Memorial: Donn Steven Anderson

December 11, 1960 – November 7, 2022

Steve’s lifework and legacy ended up creating terrific trails for hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians.

Donn Steven Anderson, a life-long Tucson resident died unexpectedly and went to Heaven on Monday, November 7, 2022.

Steve was born on December 11, 1960 in Kewanee, IL to Donald and Anita Anderson. In 1963, Steve and his family relocated to Tucson. He graduated from Sahuaro High School in 1979, U of A in 1984 with a Bachelor of Arts and NAU in 1990 with a Master in Public Administration. From an early age, Steve loved books, cars, bikes and everything to do with them. So, it was not a surprise that Steve’s lifework and legacy ended up creating terrific trails for hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians. Before he began his career with Pima County(PC) Natural Resources Park and Recreation(NRPR) as their first ever “trails” guy, he secured the opening of Saguaro National Park’s Cactus Forest Trail to mountain bikes…the first shared-used singletrack trail in the U. S. National Park Service system. This was in 1991. Four years later, Steve became PC’s first ever trails coordinator and he grew professionally to lead the Planning Division of NRPR as the Planning Division Manager 28 years later. As a result, over 2,275+ trails that span PC were created, connected, constructed, rehabbed, and maintained under Steve’s vision to make PC the great place to come hike and ride.

There are numerous parks, trails, greenways, and trailheads that were conceived, planned, and executed under Steve’s sometimes daring leadership. Some notable ones include the Arizona Trail that spans some 800 miles from northern AZ to the border-he designed and constructed PC’s 25-mile portion and 10 miles of Grand Canyon’s north rim section. In 2013, with RJ Cardin, trails guy for Maricopa County, Steve did the concept of the Sun Corridor Trail, a 1,500-mile trail from Las Vegas, NV to Douglas, AZ which is about 40% complete. He was one of the masterminds for McKenzie Ranch Trails Park which is the location for mountain bike racing in PC. Tucson Mountains Park was dear to Steve’s heart and he worked tirelessly to get it where it is today and he leaves a long list of projects and dreams left to do. Last, but not least, is the Loop which was a brainchild of Steve and Glenn Hicks way back when. Look what it is today for our community, a well-known award-winning feature of Tucson!

Steve was a wordsmith and wrote over countless Master Plans and concepts, proposals to get the trails done. He also wrote manuals, and even a reference book, Southern AZ Trails Resource Guide, co-authored with John Dell. He was also an avid list-maker which helped him to achieve more than what was expected of him. In his career, Steve served on the AZ Trail Association Board of Directors for over 26 years and the International Mountain Bicycling Board of Directors, and was president of both for a term or two. He was a volunteer for Pima Trails Association Board of Directors and served as their mountain bike rep for many years. He founded and served on the board of the Sonoran Desert Mountain Bicyclists.

All of these achievements are just a drop in a bucket of what Steve did. Steve was preceded in death by his parents, Donald and Anita Anderson. He leaves behind his beloved wife of 7 years, Amy Anderson; his sister, Susan Boettcher(Jerry); his brother, David Anderson; a nephew, Daniel Boettcher and a niece, Ally Hall(Tanner); and many friends and colleagues. Steve’s Celebration of Life will be held at 2 pm on Sunday, November 20th at Sabino Road Baptist Church located 2710 N Sabino Canyon.

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