Avoya Travel reports that its longtime Chairman and Founder Pal Anderson passed away on Sunday, February 10, at the age of 96. He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Pat; his sons, Van and Brad; and his eight grandchildren and thirteen great-grandchildren.
“Pal is remembered as an adventurer, an entrepreneur, a dreamer and pioneer,” Avoya wrote in a written statement. “His zest for life, passion for travel, and appreciation for people and relationships left enduring impressions on all who knew him.”
Anderson was born May 15, 1922, in Los Angeles. He grew up in Colorado and attended the University of Colorado before serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II, where he participated in the Normandy landings on D-Day. After the war, he finished his BA in Economics and moved to Washington to work in his family’s automobile business. In 1950, he married his wife, Pat.
Pal and Pat Anderson entered the travel industry in 1964 while living in Hawaii with the purchase of a Hawaiian tour company. They then moved to California and opened a retail travel agency in Escondido, which eventually became Anderson Travel and Cruises, an agency that grew to 10 retail locations throughout San Diego. As the Internet became more prominent, the company evolved into Avoya Travel, which is now run by Anderson’s children and grandchildren.
Avoya said that one of the greatest honors in Anderson’s career came in 2014, when he celebrated the 50th anniversary of the family business.
“The entire Avoya Travel family extends our deepest sympathies to Pal’s wife, Pat, and his family,” the company said in a written statement.
A private service was held Valentine’s Day, February 14. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his honor to www.Tourism Cares.org, Avoya said.