Edward Anderson: a Big Man with a "Mini" Legacy
Entrepreneur Edward M. Anderson, inventor of the Lil’ Orbits automatic doughnut machine as well as an oil- and- water separator, died of cancer on Thursday at his home in Plymouth. He was 78.
As written by the Star Tribune, there are a few close friends and co-workers who are sourced throughout the obituary, and no family members (even though Anderson’s son, Charlie, is mentioned). Mike Foster, who was a business consultant for Anderson’s Plymouth-based firm, talks about Anderson’s contribution to the business world. Brian O’Gara, who was the Lil’ Orbits sales manager is also referenced. Lastly, Jane Nett, who is only referred to as a “neighbor,” is also sourced. It is not clear if Jane Nett was a life-long friend, companion or even lived next door to Anderson, as opposed to down the road.
The lead for Anderson’s obituary is an alternative – it begins by explaining something that Minnesotans consider a “quintessential” consumer product at the Minnesota State Fair, was invented by Anderson. The lead works because it provides an interesting anecdote (how many people know who invented the mini-doughnut machine?) that makes the reader want to keep reading to learn more about this creative man. Also, the second paragraph that talks about what Anderson enjoyed doing (tinkering in his garage) supports the alternative lead by further supporting the idea that this man was inventive and creative.
Also, the cause and date of death, as well as his age, isn’t referenced until the fourth paragraph, after a short introduction as to whom Anderson was and what he liked doing, as well as a quote from one of his business partners. This also works for this obituary because Anderson’s accomplishments are more news worthy and interesting than the cause of death and his age.
After the fourth paragraph, the obituary follows a traditional obituary structure, detailing more of Anderson’s “claims to fame,” followed by a chronology of his life. The obituary finishes with information about his family and details of the funeral service.