Roy Anderson

March 1, 1944 - December 22, 2017
Shelbyville, MI



Wednesday, December 27, 2017
5:00 PM to 7:00 PM EST
Martin Reformed Church
1073 West Allegan St
Martin, MI 49070


Thursday, December 28, 2017
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM EST
Martin Reformed Church


Thursday, December 28, 2017
11:00 AM to 12:00 PM EST
Martin Reformed Church
1073 West Allegan Street
Martin, MI 49070


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

National Multiple Sclerosis Society
Web Site

Shelbyville United Methodist Church
938 124th Ave
Shelbyville, MI 49344


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

Plainwell Flowers
117 S. Main
Plainwell, MI 49080
(269) 685-8055
Driving Directions
Web Site

River Rose
(269) 692-3951

Life Story / Obituary


When reflecting on the life of Roy Anderson, it is easy to see that he was a lover of people. He was known for his quick wit and timing, and with his warm and genuine personality he drew others near with ease. It was easy to see that Roy adored his family, and he loved nothing more than being a husband and father to the ones he treasured most. Selfless in everything he did, he was willing to do what he could to help others in ways both great and small. Life wasn’t without times of trial for Roy, but he faced whatever came his way with both strength and courage. Deeply loved, he will be forever missed.

During the first half of the 1940s, the eyes of our nation are focused overseas as WWII raged on. Countless young servicemen and women were serving while those who remained stateside became familiar with rationing on common goods like rubber, tin, sugar, and coffee. Amidst this eventful time was a time of great anticipation in the lives of Emanuel and Marian Anderson as they were eagerly anticipating the birth of their new baby as March appeared on the horizon in Plainwell, Michigan, in 1944. The big day finally arrived when the baby boy they named Roy Lee drew his first breath on March 1st in William Crispe Hospital. He was raised in the family home in Shelbyville alongside his sisters, and as the only boy in the family he was not only dearly loved but spoiled as well.

In many ways Roy was a typical young boy of his generation. His father worked as a milk hauler while his mother was a teacher. Because Roy’s paternal Granddad was from Sweden, the family became accustomed to Swedish traditional holiday cuisine that wasn’t always favorable with Roy and his sisters. It has been said that he was a regular “Dennis the Menace” as Roy was forever playing pranks on his sisters and the townspeople. There was even the time his older sister Nancy was poked with a stick and needed stitches. Roy was involved in 4-H, which led him into farming, He needed to milk his cows before high school so his involvement in sports was limited. Roy was able to play the trumpet in the school band and also played a jester in the school play. Acting seemed to come naturally for him. Roy went on to graduate from Martin Public High School in 1962.

New and exciting changes were in store for Roy when he met the woman of his dreams. Her name was Jill Catton Ray, and they met at a Monte Carlo party hosted by the Kalamazoo Singles Club in April of 1968. Roy played gambling games with “play money,” which was just fine as long as Roy wasn’t using any real dollars. Roy and Jill were a perfect match as he was more laid back while she was hyper. They truly enjoyed being together, and on April 12, 1969, they were married in an intimate ceremony at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Kalamazoo, primarily family and a few close friends. They then took a memorable honeymoon to Bermuda, which was among the greatest memories for Roy.

There was never anything of greater importance to Roy than his family. He adopted Jill’s preschool aged son, Jeff, and when Jeff was 10 his brother, Blaine, was born. Finally, Jeff’s sister, Leslie, came along, and their family of five was complete. Roy was also very close with his parents and his sisters and brothers-in-law. When returning home Roy would say, “Viar Hemma,” which in Swedish means, “We are home,” (pronounced as La we a hemma in English). He loved spoiling Jill with lavish gifts, but he did make a game of getting best sale prices.

Throughout his life Roy was a hard worker. He spent many years working as a dairy farmer, but when his health no longer allowed he put the cows on the auction block. Roy had also been a member of the Dairy Association and the Farm Bureau. He then studied real estate and appraisal, receiving his sales, appraisal, and broker’s license. Roy enjoyed the part of working with his clients after being on his own in his farming work. He was successful, too, as he received numerous sales awards and trips for his achievement. Roy’s work did take up much of his time, but he did take time to relax on vacation at Gun Lake cottages. He also had a boat with his brother-in-law, Ted Nicolai. Roy retired one year ago.

Throughout his life Roy was a man of many interests who was always busy. He was an avid NASCAR fan who made many trips to raceways far and near. Roy’s favorite driver was Mark Martin, and he even did some racing himself. Roy raced his mother’s car at Martin Speedway when it opened. Over the years he won many races and was invited to participate in the speedway’s 50th anniversary a couple years ago. When he had his dairy barn there were many kitties that found the milk, and Roy loved these kitties like they were his pets. He treated them with veterinary medicine if they were sick, and later in life his favorite ones were Chloe and Marme. During his retirement years he stayed busy keeping up with the farmhouse with things like eliminating as many pesky varmints that were menace as he could. Roy enjoyed planting a garden, putting up tomatoes, and of course a lot of doctor appointments kept him busy as well. Within his community he was a board chair at Shelbyville United Methodist Church. Roy was highly intelligent and an avid reader, usually reading novels and biographies. Everyone knew not to interrupt him when reading. He loved his loud tropical shirts, and he fit in well at his Florida condo.

All who knew Roy Anderson would agree that there was no one like him. He was one of the most selfless people. He had an easy going personality and was filled with all kinds of information to share. Roy told the funniest stories, and he was social, outgoing, and a friend to many. He was a family man through and through, and a friend of Roy’s was a friend for life. He will never be forgotten.

Roy Lee Anderson, of Shelbyville passed away on Friday, December 22, 2017 at the age of 73. Roy is survived by his wife of 48 years, Jill Ann; three children: Jeffrey Stetson Anderson, of Otsego; Blaine (Jodi Peralta) Anderson, of Hastings; Leslie Marian (Neil) Pohl, of Otsego; six grandchildren: Carly, Sydney, Halley, Kalib, Pyper, and Ivy Jean. He is also survived by his three sisters: Nancy Nicolai, of Shelbyville; Barb (Jim) Keyzer, of Shelbyville; and Kathy Anderson, of Kalamazoo; and several nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends on Wednesday from 5 to 7pm at the Martin Reformed Church. The family will again greet friends on Thursday one hour prior to the service starting at 10am. A memorial service will be held on Thursday at 11am at the church.

Please visit Roy’s webpage at www.lifestorynet.com where you can read his life story, sign the guestbook, and share a memory. In lieu of flowers donation can be made to the Shelbyville United Methodist and National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

The family is being assisted by the Life Story Funeral Home, 120 S. Woodhams, Plainwell, MI 49080 9269-685-5881).