William "Buzz" Sanderson, a former reporter for the Oregonian who
created "The Acid Test" political cartoon, died May 26, 2010 at the
age of 76 in Walla Walla, WA, where he had lived for 18 years.
His cartoon was first published in The Sunday Oregonian in 1963. In
1970, Mr. Sanderson took "The Acid Test" to KGW-TV where it was one of
the country's first daily editorial cartoons on television. The
three-year television run covered the Vietnam War, the Watergate
scandal, state politics and local issues, including a boycott of
high-priced beef that sent some shoppers to commercial horse meat.
Former Oregon Governor Tom McCall wrote a foreword for a collection of
the cartoons published in 1973.
Of Mr. Sanderson, McCall said, "For punch, he seems crabby
and contentious. Yet the cartoons of ‘The Acid Test' unveil him simply
as a man who's in love with the idea that things could be better. And
when they aren't better, there's got to be some humor or some pathos
in it somewhere."
He won many awards for his reporting but his favorite was presented to
him by the Bull Riders at the Pendleton Round Up and was engraved
"Championship Bull Writer".
Mr. Sanderson, known as Sandy, Buzz or Bill to his friends was a
speech writer for Oregon Gov. Bob Straub in 1975 and later for Vic
Atiyeh. He was public information officer for the Oregon Department
of Energy and served as chief of staff for the Oregon Hanford Advisory
Committee. In 1992 he became the senior public participation
information officer for Westinghouse Hanford, a contractor at the
Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Richland, WA. He retired in 1996 and
served on the Walla Walla County Housing Advisory Board and
volunteered with CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates).
Sanderson was a master's runner, an avid gardener, a skilled
woodcarver, photographer, writer and accomplished wildlife painter.
His most well-known painting was commissioned by the Salem, OR Gilbert
House Children's Museum and depicts more than 40 animals indigenous to
Oregon. His carvings, particularly of ducks and other birds, were
recognized for their intricate detail and craftsmanship.
His grandchildren enjoyed sitting on a stool next to him while he
worked a simple block of wood into a beautiful piece of art.
Born May 3, 1934, in Harrison, MI, his family moved to Oregon when he
was a child. The family moved to Walla Walla and he graduated from
Walla Walla High School before attending Whitman College.
On November 5, 1993, he married Peggy Jo Nixon Beaulaurier in Walla Walla.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by two sons, Joseph (Jana) and
Daniel (Momo) of Portland, two daughters, Lisa (Bud) McCourt of
Pleasant Hill, OR, and Katherine (Aaron) Gray of Portland, OR; four
grandchildren, Felicia Sanderson, Alex Sanderson,
Clara Gray and Iris Gray, all of Portland, OR; step-children and
grandchildren Richard (Yolanda) Beaulaurier of Miami, FL, Elizabeth
(Patrick) Walsh of Eugene, OR, and Robert (Robyn) Beaulaurier of West
Linn, OR; grandchildren Pauline, Antonia,
Juliana and Samuel Beaulaurier of Miami, FL, Colleen and Shannon Walsh
of Eugene, OR, and Alexander and Bailey Beaaulaurier of West Linn, OR;
two brothers Robert of Pateros, WA, and John of Mexico City.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m., June 18, 2010, at St.
Francis Catholic Church in Walla Walla. In lieu of flowers, memorial
gifts may be sent to the YWCA of Walla Walla, 213 S. First Ave., Walla
Walla, or a charity of the donor's choice.