GUNNISON—Andersons for three generations have liked to do stuff “on the side,” instead of sitting behind desks.
For 35 years, Steve Anderson of Gunnison (turning 81 in July) has been cleaning carpets, along with his son Randon. The Anderson tradition comes from a line of breadwinners having “side jobs” that take on a life of their own.
Steve was born to Lawrence and Rebecca Anderson on July 18, 1940 in Provo. He has two brothers and one sisters. He graduated from Gunnison Valley High School in 1958, then got a degree from Snow College and served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Eastern Canada Mission (President Thomas Monson was his mission president).
He worked in Salt Lake City as a draftsman but didn’t like working behind a desk all day. He got a master’s degree in Education at Utah State, and taught for five years in the Granite School District, but the outdoors kept calling him, and he went to work on road construction projects.
In 1982, he wanted to have something to do on the weekends, and to involve his kids. He chose carpet cleaning. His son Randon remembers when he was in third grade (when he was eight years old), his job was to carry the hot water in buckets to his dad during carpet cleaning. “I loved being with dad,” Randon says.
Steve got a utility van to transport his carpet cleaning tools, and the carpet cleaning business evolved to include flood cleanup in the 1990s, with Randon handling most of the flood cleanups, starting his own company with SOS Flood Pros in 2006. Randon is also a restoration contractor. He cleans up after floods, fire, smoke, mold and other disasters.
The pattern of fathers working side jobs, and children helping, began with Steve’s father, Lawrence, who was a physics and art teacher at Gunnison Valley High School, who liked to paint signs on the side.
Steve’s grandfather Frank was Ephraim’s sheriff, and he also had an 80-acre farm on the east side of Ephraim and later on was a Forest Ranger. Frank had nine children.
Steve’s father Lawrence was a math and art teacher at Gunnison Valley High School and also loved to paint signs. Steve also went many times with his dad when he painted signs.
Later, Steve would take his dad Lawrence with him on carpet cleaning jobs, and his dad said, “My job is now to man the flyswatter while you clean carpets.”
The other tradition of working until you died, is also a trait Steve apparently follows, because he’s still helping his son Randon clean carpets even though he’s approaching his 81st birthday in July. “I want to keep cleaning carpets until the end,” he quipped. Staying active until the end is a big deal for Andersons.
Steve has been involved in community service, loves to fish, and has a boat to go out on Emerald Lake up Duck Fork, hunt pheasants and deer, and, of course, play with and spoil his grandkids.
Likewise, Randon says his children like to be involved in his cleaning, so it looks like the traditions will continue.