Howard Everett AndersonHoward Everett Anderson was born on November 19, 1915, in Batavia, Ill., to Charles and Selma Anderson. He was the third of five boys. Charlie quit his job as a foreman of a plumbing company, and two months later the Great Crash of 1929; he never held another full-time job, and the kids grew up in poverty during the Great Depression. They fished from the then-polluted Fox River for carp, or anything else they could have for dinner.
Howard Everett Anderson was born on November 19, 1915, in Batavia, Ill., to Charles and Selma Anderson. He was the third of five boys. Charlie quit his job as a foreman of a plumbing company, and two months later the Great Crash of 1929; he never held another full-time job, and the kids grew up in poverty during the Great Depression. They fished from the then-polluted Fox River for carp, or anything else they could have for dinner.
Howard graduated from high school and joined the federal government’s New Deal program, the Civilian Conservation Corps, where he worked on roads and dams in the Umpqua National Forest in Oregon; he made $30 a month and sent $25 home. In the CCC he showed determination and was awarded with the position of business clerk, which was his first taste of the business world. In 1936 he moved to Madison, Wis., because his older brother, Ken, had a scholarship to play basketball for the University of Wisconsin. Howard enrolled, and to pay tuition he worked the night shift at Toby & Moon’s diner, which provided all the food he could eat before he went to morning classes. At UW he met Emily Ruth Kneip, the love of his life. She graduated with a political science degree in 1939, Howard with a commerce degree in 1940, and they began a marriage that lasted for 62 years; Emmy died in 2003.
Howard began a career in business for Goodyear Tire Company, and then came the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Their first son, Steve, was born in October 1942, and some months later in 1943, Howard was commissioned as an ensign in the United States Navy. He was assigned the executive officer on a Landing Ship and was sent to the Pacific Theater. He said that his crew only saw one Japanese airplane, near the Philippines during the kamikaze raids, and was happy that their ship was a landing craft and not an important target like a cruiser or aircraft carrier. His ship was assigned to the potentially bloody invasion of Japan, when President Truman ordered the dropping of the atomic bombs and Japan surrendered.
Howard returned to his job early in 1946 and at the end of the year his second son, Terry, was born. One of Terry’s first memories was in Evansville, Ind., when Howard woke his two sons in the middle of the night, proclaiming, “Boys, you’ve got a brother!” His third son, Jeff, was born in 1951. During the growing postwar economy he joined Sears and Roebuck and the family moved to Minneapolis, where he became merchandise manager at the large Lake Street store. With the baby boom, growth of suburbs and long hours, he spent the next 15 years as manager of his own Sears store in the suburb of Richfield, Minn.
Howard enjoyed being the father of “the boys,” teaching them the fundamentals of growing up male in the postwar era — how to hit a baseball, run out for a pass, rebound a basketball, catch a walleye and shoot a pheasant. He taught his sons the meaning of responsibility. “Do the job once,” he said many times, “and do it right the first time.” He and Emmy always were proud that their sons graduated from the Universities of Minnesota and Wisconsin and went on to become professionals: Steve as an account executive and senior vice president for Merrill Lynch; Terry as a professor of history at Texas A&M University; and Jeff as a self-employed environmental scientist (river geologist), and expert on the Upper Midwest and Mississippi River landscapes’ evolution.
Howard worked hard and was happy that he was able to retire at age 60. In 1976 he and Emmy moved to Harlingen, Texas, and joined Harlingen Country Club. Later they bought a summer home in northern Minnesota and joined the Silver Bay Country Club. In Harlingen he had many friends and perfected his golf game: He shot five holes-in-one and eventually shot his age 32 times. He enjoyed the friendly competition of the Wayne Farber group in Harlingen. In Silver Bay, he and Emily had many friends: Jean and Ed Lashyro, Don and Adrienne Warm, and especially his long-time buddy, Alex Hanschen. For over two decades, he and Alex competed over who was the best golfer and who could catch the most walleyes; both claimed victory.
Unfortunately, Howard’s last few years became frustrating as he lost his memory to Alzheimer’s. His last year and a half was made comfortable by the compassionate caregivers at St. Joseph’s Manor and by Dr. Stephen Braden. He outlived all of his brothers and is survived by his sons, Steve, Terry and Jeff, by their wonderful wives, Gini, Rose and Moey, and by Steve and Gini’s children, Steve, Nicole and Jennifer, and by their four children.
Howard Anderson, a boy raised in poverty, got an education, married a fine lady, worked hard, raised a family and made the most of the American Dream. He had a great life.
Upon his own wishes, there will be no memorial service, but you may send any remembrances to his family or make a donation in his name to the Alzheimer’s Association.
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