CRESCO, Iowa — Erlin Theodore Anderson, 86, of Cresco, Iowa, died Monday, Nov., 25, 2013, at the Patty Elwood Center in Cresco. Memorial services will be Monday, Dec. 2, 2013, at 11 a.m. at the First Lutheran Church in Cresco. Burial will be in Fremont Cemetery, rural Cresco. Friends may call from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at Lindstrom Funeral Home in Cresco and at the church for an hour before services.
Erlin was born on Oct. 2, 1927, in rural Winneshiek County, Iowa, the son of Theodore and Agnes Anderson. He was baptized on Nov. 6, 1927, and confirmed on May 23, 1943. He attended country grade school and graduated from Cresco High School in 1945. His dream then was to join the Air Force. The local draft board changed his dream when they announced he was more needed on the farm to keep it going as his father was not well, so Erlin stayed on the farm. His main recreation when young was roller skating. He spent many evenings skating at the local rinks where he was an excellent skater.
On Nov. 3, 1951, he married Marilyn Henderson at the Fremont Lutheran Church, rural Cresco. Together they operated a dairy and livestock farm and raised their six children.
Erlin was a member of the Fremont Lutheran Church, holding various offices until it closed. He became president of the Fremont Cemetery Association and was very proud of the perpetual care fund that he was instrumental in establishing. The family then joined and participated at First Lutheran.
Erlin followed his father as a director/agent for the Norwegian Mutual Insurance Association, serving in this capacity for 38 years. He also constructed many farm buildings in the local area and found great satisfaction in seeing a building project from start to finish.
During retirement he enjoyed woodworking and along with Marilyn wintered for 17 years in Apache Junction, Ariz.
After years of living with Alzheimer's disease, he resided his final two years at the Patty Elwood Center, rural Cresco, where he received excellent and loving care.
Erlin is survived by his wife, Marilyn Anderson, of Cresco, Iowa; six children: Virginia "Ginger" (Keith Larson) Anderson, of Canton, Iowa, Rebecca "Becky" (Drew Tulley) Anderson, of Houston, Texas, R'Delle (Paul Ely) Anderson, of Trinidad, Calif., Lorri Vaughn, of Richmond, Va., Paula (Steve) Green, of Los Angeles, California, Donald "Don" (Jaci) Anderson, of Cresco, Iowa; 13 grandchildren; two step grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren and one due in April; five step great-grandchildren; a sister, Sylvia Lynch, of Madison, Wis., a brother, David (Lois) Anderson, of Apache Junction, Ariz., a sister-in-law, Valda Anderson of Enumclaw, Wash.; and a brother-in-law, Walt Leas, of Denver, Colo.
Erlin was preceded in death by his parents; parents-in-law, Myron and Minnie Henderson, a son-in-law, Steve Vaughn; two sisters, Adelaide (and her husband Jerry) Dykstra and Karen Leas; a brother Charles Anderson; and two brothers-in-law, Robert Lynch and Donald Henderson.
Erlin truly enjoyed his family, friends and community, and he brought that joy to whatever endeavor he was engaged in. As in the words of his favorite song, "You Are My Sunshine", he offered his sunshine to all of us and will be deeply missed.
Memorials may be given to the Patty Elwood Center or the Fremont Cemetery Association in Erlin's memory.