Avoya Travel chairman and founder Pal Anderson died Sunday, Feb. 10. He was 96.

"Pal is remembered as an adventurer, an entrepreneur, a dreamer and pioneer," Avoya said. "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. Raised in Colorado, he attended the University of Colorado before serving in the Navy during World War II.

Pal Anderson and his sons, Van and Brad, in Maui in 1962.
Pal Anderson and his sons, Van and Brad, in Maui in 1962.

During his service, Anderson participating in the landings at Normandy on June 6, 1944.

After the war, Anderson would complete his degree in economics. He moved to Washington to work in his family's automobile business.

He married his wife, Pat, in 1950. They were married for 69 years at the time of his death. They had two sons, Van and Brad, who today have the titles of Avoya co-founder and president, respectively.

In 1964, Pal and Pat Anderson were living in Hawaii. They purchased and ran a Hawaiian tour company, marking their entrance into the travel industry. They moved to California and opened a retail agency in Escondido. That would eventually become Anderson Travel and Cruises, which would have 10 locations in San Diego.

Anderson Travel and Cruises evolved with the internet to become Avoya Travel, which is still an Anderson family-run company today. The company launched host agency operations in the early 2000s.

"One of the greatest honors in Pal's travel career came in 2014 when he welcomed many colleagues and friends to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his family's business," Avoya said.

Pal Anderson is survived by his wife, Pat, his sons, Van and Brad, eight grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

A private service celebrating Pal Anderson's life was held Feb. 14. Donations in his honor can be made to Tourism Cares.

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