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Claude Bernard Andersen

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Claude Bernard Andersen Obituary

October 17, 1916 – July 17, 2014

Claude Bernard (Bert) Andersen, 97, passed away of natural causes July 17, 2014, in Hood River, Oregon. Bert was born in Rosalie, Nebraska on October 17, 1916 to Frederick and Nicolene (Petersen) Andersen. Raised on farms in Nebraska and Wyoming, Bert moved with his family in 1933 to Yuba City, California where he lived most of his life, met his wife Leorna Buckley, and together they built a home and raised a family. Bert and Leorna moved to Oregon in 2007 to live closer to family.

Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Bert enlisted in the US Navy, serving as a Gunner's Mate on the battleship USS Idaho and the destroyer USS Ringgold. He saw combat throughout the Pacific including the Battle of Tarawa.

After World War II, Bert was a carpenter who worked on a range of construction projects from private homes to schools, banks, and other commercial buildings, retiring from Lamon Construction Company of Yuba City in 1975.

Bert was very involved in the hobby of restoring and displaying antique gas engines, the types he worked with on the farms of his youth. He was a long-time member of the Early Day Gas Engine and Tractor Association, Branch 13, and regularly showed his engines at "Gas-Ups" and fairs including the California State Fair and a solo exhibit at the Yuba-Sutter Fair. His 3 to 1 scale drag saw (modeled after his 4 HP Ottawa drag saw) was featured in the national publication Gas Engine Magazine. Bert was an inspiration to many gas engine restorers.

Bert's great joy was family activities - almost every week they would go camping, water skiing, hiking, fishing, hunting, or sightseeing, both locally and across the United States. Bert played acoustic guitar and was an avid photographer with his own darkroom. He built several boats including a canoe, fishing skiffs, and a ski runabout. Right up to the last hours of his life, Bert followed the younger generations' activities and adventures through visits, phone calls, e-mails and Facebook.

Bert is survived by his wife of 68 years, Leorna Andersen of Hood River, Oregon; his daughter, Janet (Randy) Stegemeyer of Port Orchard, Washington; his son Howard (Conni) Andersen of Underwood, Washington; his granddaughter Laura (Sommer) Andersen of Camas, Washington; his grandson Larry (Stephanie) Andersen of Fremont, California; seven great-grandchildren; and ten nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; brother Edward Andersen; sisters Evelyn Yank, Inez Pease, and Marjorie Silta; granddaughters Jennifer Ellis and Cherilyn Andersen; and a niece and nephew.

Arrangements are under the direction of Anderson's Tribute Center. Two farewell services are scheduled: Saturday, July 26, 2014 at 11:00 AM at Anderson's Tribute Center, 1401 Belmont Ave., Hood River, Oregon 97031 (541-386-1000) and Saturday, August 9, 2014 at 11:00 AM, graveside at Sutter Cemetery, 7200 Butte Ave., Sutter, California 95982 (530.755-0346).

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Published in Appeal Democrat on July 27, 2014
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