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Francis "Babe" Anderson, 88, passed away on Nov. 30, 2012, at the Veterans Hospital in Tucson, Ariz. He was born to Fred and Mary Anderson on Dec. 21, 1923, in Brainerd. He married Ada, the love of his life, on Feb. 4, 1950, and they had been married for 62 years.
Babe Anderson's generation has been called the "Greatest Generation," and his life, well-lived, is a testimony to that legacy. Babe graduated from Brainerd High School where he was named to the All-District basketball team in 1940-41 and 1941-42, and also team co-captain.
From 1942-1946, Babe served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. While serving his country, he earned the Navy Good Conduct medal, American Campaign medal, European African Middle Eastern Campaign medal with star, and the Asiatic Pacific Campaign medal.
After the war, Babe continued as a partner in Anderson Cleaners, the family business. In 1971, he turned to real estate, becoming a broker and establishing Babe Anderson Realty in Brainerd.
Babe had a heart for service. This is especially visible in education. He served on the East Gull Lake school board for seven years, and the Brainerd school board for 12 years. While serving in Brainerd, Babe worked tirelessly to help develop, fund, and bring the construction of the Brainerd High School building and the athletic field complex to completion. He was inducted into the Brainerd High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 1986.
In 1979, Babe and Ada moved to sunny Green Valley, Ariz., where they both continued in real estate. Babe was an associate broker in Tower Realty, which then became Coldwell Banker Realty. He retired when he turned 80.
Babe is survived by his wife, Ada; their children, Jerry (Becky) Anderson, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho; Jodi (Kent) Schwen, Brainerd; Sara (Dean) Miller, Tucson, AZ; Dan Syrdal (son-in-law); plus 10 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by their daughter, Laura; his parents; brothers, Everett and Robert; and sister, MaryLou.
Babe loved his wife and family, his communities, a good round of golf, fishing, hunting, walking, camping, and enjoying the long life with which he had been blessed.
The funeral was held at East Palms Mortuary and Cemetery on Tuesday, Dec. 4.
Published in Green Valley News & Sun on Dec. 5, 2012