Evelyn V. Anderson, age 87, of West St. Paul, died January 21, 2011 at her home. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 A.M. Thursday, January 27th at Strike Funeral Home – CAMBRIDGE Chapel with Rev. Harry Eklund officiating. A visitation will be held one hour prior to the service. Interment will be in Isanti Union Cemetery.
Evie was born on August 26, 1923 at University Hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She came home to three older brothers, Harold, Gordon and Robert Fehling. Her one sister Gladys (always called Rene by her family) had been born six years earlier, on the exact same day; August 26, 1917. Evie often, throughout the years, told Rene that Rene got her little sister as a birthday present. At the time of her birth, her mother, Blanche was 32 years old and her father, Arthur was 41 years old.
Evie’s father was a streetcar conductor and a member of the Masons. He passed away unexpectedly at age 42, when she was only two years old, leaving her mother with five children, ages 2 to 14. Life was very difficult. Her mother had to work outside the home which was unheard of back in that day. The Salvation Army afforded the kids with summer camp experiences and the Masons miraculously would arrange for deliveries of coal to keep them warm in the winter, a turkey and all the fixings at Thanksgiving and a nice Christmas ham at the holidays.
Evie attended Prescott Elementary School, kindergarten thru 8th grade. She took a year off and attended Vocational trade school. Her courses consisted of waitressing, cashiering and management. Upon completion, she returned to Edison High School and graduated in 1941. She married Donald L. Anderson, then in the military, at the First Methodist Church in Temple, Texas on December 5, 1942. Donald was stationed at Camp Hood, Texas. He was in World War II and went overseas two weeks after their marriage and she returned home to live with his parents. In March 1943 he was wounded in Tunisia, Africa where he was in Headquarters Company driving a motorcycle. He hit a land mine and waited many hours for help to arrive. He lost a leg and three fingers on his left hand. He was transferred to Walter Reed Hospital in Washington and on to the VA Hospital in Minneapolis. He later developed TB and had to have a lung removed. He spent approximately seven years in the hospital and rehabilitation. Evie and Donald lived with Donald’s parents for the first 15 years of their marriage. They lived on a farm outside of Isanti and later moved into town. Listening to her stories, farm life was very hard. Her father-in-law worked at the Franklin Creamery in the Cities. However, she learned about farm life fast, taking care of the animals, bailing hay, cutting wood and many other tasks. She didn’t like the geese because they use to chase her around, but she was proud of her pet pig.
Evie and Donald had three children: Darlene Jean, born September 26, 1944, Donald John, born January 3, 1946 and Deborah Jane, born October 17, 1950. After living with the in-laws and Donald being disabled, she had a chance to go to work when they moved into town.
Evie worked for the Cambridge-Isanti School District 911 and belonged to the East Central Chapter of the MSFSA. It was her life working with children, adults, personnel and the public for 32 years until she resigned January 1, 1984. She started her work adventure in 1951 cooking in a one-room building next to a four-room schoolhouse. Needless to say she experienced many changes during her work career. In 1967 she was introduced to her new boss, Beth Nelson who became a very dear and close friend to the very end of Evie’s life. They attended many Food Service conventions across the United States and she was very grateful for this opportunity.
In 1956, her in-laws purchased a log cabin on Lake Minnewawa. Because of Donald’s poor health and being disabled from the Service, they thought the lake air would be good for his health and recovery. With herself and the kids being off school for the summers, Evie had many years to spend summers as a family and made many new friends. They eventually bought another lake lot next to the log cabin so they had 100 feet of lakeshore and moved a mobile home on that lot and built a large garage. This was so they could go up to the lake in winter to go ice fishing and snowmobiling.
In 1957, they purchased their very own home in Isanti. Donald had secured a job at Pillsbury Co. in Minneapolis as a warehouse foreman. They were very close to her wonderful sister, Rene and special brother-in-law Norb. They spent time together on their Cruiser on the St. Croix River and traveling in the motor home. They had a lot of great trips together traveling around the country. Her oldest and dearest friend Ruthie and husband Joe spent many good times at the lake and going on a few adventures traveling together. Ev and Ruthie loved to show-up the guys fishing. In 1983 Donald and Evelyn built a new home on the Lake Minnewawa property. They moved in the home in June of 1983 but unfortunately Donald passed away in August that year. She had her dream home that he built for her and she retired and made it her permanent residence. After 20 years of maintenance and hiring help she had to make the decision to make her final move to Westwood Ridge in West St. Paul, Minnesota in 2003. It broke her heart to do this but her strength and health were going down hill. She wanted to be close to Debbie and her family who supported and helped her in every way possible. Although it was hard, it didn’t take her long to adapt to her new residence and meet many new and wonderful people. As permitted, she participated in as many of the activities and social events as possible. She also became a member of the Red Hats group.
Along with the school lunch program she also found time to sing in the choir, teach Sunday School, be secretary of the fellowship group and belong to Ladies Aid at the Faith Lutheran Church in Isanti where Donald and Evelyn were members. In the community she served in all offices of the Women’s Club where they had many money making projects to help with town improvements such as street signs, Christmas decorations, and the like. She was elected Village Assessor for 16 years. She served in all offices in the PTA, helping with many projects to better the schools.
She was a member of the Ladies Auxiliary VFW Post 2747, American Legion Auxiliary Post 0023 and the Minnesota Sportsman Club, which she devoted a lot of time as a board member, Vice President, President and Chairman of many committees. She also was a co-worker with Marolyn Martinson who was gambling manager for the club. She attended conventions with her close friends Leo and Marolyn Martinson and became a life long member of the Sportsman Club.
Evelyn belonged on many of Bann’s sponsored leagues including bowling, darts and pool and enjoyed being with Fran and the girls for many years. In the summer she played Bocci Ball and loved to fish and go out on the pontoon. In earlier years at the lake she water-skied and also loved snowmobiling.
The hi-lite of her bowling career was being called for Bowling for Dollars and managing to win the jackpot.
Everyone knew Evie Anderson and she had many wonderful friends all through her life she was thankful for. She always loved to dance, play any type of cards, go to the casino, play bingo and travel when able. She spent the holidays and all special days with Deb, Al, Luke and David. She always said she would never see David and Luke graduate, but she did. She never gave up until it was her time and she was tired and ready. Until then she lived life to the fullest.