Duane Harry Anderson passed away peacefully on April 20, 2023 at his home.
Duane was born to Harry and Mabel (Hed) Anderson on March 27, 1934. He attended country school until eighth grade, later graduating from Winthrop High School in the Class of 1953. One of his favorite memories of school was playing both offense and defense on the football team because there weren’t enough kids to field a full roster.
After high school, Duane worked with his father on the farm until he joined the United States Army in May 1957 and served until March 1959. He was stationed overseas in Germany and eventually deployed farther east to Lebanon in response to the 1958 Lebanon crisis. Duane was very proud to have been in the Army and carried that with him his entire lifetime. His favorite story to tell of his time in the armed forces was how he served in Germany at the same time as Elvis Presley. Duane was an Army postmaster and loved to tell how Elvis’ mail sometimes passed through their mailroom. Duane always loved Elvis’ music and listened to it frequently; these past few years, he listened to his songs nightly before bed.
Duane is survived by Carol (Koester) Anderson, his loving wife of 62 years. He met Carol when she was working at the diner that his brother owned. After marrying on June 25, 1960, the couple worked side by side to build a successful farm operation. When his father passed away in 1963, Duane stayed on the farm and continued to milk the family cows. He was a hard worker and always thankful for the neighbors that were so kind to him as he started out. In addition to being a member of the Lafayette American Legion, Duane enjoyed serving on both the Sibley County DHIA Board and Bernadotte Lutheran Church Board. Duane and Carol enjoyed playing in card clubs with friends, participating in church activities at Bernadotte Lutheran Church, fishing whenever they could, and in later years, traveling to their home in Arizona every winter to escape the snow. It was always important that they return to Minnesota by Duane’s birthday so he could celebrate at the farm, the place he loved the most.
Duane was a dedicated farmer all his life and enjoyed everything about it. Planting and harvesting seasons were his favorites. He could be found in the fields from sunrise to sundown. When he retired from milking and his sons took over, Duane was very proud that he was able to continue working in the fields. He always said farming kept him young.
Duane is also survived by his loving children Terry Anderson, Tim (Beth) Anderson, Jill (Steve) Hebeisen, and Todd Anderson. Dad loved to work with his sons on the farm and had such pride in the family operation. In his later years, he continued to do field work and enjoyed riding along in the pickup to go on errands for the farm. He also loved to go to his “shop”, a recent addition that housed his favorite antiques and tools. He would spend hours there. Dad enjoyed spending time at the family cabin near Litchfield, which was also the center of many wonderful memories and get-togethers.
Duane gave the best back rubs, of which his grandchildren were often the recipients. Grandpa loved to give tractor and combine rides and make his grandchildren ice cream cones. He always loved to joke around with his grandchildren and had a smile on his face when he was with them. He will be missed by grandchildren Meghan Houdek (Dustin Hale), Marissa Anderson, Joshua Hebeisen, and Noah Hebeisen and great-grandchildren Bentley, Carson, and Oaklynn Hale.
Duane was preceded in death by his parents Harry and Mabel Anderson. He was the last surviving child of nine siblings, preceded in death by brothers Rodney, Dale and James Anderson and sisters Dolores Anderson, Melba Eckstrand, Audrey Lindorf, Phyllis Isenberg, Valerie Gratzer and Judy Volinkaty-Bickel. The Anderson siblings were a close family and Duane leaves behind many nieces and nephews. He was always happy to share the farm experience with any of his relatives who came to visit.
Duane was an active member of Bernadotte Lutheran Church all his life and had many friends there through the years.
Funeral services will be held at 11 am on Saturday, April 29, 2023, at the Bernadotte Lutheran Church in Lafayette, MN. Pastor Bob Stover will officiate, and burial will follow in the Bernadotte Lutheran Cemetery where military honors will be provided by the Lafayette American Legion Honor Guard.
Visitation will be held from 9-11 am on Saturday at the Bernadotte Lutheran Church prior to the service. The Minnesota Valley Funeral Homes of New Ulm are assisting the family with arrangements at this time.
To leave an online condolence for his family, or to sign the guestbook, go to: mvfh.org
Duane never let us say the word “goodbye” when parting ways. If we did by mistake, he was always quick to correct us: “No, no — it’s see you later!” So Duane, Dad, Grandpa, we say to you, not goodbye… but see you later.
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to the Ridgeview Hospice program, which provided great support and comfort for Duane and his family over the past few months. Donations can also be made to K9s for Warriors which combines Duane’s pride in his military service and his love of animals.