Philanthropist Harvey Anderson dies at 86

Mary Chao, @marychaostyle  February 14, 2015

 

Harvey Anderson, a well-known philanthropist and former president of Rochester Coca-Cola bottling, has died after a brief illness in Bradenton, Florida. He was 86.

Known for the student-athlete scholarship under his name, as well as his work for myriad local service organizations, including the Rochester Press-Radio Club, Anderson was active until he came down with two recent infections at his home in Florida, said his daughter Holly Creek, of Nothnagle Realtors.

"He was a great business man," Creek said. "I owe a lot of my success to him."

Anderson's death comes at a bittersweet time for Creek as she just won the award from Nothnagle Realtors as the top producer in sales in 2014. She credits her father with teaching her about goal-setting and the power of marketing.

"He was into marketing, big time," Creek said, adding that he helped grow the family business with his marketing savvy in advertising and promotions.

Rochester Coca-Cola Bottling was founded in 1906 by Anderson's grandfather, Alexander. During Harvey Anderson's reign, the company branched out to vending and other food and drink retail, Creek said.

Creek recalls that her father spent much of his time involved in civic activities, giving back to the community he grew up in. He was a graduate of Irondequoit High School and Lehigh University.

"Harvey Anderson was deeply involved in our community, in all areas of amateur and professional sports a well as his dedication to local charities" said Tony Wells, a sports marketer who had served on the board of Rochester Community Baseball with Anderson in the 1980s.

The Harvey E. Anderson scholarship was established in 1988 and continues today. It awards student athletic and academic achievement and high moral principles, Wells said. Four scholarships are awarded to male and female athletes each year, with two one-time awards of $1,500 each and two renewable awards of $1,500 a year. The athletes do not have to be the best in their sport, but have to show 110 percent dedication, Wells said.

Anderson was well-established in many social circles but "treated everyone equally," said Gary Smith, a retired radio announcer who knew him.

"Harvey is one of the classiest gentlemen I ever had the pleasure to know," Smith said.

In his retirement in Florida, Anderson started new businesses and was active in sports until he passed away, Creek said.

Anderson is survived by Creek and her husband, Paul; son Thomas and his wife, Holly; seven grandchildren; and 10 great- grandchildren. The family will greet friends at 129 Yacht Club Place in Cortez, Florida, from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday.

MCHAO@DemocratandChronicle.com