Franklin Jens Andersen (1923 - 2017)

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Funeral services for Franklin J. Andersen, 93, were conducted by Pastor Steven Frock and Pastor Dwayne Ferguson on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017, at 2 p.m. at the Exira Lutheran Church in Exira. The honorary casket bearers were Todd Brown, Shelley Davis, Mike Haley, Merlin Guy, and Courtney Peppers. The casket bearers were Justin Earnhart, Jason Earnhart, Gary Rasmussen, Dwain Thompson, Greg Jensen, and Richard Petersen.
Franklin Jens Andersen, the son of Anders H. and Kristina (Andersen) Andersen, was born Aug. 6, 1923, at his parents' home in Audubon County near Hamlin, and died Feb. 1, 2017, at the Audubon County Memorial Hospital in Audubon, at the age of 93 years, 5 months, and 25 days.
Franklin was baptized and confirmed at the Bethany Lutheran Church northeast of Kimballton. He attended rural Audubon County schools and graduated from the Audubon High School with the Class of 1940. Franklin then worked for several area farmers.
On March 2, 1943, he was inducted into the U.S. Army. During basic training he was part of a pilot program and was sent to Clemson College in South Carolina where he was enrolled in an Army Specialized Training Program. He was sent overseas with the 87th Division and served as a cook. Franklin saw action in the Battle of the Bulge and two other campaigns. Franklin received the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious achievement in ground combat against the armed enemy during WWII in the European, African, Middle Eastern Theater of Operations. He was honorably discharged on Jan. 29, 1946 and returned to the area and started farming.
Franklin had met and dated Margaret Larsen when he was sixteen and they had corresponded with each other during the war. When Franklin was discharged from the service, Margaret rode a train to Chicago to meet Franklin and to ride back with him. On Sept. 3, 1947, they were united in marriage at the Little Brown Church in Nashua. They were blessed with on daughter Julie Ann. They rented farmland southeast of Elk Horn, and north of Exira, or several years then in 1955 they purchased a farm northeast of Exira. They grew row crops and raised livestock for many years. Margaret also had a number of chickens she would care for during the year. They retired from farming and lived on the farm until they moved into their present home in Exira in 2007. Margaret died Oct. 28, 2013. Franklin has continued to live at home.
Franklin was a member of the Exira Lutheran Church in Exira. He was a member of the V.F.W. and the American Legion in Exira and a member of the Farm Bureau. Franklin was a member of the music group the Four County Players where he played the accordion. They traveled around the area entertaining at dances and nursing homes. Franklin and Margaret loved to dance and attended many dances over the years. During retirement Franklin enjoyed restoring antique tractors and taking trips to Branson, Missouri. But most of all Franklin love to spend time with his wife Margaret and their daughter Julie Ann.
Preceding him in death in addition to his wife Margaret; were his parents; his brother and sister Albert Andersen and Emmert and wife Egidia Andersen; his sister-in-law Mabel and husband Emery Petersen; his niece Pamela Petersen; and nephew Don Knudsen.
Survivors include his daughter Julie Ann Earnhart of Exira; his grandsons Justin Alan Earnhart and Jason Daniel Earnhart both of Kirbyville, Mo.; his sister-in-law Lydia Andersen of Blair, Neb.; his nieces and nephews Ron and wife Charlotte Andersen of Washington, Carol and husband Keith Hartvigsen of Blair, Neb., and Pauline Knudsen of Atlantic; other relatives and many friends.
Funeral Home
Kessler's Exira Funeral Home
234 W South St
Exira, IA 50076
(712) 268-2662
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Published in AUDUBON COUNTY ADVOCATE JOURNAL from Feb. 10 to Feb. 17, 2017