East High Flight of Remembrance

East Aviation students given airplane rides by friends of deceased teacher

Madison East High Senior Charles before his flight with Bob. Charles took classes from Erik Anderson and will join the Navy this summer.

Madison East High Senior Charles Lombardo before his flight with Bob Gilbreath. Charles took aviation classes from the late Erik Anderson and will join the Navy this summer.

A promise of the departed was fulfilled by his friends Saturday (May 11) as students of Erik Anderson were given airplane rides at the Dane Country Regional Airport. Anderson taught Aviation classes at Madison East High School and music at Sherman Middle School for 11 years before he died suddenly in his classroom last September.

Known by students and colleagues alike as having the unique ability to connect and motivate the most troubled students, Anderson reveled in teaching Aviation at East and promised to take any student that was interested for a ride in his airplane, which he kept at his home on the Waunakee Airport.

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Educator Erik Anderson Remembered During Hangar Service

A water cannon salute to Erik as Taps is played on the violin. N953BL, an RV-6 that Erik built with Bob Lang, basks in the sun. Photo by: Joseph van der Sanden

Family and friends of Kjell Erik Anderson gathered this weekend in Madison and Wautoma to pay one last tribute to a man who has filled so many people’s lives with happiness with his selfless personality and ways. On Saturday (September 29) over 300 people attended a memorial service in a hangar at the Dane County Regional Airport.

The event was filled with flourishes that would have made the Swede proud. Foremost, the event was held at an airport in a hangar which immediately put everyone at ease. A large spread of fruits, cheese, crackers, salami, and of course Swedish Meatballs was served. Just to make sure that no one took the session too seriously, ice cream was also dispensed.

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