William ‘Bill’ Anderson

Retired Chief of Institution Services/Associate Warden William Burke Anderson, Bill or Andy to family and friends, passed away Dec. 26, 2019, according to his family.

Man smiles, leaning into photo.
William Anderson

Anderson enlisted in the Air Force after graduating college, serving three tours of duty in Vietnam. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and over 100 air medals.

Anderson began his state career in 1973 in the Department of Social Services. He transferred as a Captain to the Department of Corrections Oct. 9, 1984.

He promoted to a Correctional Administrator in November 1990 and remained in this position until he retired Oct. 16, 2001.  He was appointed as a Retired Annuitant Correctional Administrator in October 2001, where he remained until September 2009.

“He championed many of the largest changes within California Corrections, including statewide improvements for inmates with physical and developmental disabilities and mentally ill inmates, despite eschewing the spotlight,” according to his family.

Retired Pelican Bay State Prison Warden Joe McGrath said, “Having a leader-mentor like Bill Anderson got me through more than he will ever know.”

Retired Chief of Institution Services Tim Rougeux said more credit should be given to Anderson. Rougeux replaced Anderson when he retired in 2001.

“So much of the work Bill accomplished and the changes he drove through state government are not known because he did not seek the spotlight or promotion,” he wrote. “Bill was a true servant for the most marginalized citizens of California.”