Dr. Wilton T. Anderson, Sr Nov. 29, 1916 – Nov. 15, 2012
Wilton Thomas Anderson was born in Richland, Texas on Nov. 29, 1916, to Ruth Skipper and William Nix Anderson. He died peacefully on Nov. 15, 2012, in Oklahoma City, just two weeks short of his 96th birthday.
His parents moved to Cherokee, Okla., in 1921, where Wilton attended public schools from grades 1 through 12. He graduated from Cherokee High School in 1933.
Wilton began his college experience in 1933 at Northwestern State University, in Alva, Okla., and in 1938 earned a BS degree in economics and education. He then pursued a Masters in Commercial Education and graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1942. Wilton later completed his Doctorate in Education from the University of Colorado in 1953.
Gwendolyn Hollis and Wilton Anderson were married Dec. 10, 1938. From this marriage two children were born, a daughter Kaye Lynn Anderson and a son Wilton Thomas Anderson Jr. Gwen and Wilton enjoyed 62 years of marriage until her death in 2001.
Known throughout his illustrious teaching career as an “Accounting Evangelist,” Dr. Anderson influenced the lives and careers of thousands of students, faculty members whom he recruited, and fellow accounting educators. Wilton taught at several colleges and universities including: Northern Oklahoma College, Tonkawa, 1940-46; Bowling Green (KY) College of Commerce in 1946-47; University of Colorado, Boulder, 1947-57; Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, 1960-1982, where he also served as the Head of the School of Accounting; and the University of Hawaii, Honolulu, 1982-83. From 1957 through 1960, Wilton was Director of Education of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants in New York, where he supervised the preparation and grading of the Uniform CPA Examination used in all 50 states.
In addition to his teaching assignments, Anderson’s professional memberships included the Oklahoma Education Association, American Accounting Association, and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. The American Accounting Association elected Dr. Anderson as national vice-president and later as president of that organization. He was a founder and organizer of the Federation of Schools of Accountancy, and organizer of the Oklahoma Accounting Educators Association.
During his career and afterward, Anderson received significant awards including Outstanding Teacher, OSU College of Business Administration, 1963, 1969 and 1970; as well as Outstanding Teacher, Oklahoma State University, 1970. He was the first recipient of the American Accounting Association’s Outstanding Accounting Educator Award in 1973. In 1974, he was named as an Outstanding Alumnus Northwestern Oklahoma State University, and in 1978, he was inducted into the Oklahoma Accounting Hall of Fame. Finally, in October, 1999, he was named to the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame. Every year since 1979, the OSU School of Accounting in the Spears School of Business has honored outstanding graduates as Distinguished Alumni at the Wilton T. Anderson Hall of Fame and Awards Banquet. This is event is dedicated to Dr. Wilton Anderson, the “founding father of the OSU School of Accounting.” It is the highest honor the School of Accounting can bestow on an alumnus.
In September 2002, Wilton found love again and married Jacqueline Lewis Adair. For a number of years, Jacquie and Wilton traveled extensively to both coasts to visit friends in Florida, Georgia, Texas and California. In addition, they made trips to New York City to see plays on Broadway, and took in many of the Lyric Theater productions in Oklahoma City.
Dr. Anderson was preceded in death by his sister, Marguerite, in 1940, his father in 1965, his mother in 1982, and his wife Gwendolyn in 2001. He is survived by his wife Jacqueline Adair, daughter K. Lynn Anderson and her husband, Glenn McLoughlin, son, W. Thomas Anderson, Jr., granddaughter Dana Clark and her husband Len, two grandsons, Aaron and Austin Anderson and their wives Dwi and Shanan, one great-grandson Zachary Clark and three great-granddaughters, Courtney Clark, and Dewi and Raine Anderson.
The family wishes to acknowledge the outstanding care Wilton received at The Renaissance of Stillwater and Bellevue Health & Rehabilitation in Oklahoma City. His family is indebted to “Wilton’s Angels,” his private duty caregivers who kept him smiling and happy throughout the last six months. They include: in Stillwater, Crystal Goforth, Ashley Schulze, Melissa Watkins, Charlotte Hager, and Wanda Pavlu; and in Oklahoma City, Rosa Standiford and Karlie Zahradka.
A memorial service to celebrate Wilton Anderson’s life will be held on Monday, December 10, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Stillwater. Pastors B. Gordon Edwards and Leah R. Hrachovec will officiate. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Wilton T. Anderson to the Oklahoma State University Foundation, 400 S. Monroe, Stillwater, OK 74074 and will benefit the School of Accounting; to the Stillwater Community Thanksgiving Dinner, c/o First United Methodist Church, 400 W. 7th, Stillwater, OK 74074; or to KOSU Radio, 303 PM Building, Stillwater, OK 74078.