"We called him the ‘Great Debater,' " his daughter said. "He had strong opinions on current events and loved to discuss them with anybody who would listen to him — family, friends and even strangers. It made for interesting conversations."
Milton also enjoyed testing his luck at Atlantic City casinos. His luck didn't always hold up.
"He would bring me a case of beer, if he won," Tracey said. "If I didn't get a case of beer, I knew he didn't win."
Milton was born in Newark, N.J., to William and Mary Anderson. He graduated from Southside High School and went to Morgan State College in Baltimore.
It was there that he met Thelma Wilson. They were married in 1951.
He entered the Navy in 1946 after World War II, and served until 1948, then again when the Korean War broke out in 1951. One of his assignments was on the USS Rendova, an aircraft carrier, as a yeoman.
After the Navy, Milton came to Philadelphia and joined the Sheriff's Department in 1954 as a deputy. "As a sheriff, he was known to be firm but compassionate," Tracey said.
After his retirement in 1983, Milton held a number of jobs — as a bank courier, then in security for McNeil Laboratories and the Freedom Theatre. He finally retired completely in 1999.
After his first marriage ended, Milton married Earline Heath, who died in 1998.
Milton was an active supporter of the Philadelhia More Beautiful Committee, and helped keep his block — Williams Avenue between Sharpnack and Phil Ellena in Cedarbrook — both beautiful and active with various festive events.
His love of jazz took Milton to many local musical venues, such as the Showboat and Pep's on Broad Street. His favorite musicians were Miles Davis and John Coltrane, and he loved Sarah Vaughan both for her singing and the fact that she was from his hometown of Newark.
In addressing her father, Tracey wrote in the funeral program: "Surely no girl ever felt as secure and content in her daddy‘s love as I did as a child. Surely no woman ever felt as respected and cared about by her dad as I do today."
Besides his daughter and son Milton Dean Anderson, Milton is survived by three grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild, and his companion, Diane Johnson.
Services: Were June 4. n
Contact John F. Morrison at 215-854-5573 or email@example.com.