End of Watch: 01/01/2012
Agency: Mount Rainier National Park
County: Pierce County
Ranger Margaret A. Anderson was born into a tight knit family deeply rooted in their faith in February of 1977. The youngest of three children, the family lived in several cities before settling in New Jersey. As a teenager, she enjoyed marching band and volleyball before graduating high school in 1995. With a passion for the environment and animal conservation, she pursued an undergraduate degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology in 1999 and completed her master’s degree in Biology in 2003.
During her master’s degree program, Margaret began her National Park Service Career as a law enforcement ranger in Bryce Canyon National Park where she met her future husband, Eric. With a career of his own, both Margaret and Eric spent the next few years exploring new east coast cities and growing leaps and bounds professionally with the goal of eventually working together in the Pacific Northwest.
With her father as the officiant, Margaret and Eric were married in 2005 and welcomed their first daughter in 2008. In the same year, their perseverance and work ethic paid off, when Margaret and Eric were offered law enforcement ranger positions within Mt Rainer National Park. Ranger Anderson’s depth of training and background was perfectly suited for this new environment. She was able to utilize the years of knowledge and experience to respond to emergency calls, protect natural resources, serve the general public and investigate environmental crimes.
The family welcomed a second daughter in 2010. Margaret believed in “family first” and over the course of the next year, was considering alternative career paths that would allow for a more stable family environment. On January 1, 2012 Ranger Margaret A Anderson was shot and killed while establishing a roadblock near the Longmire Ranger Station in Mount Rainier National Park.
Ranger Anderson was 34 years old and served with the National Park Service for 12 years. She is survived by her husband, two children, father, mother, and two older siblings.
Margaret Anderson was conscientious, driven and could “always see the good in people”. She is credited for saving lives on that winter day and was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor in 2013.