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Story by Kimberly West - The Oregon Herald
Published on Friday January 14, 2011 - 2:06 PM
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Cowlitz County Sheriff's Deputy Dave Anderson, 37, died of a heart attack as he was playing a game of pickup basketball at Mount Solo Middle School.

Deputy Anderson was with the Sheriff's Department for three years, serving 10 years prior to that as a member of the corrections staff at Cowlitz County Jail.

"Everyone around here is walking around pretty numb," Sheriff Mark Nelson said Friday morning.

Anderson is survived by his wife, Amy, and three children: Feleesha, 16, Jake, 8, and Emily, 5.

Anderson collapsed and medics from Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue's Baker's Corner station could not revive him, Nelson said. He was pronounced dead at St. John Medical Center, where between 20 and 30 deputies gathered when they heard the news, Nelson added.

Other local law enforcement agencies handled sheriff's calls Thursday night.

"He is just an awesome guy with a hard work ethic," Nelson said, adding that just last week other staff members were praising him for working on a timber theft case.

"Everyone loved and respected Dave. Dave was a giver. He'd always volunteer to help," never even eschewing routine tasks such as serving civil papers, Nelson said.

"He sort of adhered to that old rule, "If you can't get out of it, get into it. He always did far more than his share,' " the sheriff said.

"We just wanted to let them know it is OK for them to grieve and that we're there for each other."

"We had people not only planning to be in the procession but were going to assist with traffic control. It certainly hit us in that spot where it hurts," Nelson said.

"We have one laid to rest and now here we are planning for another one."