Lt. Mike Anderson (Milburn Michael Anderson), USN (Ret), aged 75, died of cancer on Saturday, September 4, 2021 with his family by his side. Mike is survived by his wife, Julie of 34 years, daughter Tina Eppler, grandchildren Padraig and Riley Eppler, sister Jonnie Anderson, cousin Rick Anderson, sister-in-law Mary Lou Surgi, brother-in-law RJ Surgi and wife Lisa.
Mike was born in Lubbock, Texas, on January 10, 1946. He was the son of Clarissa Lee and Charles Milburn Anderson. Growing up in Texas, Mike was interested in everything—read every book he could find, spent summers at Possum Kingdom Lake fishing and swimming from dawn to dusk, playing with his ham radio, and formed his first “company”—manufacturing Go-Karts with his Dad.
Mike served honorably in the U.S. Navy for 20 years. Mike joined the Navy in 1965 and began his career as a radioman. He advanced to warrant officer in 1974, was commissioned as an officer in 1979, and retired in April 1985 as a lieutenant. He served two tours in Vietnam and on several ships and land-based communication stations. His most loved duty station was as the commanding officer of the communication station in Londonderrry, Northern Ireland where he took down the U.S. flag and decommissioned the site in December 1977. To this day he has kept in touch with many good friends in Derry.
In 1990, in the room over the garage in his home in Chesapeake, VA, Mike founded Antech Systems, a defense contractor specializing in software development to support the U.S. Navy. In that same room, many fun company Christmas parties occurred where Mike greeted everyone in his trademark Holiday party attire: shorts, boat shoes, tuxedo jacket, shirt, bow tie, and cummerbund. By the time he retired in 2009, the company had 42 employees across the country and been voted one of the Best Places to Work in Hampton Roads. Today, Antech Systems has grown to 172 employees, with offices in Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. Mike firmly believed in treating each employee well. He coined the phrase “family, fun, profit” which remains the company’s driving motto to this day.
Mike was extremely involved in revitalizing the downtown Norfolk waterfront. He served on the Norfolk Festevents Board of Directors and was Chairman of Harborfest in 1985.
After his retirement, Mike and Julie moved to Callawassie Island, Okatie, South Carolina where they met many new friends. Mike was well-known for his extravagant Christmas light display with synchronized music.
A man of honor, generosity, and integrity, Mike was THE “go-to” person for anything and everything tech related. He solved more computer, cell phone and TV glitches than all the Geek Squads put together. He held many people’s hands as they explored their newest phone or laptop or iPad. As president of the Board of the Callawassie Island Property Owners’ Association, he shepherded that newly created Board as they set up the island management for the future.
Mike was quick to laugh, a great storyteller, wicked smart, an avid golfer, amazing photographer, and read more books in a week than some people read in a year. He was a man of extraordinary vision, curiosity, judgment, and creativity who never stopped thinking about what comes next and how it could be better than before. He also enjoyed a good beer (preferably Guinness), so feel free to raise a glass in his honor. We know he would like that. Mike touched so many lives in so many ways and will be missed by his family and friends from all over the world. Mike will be especially missed by Keeper, his black lab.
Anderson Funeral Home (no relation) in Beaufort, SC is handling the arrangements. A private committal service with military honors will be held at Beaufort National Cemetery, South Carolina.
A Celebration of Life will be held in Callawassie Island, SC on Saturday, September 25, 2021.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the following: Friends of Callawassie Island (FOCI), 176 Callawassie Dr., Okatie, SC 29909, the library of your choice or to The American Cancer Society.
Forever in our hearts, never forgotten!
Fair Winds and Following Seas!