Utah ski industry pioneer A.W. “Woody” Anderson, who helped grow the sport along the Wasatch Front during the 1960s and 70s, died earlier this week at his home in Idaho. He was 87.
Anderson participated or worked in every aspect of the winter sport, starting out as a ski racer, becoming a beloved instructor and shop owner and eventually buying his own resort in Idaho.
“He couldn’t wait for wintertime and the first snow,” his wife Sandy Anderson told the Times-News in Twins Falls, after her husband died on Oct. 6.
Alexander Woodruff Anderson was born June 7, 1932, in Salt Lake City and grew up attending schools in the state’s capital city. He served two years in the U.S. Army, where he was stationed in Germany and skied competitively for the military. He returned to Utah and graduated from the University of Utah with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and biological sciences.
He began teaching skiing in 1947, with the Deseret News Ski School. A year later, he joined the Brighton Ski School and served as the assistant director from 1954 to 1962.
He owned and operated the Wood Haus Ski and Sports Shop in Brighton from 1956 to 1963. He and his former wife, Ginny, then moved to Park City where they owned and operated the Minor’s Find Ski and Sport Shop from 1963 to 1967.
Anderson became the ski school director at Park City Resort in 1964 and was named its general manager a year later. He served in both capacities until 1971, when he was appointed vice president and general manager, ultimately playing an integral part in the early development of Park City Resort.
Anderson and his wife, Sandy, purchased the Pomerelle Mountain Resort, Albion, Idaho, in 1973. He also was president of Magic Mountain Ski Resort near Twin Falls, Idaho, from 1977 to 1984.
Anderson also served as a special envoy from Idaho for the 2002 Winter Olympics, in Salt Lake City.
For his lifetime of contributions to the sport, Anderson was inducted into the Professional Ski Instructors of America Hall of Fame in 2004 and the Intermountain Ski Hall of Fame in 2007.
Anderson is survived by his wife, Sandy, his four children, three stepchildren, 12 grandchildren and one great-grandson.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, at Rasmussen-Wilson in Burley, Idaho. In lieu of flowers, the family is suggesting donations to the Alf Engen Ski Museum Foundation’s “Education Fund” for youth skiing at P.O. Box 980187, Park City, Utah, 84098.