Rodrick “Rick” Brian Anderson

June 02, 1946 - November 10, 2023


Obituary For Rodrick “Rick” Brian Anderson

Madison- Rodrick “Rick” Brian Anderson, age 77, passed away unexpectedly on November 10, 2023. He was born on June 2, 1946, to Reginald and Ethel (Martinson) Anderson in Madison, WI. Rick proudly served his country in the Vietnam War, taking home multiple services medals including two Purple Hearts and the Army Commendation Medal for his acts of heroism. He was a member of the V.F.W. 8483 and the American Legion 481. Ricko was quoted “I should have been dead on February 24, 1966, so every day after that was a bonus. It’s been a GREAT trip. Always remember: Keep smiling and have a great life. I tried to. Things could be worse.”

Knowing that life was a gift, Rick continued his dedication to service by joining the Madison Fire Department in 1968. He retired after 32 years of service in 1999 as a Lieutenant at Station #10. It was a career and brotherhood he truly loved. He was a staple at his morning coffee groups and retiree events where he loved to hear about his friends’ lives and talk about his grandsons.

Rick was a very passionate man who loved finding the beauty in life. He was very generous and showed his family how to love and take care of one another. He consistently cared for others more than he worried about himself. Rick also displayed an incredible work ethic that he intentionally imparted on his kids. He always made time for his grandsons, especially at their sporting events as he was their #1 fan. People knew “Grandpa Rick” and know that the ice rinks will sadly be a little too quiet from now on. He had a special place in his heart for animals and donated to Occupaws and animal shelters. Rick also loved to travel, especially to Hawaii, loved to read, solve crossword puzzles, play cribbage, and do a little gambling here and there.

Rick sadly leaves behind his partner of 27 years, Rose Derra; children, Kari (Eugene Gaffney) Olson, Sheena (Shawn) Behnke; grandchildren, Calvin, and Brady Behnke; brother, Rodney M. (Victoria) Olson; cousin, Donald (Joyce M.) Knudtson; lifelong friend John (Sue) Birkinbine; grand dog, Tucker and many nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends.

He is preceded in death by his parents and first wife Barbara Anderson.

A Celebration of Rick’s life will be held from 1:00 to 4:00 on Sunday, November 26, 2023, at The Esquire Club, 1025 N. Sherman Ave. Madison, WI. Military Honors will begin at 1:30pm.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Occupaws or your favorite animal shelter.

To view and sign this guestbook, please visit:

Ryan Funeral Home & Cremation Services

2418 N Sherman Ave



26 Nov

Celebration of Life Gathering

01:00 PM - 04:00 PM

Kavanaugh's Esquire Club 1025 N Sherman Ave Madison, WI Get Directions »
26 Nov

Military Honors

01:30 PM - 01:45 PM

Kavanaugh's Esquire Club 1025 N Sherman Ave Madison, WI Get Directions »
by Obituary Assistant

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  • December 05, 2023

    Rickey was the son of Bud and Ethel Anderson Ethel was my father's sister. I baby sat when he was a young toddler while his mother and father worked. I lost track of Ricky and his mother and father, for I left Wisconsin and went in the Marine Corps. Ricky, I heard join the military and was given I think a Purple Heart and a bronze star. I heard he was a great fireman and served well. He was an honorable citizen. I'm I'm sure he'll be missed by his friends. I know I wished I would stay in contact with him. God bless him and love him and watch over him.

  • November 27, 2023

    I remember Rick from our days at Sacred Hearts Grade School and Sun Prairie High School. We were both on the SPHS football teams in 1962 and 1963. He played next to me, and we made a good team. Unfortunately, I lost track of Rick until our class 50th reunion. It was wonderful to see him again. As his obituary says, he was an all-around great guy. I am immensely proud and lucky to have known him. Even though I have not seen him very much in the past years, my world is a sadder place knowing that Rick is not in it anymore. God Bless.

  • November 18, 2023

    We have so many wonderful memories of Rick, full of laughter and tears of joy. Bowling at Prairie Lanes, cheering on our women's slowpitch team and countless events at Rick and Ole's. Shenanigans with our neighbor Tom Farmer and Rick, brought us close. You were the best Rick, and I know you truly will be missed. Sending our condolences to Rosie, Kari and Eugene, Sheena, Shawn, Calvin and Brady.

  • November 18, 2023

    Rick was my brother, my fondest memories of Rick and I living in the old farm house on the hill. We both went to Sun Prairie High, went to Vietnam, and joined the Madison Fire Dept. I am going to miss him. Love ya Ricko, RIP.

  • November 17, 2023

    Rick grew up in Sun Prairie, WI. attending Sacred Hearts School where he graduated in the 10th grade. My dad, Jim Reininger, coached Rick on the Sacred Hearts basketball team. The friends of Sun Prairie that knew Rick express sympathy during this sad time

  • November 16, 2023

    I knew Rick and he was a kind and generous man. My sympathy to Rose and his family. Fly high with the Angels Rick ! Marsha Bonano Hacker

  • November 16, 2023

    With our deepest sympathy in your loss...Rick was a gentle man with a very loving heart! Dick and Dannie

  • November 16, 2023

    I worked with Rick and he was everything his obituary said. He was a dedicated member of the MFD. he left this world too soon. Terry Rice

  • November 16, 2023

    I am so very sorry to hear of this. My deepest sympathy to all. I'll likely be there for the celebration of life. I have some good memories of this man I called friend. Tam Rosemeyer.

  • November 15, 2023

    I didn't know Rick sounds like he was a wonderful person, I'm sorry for your loss RIP


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    Heavenly Grace Spray was sent for Rodrick “Rick” Brian Anderson - November 25, 2023

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what our families say

Tiffany Foster went out of her way to fulfill all my requests, talked me through problems I was facing, and tried to make me feel as comfortable as possible when I was a wreck, totally crushed, and I thank her with all of my heart for that.

James S. | July 2020

The professional manner of the staff made a difficult time a little easier.

Lynda R. | July 2020

Services provided for both parents were perfect, on time, and no issues. Brenda is awesome and strong!

Michael M. | July 2020

Skyler was absolutely amazing. She was so caring and helpful through this whole process. She even went above and beyond to meet with us in DeForest and even to make a stop at our home to drop off or pick up anything needed. While it was a small gesture, it was so helpful and greatly appreciated.

Brooke S. | Dec. 2020

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