Calimesa man who ‘cut steel with fire’

Russell Carl Anderson

Russell Carl Anderson, who once boasted “I cut steel with fire,” died from heart failure on Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019, in his Calimesa home. He was 58.

Born on April 17, 1961, in Oak Park, Illinois, he grew up in Elmhurst, Illinois, where he attended York High School.

His family moved to Yucaipa in August 1978. He graduated from Yucaipa High School, where he won awards for woodwork. Anderson built A-frame homes in Angelus Oaks and worked for Custom Engineering/Pacific Coast Cobra where he was foreman and built custom Ford Cobras.

He then went to work at Ark Engineering where he was a fabricator and welder, and then to his last job with Cal-Mesa Steel Supply on July 31, 1989 where he first ran the shear, then was trained on the pentagraph machine where he cut shapes out of metal using torches.

He worked there for more than 30 years before his death. Anderson married Valerie on May 31, 1987, and had an instant family with son, James. He rode motorcycles, was in several bands and was an avid cyclist whose highest year for cycling was just over 5,000 miles.

He is survived by his wife, Valerie; son James; brother Mike; daughter-in-law Honey; and grandchildren JR. Kameron and Jocelyn. Services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8, at the Calimesa Seventh-day Adventist Church, 391 Myrtlewood Drive, Calimesa.