chicago, IL, and Derrick Martin of Burbank, CA. Four sons were born to the matrimony of Wilfret Lewis and Shirley Anderson Spann: Wilfret (Cynthia) Anderson, Jr. of Hollywood, FL, Marcus J. Anderson of Jackson, MS, Kenneth Anderson of Jackson MS, Dr. Brian Anderson of Jackson, MS and grandchildren, Wilfret A. Anderson, NeAisha M. Anderson, Dr. Brandon M. Anderson, Alexxis Anderson, Victoria Anderson, Cameron Smith Anderson, Jordan Josiah Anderson, Travis Ricks, Jr., Terrance Ricks, Teara Ricks, Larry Bell, Stephanie Bell, Kristina Bell, Jay Jones Stingley, Jordan Martin, Michael Martin, Nicholas Martin, and Patrick Martin; forever cherished as “Brother” by his sisters and brothers: Barbara Jean Anderson (preceded him in death), Beverly (Henry) Cotton of Jackson, MS, Marian Johnson of Memphis, TN, Shirley Triggs of Jackson, MS, Winston Anderson of Jackson, MS, Robert Anderson of Jackson, MS, Reverend Alvin D. Anderson of Atlanta, GA, Jose’ (Patricia) Anderson of Jackson, MS, Dr. Albenny (Helen) Price of Atlanta, GA (nephew) reared as a son; a close family member: Eddie “John Wayne” Dawson; best friend/brother-in-law Coach Henry Cotton; great coaching friends, Coach Leon Campbell and Coach Stanley Blackmon; and a host of beloved great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
Visitation will be Friday, August 13, 2021 at Westhaven Funeral Home from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Family and friends hour will be Friday, August 13, 2021 from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at Black’s Chapel M.B. Church, 3425 Robinson Street, Jackson, MS 39209. Graveside services will be Saturday, August 14, 2021 at 11:00 a.m., Garden Memorial Park, 8001 Highway 49, Jackson, MS 39209.