CARTERVILLE — Edward James “EJ” Anderson, 10, entered heaven on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, in St. Louis Children's Hospital, surrounded by family following a courageous battle with cancer.
EJ was born Nov. 9, 2009, to Anthony and Katie Anderson in Omaha, Nebraska.
EJ was a fourth grade student at Carterville Intermediate School. He swam for the Carbondale Cyclones swim team and the John A. Logan College competitive youth program from 2017 to 2019, and for the Bellevue Swim Club in Nebraska from 2014 to 2017. He loved to swim, play soccer, violin, video and board games. EJ loved the outdoors, in particular fishing with his dad and sister, Roxy. He loved to help mom in the garden and shop. He loved to be around people and always welcomed someone new in his life with a hug and a smile.
EJ had big dreams to become a marine biologist and shark diver. His goal was to discover a new species in the ocean. He recently became an “official” shark diver upon completing his Make-a-Wish trip to Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida.
EJ was known for his radiant smile and powerful hugs. We encourage everyone to follow his example by hugging tighter and always smiling; maybe they need one but are afraid to ask.
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He is survived by his parents, Anthony James “AJ” and Katie L. Anderson of Carterville; grandparents, Dennis and Mary Frenz of Mishicot, Wisconsin, and Hilda Anderson of Stillwater, Oklahoma; sisters, Roxy Anderson of Carterville, Madison Anderson of Weatherford, Oklahoma, Delany (Junior) Aguilar; and nephew, Diesel, of Ringwood, Oklahoma. EJ was also very loved by his many aunts, uncles, cousins and numerous other family and friends. In the family's words, "He cherished each of you."
EJ is preceded in death by his twin brother who entered heaven shortly before his birth; and his grandpa, Edward L. Anderson.
A gathering time will be from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, in Our Savior Lutheran Church in Carbondale, with a celebration of life service following at 11 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the donor's choice (Make-A-Wish, Sarcoma Research, and Give Kids The World Village).
Meredith Funeral Home in Carbondale assisted the family with arrangements.
To leave a story or memory of EJ, visit www.meredithfh.com.