James Frazier Anderson, 81, of San Tan Valley, Arizona, the Oneonta High School graduate who went on to play on Syracuse University’s 1959 national championship football team, passed away from colon cancer on Jan. 4, 2019.

Born at home in a farmhouse in Treadwell, he was the son of the late Elmer and Margaret Anderson.

Jim led an amazing life! He attended Oneonta High School, Class of 1955, where he excelled as an athlete and was inducted in the Athletic Hall of Fame on Oct. 6, 2007.

Whether it was stickball with his lifelong best friend Nicky Lambros (who was inducted into OHS’ Athletic Hall the same year), boxing for the Golden Gloves Championship, breaking records in basketball, lettering in baseball or killing it on the football field, Jim “Andy” loved sports and competition!!!

After graduating from Oneonta, Jim went to Syracuse University where he came away with a degree and a national football championship with the Orangemen in 1959; he was a runningback on the undefeated team that beat the Texas Longhorns in the Cotton Bowl

Jim was a history teacher and coach (football and track) at Sayre Area High School in Pennsylvania and a real estate broker in Fort Worth, Texas, until his retirement in Phoenix, Ariz. The term retirement is used very loosely here as he never stopped working.

He had a talent and passion for gardening. It was not unusual to see him outside working. When he wasn’t working in the yard (he had an AMAZING garden), he was playing (or attempting to play) golf, cooking (the kitchen was always a disaster and the food was always delicious) or watching sports/news on TV (you could discuss politics at your own risk).

Jim was kind, funny, humble and loving. A quote that best describes him is: “I’m happy to be me. I may not be perfect, but I am honest, loving and real. I don’t try to be what I am not and I don’t try to impress anyone. I am me.”

Jim is survived by his wife of 58 years, Karen of San Tan Valley, Ariz.; sisters Patricia Robertson of Norwich, Joyce Kollgaard of Ballston Spa and Ginger Baker of Orlando, Fla.; daughters, Staci Kesel (Dan) of Huntington Beach, Calif., Terri Echols (Bret) of Colleyville, Texas, Trisha Euper (Michael) of Gilbert, Ariz.; and grandchildren, Meghan Kesel, Alyssa Kesel, Ally Echols, Madison Euper and Carson Euper.

A celebration of life ceremony will be at 11 a.m., June 22, at Bookhout Funeral Home, 357 Main St., Oneonta.

This article is published in partnership with AllOtsego.com