Even at 77 years old, Former Kansas Senator Eugene Anderson refuses to stop working and giving back to the same community that elected him.
“Well, a lot of people ask me, you know, when are you going to retire? And I say I don’t know how. You know, I started working in the Georgia cotton field when I was five years old, and I’ve been working ever since. This is what I’d rather do with my time,” said Anderson.
It has been nearly 50 years since Anderson was first elected to the Kansas House of Representatives, and he still loves to work. He is the proud owner of two businesses, the first being NFCT, a storefront specializing in helping the community with business essentials, located at 2410 E.17th St here in Wichita.
“We’ve been around since 2017; we do business cards, help folks with their taxes and receive faxes from people. My wife does bookkeeping for local businesses. We try to provide the services needed in the community,” said Anderson
Anderson’s other business is general contract work, which he’s done for over 20 years, mainly structure renovation, interior and exterior remodeling, and room additions.
Born and raised in Thomasville, GA, Anderson never dreamed of working in politics, but he always had a gift for connecting with people and being well informed. Immediately after high school, he joined the military, and then moved to Wichita after he was discharged from the service.
“There was no grand plan about living in Kansas. I just got out of the military, and I took a job traveling the country as a representative for a magazine company. One day I decided that that’s not what I wanted to do, so I went to work the next day at the Beech Aircraft. I stayed here, got married, and we had three children,”
After being convinced by a friend of his in 1972, Anderson ran and was elected to the Kansas State House of Representatives from the 83rd District; he served for two terms. He then served as Chairman of the Kansas Civil Rights Commission from 1979-1983. In 1985, Anderson returned to elected office, serving as State Senator for the 29th District until he resigned from office in November 1991.
“Being a Senator was a unique experience. I think the most exciting part, to me, was being in a position when someone had a problem that they didn’t know how to deal with they would call me to help them and I was in the great position to be able to do that, and take some of the pressure off of them. That was very rewarding,” said Anderson.
Anderson was also an active member of several community groups, including the Northeast Optimists, the Noah Wells Masonic Lodge, and Calvary Baptist Church. He served as secretary of the Kansas Black Democratic Caucus throughout his tenure as a lawmaker.
Anderson is currently working on a book that chronicles the life of John W Monk, a retired Master Army Sergeant who served in three periods of combat, World War Two, Korea, Vietnam. Monk also purchased the building Anderson uses as his storefront, and the two became very close until his passing in 2018.