Butch Anderson loved hot rods and motorcycles.
The 63-year-old Boise County man talked frequently about retiring, or at least slowing down a bit, to spend more time tinkering with his cars and riding his bikes, his sister said.
“But he just kept taking on more and more [work],” Suzy Davis said.
Anderson was a watermaster for numerous Boise County subdivisions and mountain towns in the region, his sister said. He served as a volunteer firefighter at Wilderness Ranch and was said to be the kind of neighbor who’d plow others’ driveways without being asked.
“I swear he worked 30 hours a day,” Wilderness Ranch Fire Chief Jim Bryant said.
He died from injuries he suffered in a crash in Southeast Boise on Friday night, his family and friends told the Statesman. Anderson, who was riding one of his Harleys, collided with another vehicle at South Eisenman and Gowen roads around 6 p.m.
According to police, a 2007 Chevrolet Silverado pulling a boat was traveling south on Eisenman Road and turning left onto Gowen Road. Anderson was traveling west on Gowen Road, approaching Eisenman, when the crash occurred.
The initial investigation found that the truck had a green light, Boise police told the Statesman. No citations have been issued. The investigation is ongoing.
All of Anderson’s friends are invited to a celebration of his life at his house at Wilderness Ranch from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday. Volunteer firefighters will park their trucks along the subdivision entrance and guide visitors up the mountain, Davis said.
“Butch is so well-liked and so well-known, we expect a huge crowd,” his sister said.
Anderson received a governor’s commendation for his role in rescuing a man who drove a bobcat over an embankment at Wilderness Ranch in July 2006, Bryant said. The crash caused a grass fire, which was as life-threatening to the driver as tumbling down the mountainside.
Bryant said Anderson saw the smoke, found where the cat tracks went off the road and hiked down to aid the victim. He quickly cleared the immediate area of flammable brush, but the fire was burning so fast toward them that a helicopter was dispatched to drop water on the area. Anderson protected the man from the wall of water that came down on them.
“He covered this guy with his body,” Bryant said. “That water is pretty heavy.”
Anderson was born in Nebraska. His family moved to Glenns Ferry in 1963. He is survived by his wife, two children, two stepchildren and 12 grandchildren.
Bryant said he plans to retire Anderson’s fire department number, 277.
“I’m retiring his number, and there won’t be another one,” he said.