Dee F. Anderson
Dee Frederick Anderson was the founder of Dee’s Hamburger Drive-ins and Dee’s Family Restaurants.
Anderson was born on December 11, 1905, in Ephraim, Utah. He borrowed $35 to buy meat, pickles, and buns and start selling five cent burgers. He opened his first Dee’s Restaurant in 1932 in Salt Lake City. His menu consisted of burgers, hot dogs, french fries, soft drinks, and apple turnovers. Eventually he opened 53 restaurants earning over $20 million annually. Utah’s Young Electric Sign Company designed the restaurant’s marquee, which originally featured a rocking, brightly colored clown holding four large balloons that read “turnovers,” “burgers,” “fries,” and “hot dogs.”
By the late 1970s, the Anderson family decided to change focus to their property management operations and sold the restaurants to Hardee’s. Twelve Dee’s Family Restaurants remained in operation along the Wasatch Front in Utah until March 2004 when five were sold. The remaining restaurants evolved into a classic American diner and are still owned and operated by the Anderson family.
Anderson helped found and served as president of the Utah Restaurant Association. He received the Golden Spoon Award and was inducted in the Restaurant Hall of Fame.
Anderson was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and contributed both his time and resources to the Church. He also supported his community. He was a major donor to the LDS Hospital, Primary Children's Hospital, and Snow College, where he was recently honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award.
He died on November 22, 1997. He and his wife, Chelta, had four children.