ROCKFORD – Valdine Ruth Anderson, née Andersen, 88, of Rockford, Ill., died on Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013, in Rockford.
She was born on Christmas Eve in 1924 on a farm in Harlan, Iowa, the middle child of five children.
Growing up on a farm during the Depression meant a lot of hard work. Following her graduation from high school at the age of 16, she moved to Des Moines, Iowa, where she worked for Solar Aircraft. It was there that she met Harold Richard Anderson, fell in love and married on June 2, 1945. They moved to Charles City, Iowa, where their three children were born. They then moved to DeKalb where they spent the majority of their lives and developed many long-lasting friendships.
Valdine had some part-time jobs doing bookkeeping, registering students at Northern Illinois University, teaching bridge and being a poll worker, but her most loved job was being a mother. She was a wonderful cook, gardener and seamstress, an avid reader, a Scout leader, a 4-H leader, a room mother and a community volunteer. She loved to travel, and after Harold's death in 1991 visited many countries with friends. Going on cruises with her family was one of her great joys.
Surviving her are two brothers, Harold Andersen of Harlan and Dr. Ken Andersen of Champaign; and one sister, Marilyn Arnold of Loveland, Colo. Also surviving are her three children, Sharon (Tom) Mellin of Elkhart, Ind., Gary (Judy) Anderson of Rockford and Beth (Brian) Schuck of Las Vegas. Valdine was much loved by her six grandchildren, Matthew (Jeanne) Mellin of Levallois, France, Melissa (Larry) Sloatman of Rockford, Laurel (Joe) Scigouski of Batavia, Adrienne Anderson of Greeley, Colo., Charlotte Marshall of Salt Lake City and Morgan Marshall of Las Vegas. Three great-grandchildren, Norah and Quinn Sloatman and Juliet Mellin delighted her greatly.
The family will host an open house from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 1, at the home of Gary and Judy Anderson, 4416 Eaton Dr., in Rockford. Family and friends are invited to come and share memories of Valdine's life and legacy. Gary is building a Little Free Library box in her memory, so bring a book to share with other readers if you like.
Memorials can be given to the North Suburban Library District of Loves Park or the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Fitzgerald Funeral Home and Crematory, Mulford Chapel is assisting the family. Extend online condolences at www.fitzgeraldfh.com.