Funeral services for Donald W. Anderson, of rural Starbuck, officiated by Pastor Pete Reishus, were held at New Testament Church in Alexandria, on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. A private family burial followed at St. John’s Lutheran Church of rural Starbuck.
Donald (Don) was born on July 10, 1932, to William and Ida (Swenson) Anderson in White Bear Lake Township, Pope County, on the family farm northwest of Starbuck. He was baptized, confirmed, and married at Minnewaska Lutheran Church in Starbuck. He attended country school through the 8th grade and went on to graduate from Starbuck High School in 1950. After attending one semester at Augsburg College, he came home to help his dad farm. He married Dorothy Corrinne Gabrielson, his high school sweetheart and neighbor, on June 18, 1954. Don and Dorothy moved to their home two miles west of where Don grew up and were blessed with six children. He lived the rest of his life on the farm until a hip fracture occurred on June 22, 2021, while he was helping Dorothy water the flowers in an unusually dry year. He was hospitalized for several weeks, then became a resident at Minnewaska Lutheran Home and was eventually transferred to Woodcrest Assisted Living and put on hospice where he lived just four days.
Throughout Don’s life he attended Minnewaska Lutheran Church, St. John’s Lutheran Church, First Baptist Church in Glenwood, New Testament Church in Alexandria and Lake Community Church in Alexandria. He was on several boards including the Starbuck School board, State Bank of Cyrus board, Cyrus Elevator board and the FHA board.
Farming was Don’s life. He went from farming with horses to farming with modern tractors and equipment. He raised cattle and grain farmed, and planted every season for 75 years, mainly corn and soybeans. He was a perfectionist who wanted straight rows and no weeds. He loved his cattle and took very good care of them. He also loved dogs and enjoyed hunting pheasants when he was younger and always had a dog with him. In 1980, Don got his first small house dog, Susie, and she was followed by many Susies. He loved telling stories about his dogs and would laugh heartily as he told about their many antics. During the last few years when Don didn’t have a dog on the farm, he befriended a feral cat that he named Casey. Casey would only go to Don, and Don made sure Casey was well taken care of in his shop.
The four seasons in a year of Don’s life were planting, taking care of his sweet corn and apples, grain harvesting, and winter. He loved growing sweet corn and would try to have three crops of it to last many weeks. There were many hours spent in the basement cooking and freezing the corn and these were often family events. Then came apple season, where he would pick his apples and spend hours putting them through the slicer, then bagging and freezing them to be made into delicious pies later by his beloved wife, Dorothy. For many years, Don and his family took trips to the Minnesota State Fair, and would camp in the campground. Friends were invited to come along and great memories were made during those times. Don and Dorothy also took trips to Hawaii, Alaska and Texas, and Don introduced some of his children and grandchildren to snow skiing.
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