|Birth: ||Dec. 7, 1913|
|Death: ||Sep. 15, 2007|
E. Richard Anesi was born in Central City, Colo., on Dec. 7, 1913, the son of Pietro Anesi and Dominica Moser, both immigrants from the Val de Pine area of the Tyrolean Alps in Austria (now Italy).
He grew up and attended school in the Durango, Colo. area. He graduated from Durango High School in 1931 in three years but attended for one more year because of the depression and lack of work. He went to Fort Lewis College, then located at Hesperus, Colo. from 1932 to 1934. He spent the next 15 months in the CCC's in Mesa Verde, Durango and Redvale, Colo. camps as Company Clerk and Mess Sergeant. He then went to Colorado State College of A&M from 1935 to 1937 from which he graduated in 1937 with a B.S. degree in Civil and Irrigation Engineering. He worked his way through both Fort Lewis and Colorado A&M.
After a short period of employment with the State of Colorado, the gold mines at Telluride, and the Indian Service at Ignacio, he went to work for the Bureau of Reclamation in Durango during the early years and transferred to the Region VI office in Billings, Montana, in April, 1950, where he remained until his retirement in 1975 after more than 38 years of federal service. He was Chief of the Bureau of Reclamation Reservoir Regulation Branch in Region VI from 1962 until retirement. Region VI was comprised of a four state area, North and South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana and of the Missouri River Basin above Sioux City, Iowa. During that time he was involved with controlling major floods on the Missouri River and tributaries above Fort Peck Resevoir and later on Yellowstone River tributaries.
In October, 1942, he enlisted in the United States Navy and served as a Lt. (Sr. Grade) with the 110th Navy Contraction Battalion (Seabees) at Eniwetok in the Marshall Islands in the Pacific and as Public Works officer at Cecil Field Airbase in Jacksonville, Fla. He said he had a little argument with an exploding ammunition ship at Eniwetok and came out second best. As a result he spent the next ten months in various navy hospitals and the following 30 years wearing a steel back brace that ran from his tailbone to his neck. Upon his honorable release to inactive duty in January, 1946, he returned to work for the Bureau of Reclamation in Durango, Colo.
He married Thelma Roald in Billings on Oct. 17, 1953. She passed away on Dec. 27, 1971. He later married Marjorie Barker Stern, on Oct. 9, 1974. She passed away on Oct. 28, 1993.
In 1971, Dick prepared the major part of the government's evidence in the case of the Federal Power Commission against Montana Power Company regarding headwater power benefits accruing to Montana Power Company as a result of the Bureau of Reclamation's operation of Canyon Ferry Reservoir. In 1971 and again in 1972, he was the government's principal witness before a Federal hearing in Washington, D.C. in the case. The hearing resulted in a judgment of $3,330,000 against Montana Power Company for power benefits received during the period 1956 through 1970. Dick was awarded salary increases in both 1971 and 1972 for his part in this action.
During his employment he was a Registered Engineer in Colorado in his early years and later in Montana. He was a member of the Billings Elks Lodge, American Federation of Government Employees and National Federation of Government Employees.
In August, 1994, he was cited by the President of Fort Lewis College for having made the largest single individual donation to the Fort Lewis College Foundation in the history of the school. A part of the original donation was used to establish the E. Richard and Marjorie Anesi Scholarship fund. He continued to annually contribute to the fund. Every year, one graduate of Durango High School is awarded a four year scholarship to Fort Lewis College with Anesi scholarships. In 1996, he was named alumnus of the year, the highest award given by the foundation.
Dick loved to work in his beautiful yard. A small forked stream with four bridges ran 500 feet through a shaded glen on two adjacent properties. Passers-by often mistook the adjoining properties for public picnic grounds. The shaded lots formed a backdrop for a local photographer's wedding pictures. It was a common sight during the summer to see a whole wedding party traipsing through the hollow until the photographer devised a shortcut. He placed couples in front of a photograph of the yard blown up on a wall of his studio. Artists sketched the scene. For several years a jewelry ad portrayed a young couple walking over to one of the bridges. In the summer of 1970, the Billings Gazette included an article about the yard along with its annual write-up of beautiful homes in town.
After Dick retired, he and Marjorie traveled extensively. At least two times to each of various Hawaiian Island, Alaska, Mexico, Florida, the Bahamas, California, the West Coast, Colorado, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio and Michigan. For six years before Marjorie passed away, they spent every spring and winter in Las Vegas playing the slots. They took advantage of various airline frequent flyer programs.
Mr. Anesi passed away on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2007, at Aspen Meadows.
He was a part of four families. His parents preceded him in death. His mother, widowed for the third time at age 42, continued to raise 12 children for 20 years until they reached adulthood and left the nest. Dick had ten sisters and one brother; Flora (John) Petric, Mary (Louis) Loback, Lena (Clinton) Slover, Ida (Edmund) Bronson, Mary (Lester) Reuter, Lillian (James) Sanders, Minnie (Paul) McKinney, Kathleen (Cecil) Sidwell, Rose (Roger) Ellis, Angie (Donald) Harris and Albino Anesi. Only Angie Harris of Marvel, Colo., survives him. He is also survived by brother-in-law Roger Ellis of Redmond, Calif., sisters-in-law Betty Anesi of Portland, Mich., Ethel (Kale) Rogers of Billings, Frances (Joe) Pisk of Glendive, Mary Lou Roald of Gresham, Ore. and Delaine (Donald) Conley of Grand Forks, N.D.; stepson, Richard (Rosiland) Stern of Fort Smith and 75 nephews and nieces.
Services for Richard will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. at Dahl Funeral Chapel. Internment will be at Sunset Memorial Gardens with military honors.
Memorials can be made to the Richard and Marjorie Anesi Scholarship Term Fund No. 41259, c/o Fort Lewis College, Durango, CO 81301, or the charity of one's choice.
Pietro Anesi (1872 - 1919)
Domenica Anesi (1885 - 1945)
Marjorie F Barker Anesi (1923 - 1993)
Lena Belle Anesi Slover (1910 - 1963)*
E Richard Anesi (1913 - 2007)
Kathleen A Anesi Sidwell (1922 - 1992)*
Sunset Memorial Gardens
Created by: James Seidelman
Record added: Sep 16, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 21575066