By TYLER MASK
Saturday, Mineral Wells said goodbye to longtime Dunbar Neighborhood Council Director Levon Anders. He was born Aug. 25, 1936, in Point, Texas, and passed away Feb. 22, 2014, at Kindred Hospital in Fort Worth after a battle with cancer. Past Mineral Wells Mayor Clarence Holliman recalls that he did not go down without a fight.
“Levon just kept going, even though he knew how sick he was,” Holliman said. “He did not relate that to anyone except the Lord. He put others before himself.”
Over the past 40 years Anders committed his life to charity, particularly working with the DNC. During his tenure with the 501c3 non-profit organization, his team met countless oppositions with an unwillingness to quit. One of the most dire problems faced by DNC was the day the Dunbar Neighborhood Center burned.
On Dec. 4, 2008, the “age-old” building in the 700 block of South Oak Avenue burned to the ground. The facility served as a central hub for children's programs, food programs and housing for the homeless.
Although the facility was a total loss, Anders stood his ground and planned to rebuild a new community center right where the original center once stood.
“I remember when the DNC burned, the spouse of Anders' best friend Darlene Garrett said. “Immediately, Levon was the strength as we tried to reorganize and get going again.”
The location for planting a new building eventually changed, but the desire to rebuild has not diminished. DNC has had multiple fundraisers and currently resides at its permanent location, 104 South Oak, inside a temporary office.
Another opposition that didn't stop Anders was the budget, Holliman said. Anders was repeatedly hit by lack-of-funding problems.
“All of [the things] he's done for four decades have not been on a shoestring – it's been on less than a shoestring budget,” County Attorney Phil Garrett said.