Henry P. “Corky” Anderson
December 3, 1942-February 23, 2019
Henry P. “Corky” Anderson, III, passed away on February 23, 2019 at Scripps Hospital in La Jolla, California. He was 76 years old.
He was born to Hank & Claudine Anderson and raised on a farm in West Tulare, therefore agriculture was in his blood. Corky graduated from Tulare Union High School and attended College of the Sequoias, and Fresno State where he played football. Corky came from a family of farmers and at 13 he started hauling hay with his cousin Bob Anderson. The business did so well he bought his first car at age 14.
Corky moved to Orland in the 60's after college where he met Ken Puryear, the two became good friends and lifelong business partners. After forming a partnership for Pioneer Nursery together they developed and patented three pistachio varieties and introduced the “California Pistachio” to the country. They later relocated the nursery to Delano, and the again to McFarland, CA. People thought they were crazy but look around pistachio trees are everywhere.
Corky devoted his life to fighting for California farmers and to the Pistachio industry. He and his wife Betty hosted numerous events to bring the attention of the plight of farmers in the valley and to give them voice. He was instrumental in bringing then Presidential Candidate Donald J. Trump to Tulare to have an open discussion about water and environmental issues.
For Corky one of the highlights of his year was his annual hunting trip to Colorado with the guys, not much hunting but a lot of good food and wine. Another highlight was hosting an annual Christmas party for his friends and family. He enjoyed playing golf, going deep sea fishing and gambling. He was always up for an adventure even gold mining and horse racing; he owned one horse named “Shelly's Career” he named after his daughter, the only problem was the horse was a gelding! He loved spending time with family and his many friends, some of the happiest times were spent barbequing in his backyard.
Corky was not one to talk about himself and his many accomplishments but be did many wonderful things for the community and the people he loved. He was a man of honor – true to his family and friends- true to his word. He lived his life and each day with enthusiasm and joy. He will truly be missed by all whose lives he touched.
Corky is survived by a family who loved him dearly; his wife of 30 years Betty Jean Anderson and son Eric Harmon, Tulare; a daughter Shelly Anderson Bettencourt and her husband Roman and two grandsons Skyler and Hunter, Visalia; Brother Doug Anderson and his wife Marcia, Tulare; Sister Debi Sue Mitchell and her husband Earl, Eagle, Idaho, Nieces; Kristy (Frans) Bloom, Stephanie Hammock and Jill (Phillip) Benedetti, Nephews; Patrick Mares (Christine), Jeff Anderson, Earl J. “Mitch” Mitchell and his Pioneer Nursery business partner of over 50 years Ken Puryear.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to Kevin Blackwell and the office staff at Pioneer Nursery.
Celebration of Life will be held Wednesday, March 20, 2019 at 11:00 AM at the International Agriculture Center, Heritage Complex 4500 South Laspina Street, Tulare, CA.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the American Heart Association, Wounded Warriors or the charity of your choosing.