Alex “Gus” Anderson, Jr., 87

Alex “Gus” Anderson, Jr., age 87 of Sauk Centre, passed away peacefully at St. Michael’s Nursing Home in Sauk Centre, Minnesota on Thursday, April 19, 2012 surrounded by his family.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, April 23 at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Sauk Centre. Rev. Todd Schneider will officiate with Rev. Andrew Marthaler and Rev. Sylvester Kleinschmidt concelebrating. Interment will be in the parish cemetery with military honors by the Sauk Centre United Veterans Honor Guard.

Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday at the Patton-Schad Funeral Home in Sauk Centre and from 10 to 11 a.m. Monday at the church in Sauk Centre. Parish prayers will be held at 5:15 p.m. followed by the Knights of Columbus at 6 p.m. and United Veterans Prayer Service at 7 p.m. Sunday evening.

Alex “Gus” Anderson, Jr., son of Alexander, Sr. and Anna (Larson) Anderson, was born at his parent’s home on January 16, 1925, in Alexandria, Minnesota. He graduated from Jefferson High School in Alexandria; Class of 1944. On June 16, 1942, at the age of 17, Gus enlisted in the United States Navy. He received his basic training at Great Lakes Naval Training Station in Illinois. Following basic training, Gus attended Iowa State College in Ames, for electrical training. In December of 1942, he travelled to San Francisco, California, where he served aboard the U.S.S. San Francisco, and was deployed to the South Pacific Theater, which included New Caledonia, Ulithi, and Okinawa, among others. From the South Pacific, the San Francisco was commissioned to the Aleutian Islands in the North Pacific, operating out of Adak Island. He was involved in the successful invasion of Attu and Kiska Islands. In April of 1944, Gus went back to the states, via Pearl Harbor, to attend Gyro School in San Diego, California. Upon completion of Gyro School, Gus was assigned to the U.S.S. Springfield, where he was a plank owner, the first crew, to sail on this ship. Gus remained on the Springfield until World War II ended. While in Tokyo Bay, witnessing the surrender of Japan, he transferred to the U.S.S. South Dakota, and returned to the states, arriving in San Francisco, serving the remainder of his term with the United States Navy on January 16, 1946. After the war, Gus began working for his parents at Anderson Florist and Greenhouse. On June 16, 1948, Gus was united in marriage to Irma Hagedorn at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Alexandria. To this marriage, seven children were born. Following their marriage, Gus and Irma lived in Alexandria for a short period of time. They then moved to Sauk Centre, where they started their own business, Anderson Florist, owning and operating this business from 1948 to 1985.

Gus was a member of the Paul F. Donart VFW Post 2853, the American Legion Post 67, the City Council Planning and Zoning Commission, and a 30 year member of the Sauk Centre Volunteer Fire Department, serving a term as Assistant-Chief and Chief. He was also a member of the Bishop Busch Council #4863, Knights of Columbus and was an usher at St. Paul’s Catholic Church. Throughout his life, Gus was an avid coin collector and a wonderful “daddy-fix-it.” He enjoyed bird watching, daily trips to the Ding Dong Café visiting with his coffee buddies, singing in two–part harmony with his wife, Irma, going pheasant hunting, watching game shows, completing word-find puzzles, and traveling. He especially enjoyed precisely mapping out road trips, before G.P.S. came along, and spending time with his grandchildren.

He is survived by his wife, Irma Anderson of Sauk Centre; four sons, James (Barbara) Anderson of Sauk Centre, Charles (Nancy) Anderson of Sauk Centre; William Anderson of Sauk Centre, and John Anderson of Alexandria; two daughters, Cheryl (Jerry) Keller of Nashua and Janet Anderson of Sauk Centre; daughter-in-law, Jean Anderson of Melrose; ten grandchildren, Bobbie Jo Anderson-Sogge, James J. Anderson, Ryan Anderson, Bret Anderson, Brooks Anderson, Blake Anderson, Kayla Anderson, Sr. Marie Johannah Keller, Emily Alvey, and Brady Keller; four great-grandchildren; nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; son, Robert; granddaughter, Bethany Ann; five brothers, Ernest Anderson, Ardyce Anderson, Clifford Anderson, Lyle Anderson and Herman Anderson; two cousins who were raised by Gus’s parents, Edith Olson and Edna Farner.

Serving as casket bearers will be Ryan Anderson, Bret Anderson, Brooks Anderson, Blake Anderson, Brady Keller, and Jerry Keller. Cross bearer will be Ian Sogge and scripture bearer will be Kayla Anderson. Serving as gift bearers will be Bobbie Jo Anderson-Sogge and Dylan Sogge and lector will be Kayla Anderson. Honorary bearers will be James Jay Anderson, Sr. Marie Johannah Keller, Emily Alvey and Peter Alvey.

Arrangements were made with Patton-Schad Funeral & Cremation Services of Sauk Centre.