By Joe Darby
I’d like to pay tribute to a good friend, a great guy and a wonderful neighbor.
Police Officer Kerry Anderson died early Friday morning, March 17, of a heart attack and we are sure going to miss him.
Kerry lived with his beloved spouse, Annette, one house down from us. In spite of the best efforts of Annette, a nurse, and fellow police officers and first responders, Kerry lost his battle against the heart attack.
He worked for the state, primarily as a campus police officer at NSU, but often performed other law enforcement work with other agencies in the Natchitoches area. He was well known throughout our community and boy, did he have lots of friends. Every time Mary and I would go out to eat with Kerry and Annette at least six or eight people would come up to him during the meal, just to say hello.
This was not the first marriage for Kerry or Annette, but I do believe they found their soul mates in each other. Their years together were short, but very full. They loved the road. Many times I would see Kerry in his yard and he’d tell me they’d just gotten back from lunch. “Where did you go?” I’d inquire. More often than not his answer would be something like “Shreveport.”
They had similar interests and loved doing the same things. Kerry would go online to see what acts were coming up at the Louisiana casinos and soon they’d be off to Shreveport, Lake Charles or Baton Rouge to see some classic country and western group in action. They’d also hit the road to attend drag races in Texas or just go for long drives on their Harley motorcycles on the backroads of north Louisiana or southern Arkansas. Annette reintroduced Kerry to the joys of motorcycling a couple of years ago when she bought him the Harley.
And Kerry loved his vehicles. On any given day you could see him in his driveway, washing his big pickup truck or Annette’s little sedan, keeping them sparkling clean.
He was a darned good cop and very proud of his profession. Coming from a police family, Kerry took his responsibility as a law enforcement officer very seriously. He was often an intense man, but had a little mischievous smile that let you knew he appreciated the humor and irony of life. And what a neighbor. There was no favor asked of Kerry that he didn’t fulfill. He’d get our mail and newspapers when we were away and they even fed and let out our dogs on one of our trips.
Kerry was in his 50s and went far too soon. I know in the coming days I’m going to look at his house and expect to see him, sitting in his comfortable outdoor lounge chair drinking a beer, or maybe being busy washing his truck. But those are sights I’ll never see again, darn it.
So I’ll lift a beer of my own and say, “Here’s to you, my friend. I know you’ll be on patrol up above, probably helping St. Peter guard the gates. And especially here’s to you Annette, who must go on without him. You brought a lot of joy into your man’s life in recent years. And he sure loved you for it.”