Laurence E. Anderson, age 97, of East Bethel passed away at his home on February 10, 2018. A memorial service will be held at 1 P.M. on Saturday, February 17th at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, 19001 Jackson Street NE, East Bethel. A visitation will be held 1 hour before the service at the church. Memorials suggested to World Hunger.
Laurie was born at his childhood home in East Bethel, just 2 miles from where he lived out the rest of his life after marrying Virginia in 1941. He always joked that “I married the school teacher” and that he lived with her before they were married. Virginia boarded at Art and Essie’s since they lived closest to the one room schoolhouse where she taught. Laurie and Virginia were married 60 years before Virginia died in 2001. He attended the country school through 8th grade and started ninth grade in St. Paul on the U of M campus. After two weeks, he quit and went home to help his dad on the farm. He never returned. His heart was on the farm. But lack of education did not mean a lack of joy in learning. Laurie was always interested in anything to do with nature and what was going on in the world.
He called the farm his “heaven on earth” and said he was right where he belonged. He enjoyed watching the birds, turkeys, squirrels and deer eat in front of his kitchen window until his last days (although some of those squirrels ended up on his plate). He loved reading poetry and listening to family (especially his granddaughter, Melita) play the piano for him. He was incredibly proud of his family and thankful that his grands and great-grands were healthy. He was known to all the kids (relatives and friends alike) as “Cookie Grandpa” because visiting him always meant a dip in the cookie container for a cookie or two. His gardens were large and he always planted sweet corn a few days apart for weeks so that it would ripen over time and there would be fresh sweet corn for some weeks instead of all at once.
In addition to farming, he drove a gas truck for Farm Bureau for 37 years, delivering fuel and farm products to local farmers. He loved his job for the people he met, always agreeing to a cup of coffee and a good chat (no doubt why he was often late coming home). We found out that one of his caregivers at the end had met him 37 years prior when he delivered gas to her and her husband!
He was incredibly stubborn – when he was on hospice during his last months, the hospice nurse would always tell him that she really thought he should start sleeping in the bedroom on the main floor because she worried about him falling when he went up and down the stairs. Laurie always told her that he understood what she was saying but it was his house and he would continue to sleep upstairs in his own room. And he independently walked up those stairs every night through Wed, Feb 7. He always believed he would die on the farm and he did.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Virginia, an infant son, a granddaughter, Jennifer, and great-granddaughters, Maggie and Abby, brothers, Frank and Phillip, and his parents, Art and Essie Anderson. He leaves his children, Bert (Xuyen) of East Bethel, Peter (Dianne) Anderson of Newnan, GA, Susan Fanucci (Alfiero) of Andover, Melissa Anderson-Rossini (Michael Rossini) of Minneapolis, Rebecca Anderson Fly of Coon Rapids and a foster son, Richard Volkert of Cottage Grove. He had 13 grandchildren – Melita, Benjamin, Matthew, Ryan, Lisa, Peter, John, Franco, Marisa, Teddy, Thaddeus, Melissa, Nicholas and 22 great-grandchildren.
Memorials are preferred to go to World Hunger, P.O. Box 9716, Federal Way, WA 98063. The family would like to thank St. Croix Hospice and the Home Instead caregivers for their loving support of Dad during his last journey on earth. Although he wasn’t always sure of why they were coming (he didn’t think he needed anything), he hoped that he was doing something for them when they visited and he enjoyed every one.