Edwin Andersen

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Edwin M. Andersen

1924 - 2017

Edwin M. Andersen, a long-time Kenosha civic leader, local Congressional staff and political activist, died on March 16, 2017, in Menomonee Falls, Wis.

Born in Sturtevant, Wis., on July 20, 1924, he was the son of the late Crist and Hannah (Nelson) Andersen of Kenosha. Edwin attended Kenosha elementary schools and graduated from McKinley Junior High. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He served in both the Atlantic and Pacific theatres during World War II, mostly on the U.S.S. Chenango aircraft carrier.

In 1944 he was named honor man at the advanced torpedoman school in San Diego.

On June 30, 1951, he married Angelina N. De Rango at St. Anthony's Catholic Church. The couple then moved to Miami, Florida, where he worked as a news assistant at the Miami Herald and graduated in journalism from the University of Miami in 1955.

For most of his professional career, Andersen served as a public relations and advertising professional in Milwaukee and Racine, including at the Wisconsin Heart Association; the LeRoi, Koehring and Perfex companies, and Bozell Jacobs advertising agency.

In the early 1960s, Andersen was the president of the Parent-Teachers Association (PTA) at Cordelia Harvey elementary school. He also worked on several local, state and federal political campaigns as a member of the Democratic Party.

In 1970, he was named the Kenosha County campaign manager for then-Congressional candidate Les Aspin. The future U.S. Secretary of Defense initially lost in the primary by 24 votes to fellow Democrat Doug LaFollette. Aspin went on to win his party's nomination, and the Republican-held seat, only after Andersen and his wife arranged for Aspin supporters to pay for a recount, to which the legendarily-thrifty Aspin finally agreed. Both Edwin and Angie went on to serve on his district Congressional staff.

In 1975-1976, Andersen chaired the Kenosha County Bicentennial Committee. In 1982 he was elected for the first of three terms to the Kenosha County Board of Supervisors, where he made a name for himself as a good government activist and vocal advocate of taxpayer protection. Edwin also led a local campaign against the operation of the potentially unsafe Zion (Illinois) nuclear power plant, which was eventually shut down.

An adjunct lecturer at both Carthage College and Gateway Technical Institute, he was long active in the Danish Brotherhood Lodge 14.

Andersen was much loved as the "favorite" grandson, nephew, son-in-law, brother-in-law and uncle in a large extended family.

Surviving Edwin are his three children, Martin Edwin and Barbara (Borzuchowska) Andersen, Kathleen Marie (Andersen) and Richard Schneider, and Christopher David Andersen; his sister, Shirley M. Roders of Kenosha and five grandchildren, their spouses, and five great grandchildren, Krista (Schneider) and Jason Natarelli (Dominic, Luca, Ariana), Carla Thais Andersen, Nicholas and Amy (Vadnais) Schneider (Andersen, Adelynn), Kelly Carina Andersen, and Olivia (Schneider) and Bryan Spakowicz.

A sister, Agnes, and a brother, Lawrence, preceded him in death.

A memorial celebration for family and friends will be held at 10 a.m. on April 24, at the Southern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Union Grove.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that a donation be made in Edwins name to the Wounded Warrior Project @

https:// www.woundedwarriorproject.org/donate

"Judge not a man by the quality of his answers but by the quality of his questions." -- Voltaire


Published online at KenoshaNews.com on Apr. 16, 2017