Art Anderson passed away on Saturday, just shy of Big Al’s 50th anniversary. The family restaurant he lead is now remembering his life and the impact he had on the community.
The staff says Art touched countless lives and is the reason the restaurant has been voted one of the top pizza places in the state.
Mark Dilloway, the manager of 24 years at Big Al’s, says Art impacted the community, not just as an owner but as a person who wanted good for those around him.
“It’s a legacy, he was a legacy, he’s a legend. I think we’re in good hands because of the ground work he laid out for us. That’s just who he was he cared about the community, he cared about his family, he cared about his business,” Dilloway said.
Art opened Big Al’s Pizza and Subs in 1973, and what once started out as his dream soon turned into at stepping stone of the many lives he would impact.
The late owner’s son, David Anderson, says that he would do anything he could for those around him.
“He’s my dad, but most importantly he was a husband, father, grandfather. He was so much more to so many more people. He really preached you got to help the ones who help you and we’re so community oriented in this town he was able to coach sports he sponsored teams forever, was a city council man, he did a lot for the city that way,” Anderson said.
Although Art was a busy man with his own family, the staff says he treated them like they were his own and offered some employees their very first jobs. They say he led them by example and inspired them to be who they are today.
“He wanted to see people smile. He was firm but he was fair, but the biggest thing I got from him while working side by side was his integrity and how he treated people,” Dilloway said.
While Art made many appearances throughout the community, his nephew, Brad Kamaloski says he always remained big on family and showed up when he was needed the most.
“He was just a role model in this town, he really was. He took time to take us fishing all the time when we were younger, and my dad was sick with cancer and he just took us and did a bunch of stuff with us and I really appreciate that,” Kamaloski said.
With the restaurant’s 50th anniversary approaching in May, his son will make sure that they’ll continue Art’s legacy and he will always be remembered.