Orville E. Anderson

Orville E. Anderson, 88, a loving husband and father who farmed his land and improved the quality of life in Fish Lake Township, died peacefully May 30, 2011 in Cambridge with his wife and daughters at his side. 

Orville was born April 6, 1923 in a farm house in Stanley, Minn. He farmed throughout his younger years, graduated from North Branch High School in 1940 and then attended Dunwoody Institute where he learned the craft of a machinist. Orville met and fell in love with Lorraine Soderberg, they married in 1946 at the South Isanti Baptist church. Orville and Lorraine Anderson attended Fish Lake Lutheran church where the couple became active lifelong members.

He was a dedicated farmer who grew his modest plot of land into a successful 500-acre farmstead where the corn tassels often crested 4 feet by Independence Day and reached 7 feet by harvest. He worked tirelessly in those fields, and he enjoyed plentiful dinners and suppers Lorraine prepared for his work crew. Orville farmed well beyond common retirement age and later sold the land, keeping 140 acres that he considered the best which he referred to as “the big field.” He and Lorraine’s farmstead was honored by the Minnesota Farm Bureau with the Century Farm Award in 2001, and it remains an eloquent rural Minnesota farm home.

Orville always said “family comes first,” and he lived that motto, renewing wedding vows with his beloved wife several times and providing for bountiful holidays with his daughters, Pam West and Teri Wistrom, and their families. He did not tire easily. Orville, a former Fish Lake Township Supervisor, was honored by the County of Chisago Board of Commissioners in 2001 for his 44 years of service and “his countless, untiring efforts to see that the citizens of the township receive the services and leadership which they are due.” He helped plan and establish a town hall for the community, spread gravel on dozens of rural county roads, plowed snow throughout winter and helped pull school buses and cars out of the ditch when he came across them. He helped friends and family with farm equipment, money or advice when he perceived need. He was also a director for North Branch Mutual Insurance for 12 years.

Orville enjoyed time with his family, square dancing with his wife, playing rook and whist with friends on weekly card game nights, an occasional Canadian Windsor accompanied by pickled herring, political discussions, Minnesota Twins baseball.

He is survived by his wife, Lorraine (Harris); daughters Pam West (North Branch) and Teri (Darrell ) Wistrom  (Cambridge); grandchildren Kelly West (Cedar), David West (North Branch), Jenny (David) Tschoepe (Austin, Texas), Brent Wistrom (Wichita, Kansas) great granddaughter Lauren West, and step/grandson Duncan Tschoepe. He was preceded in death by his parents, Anton & Mabel Anderson, and his sister, Ardis McDonald.

Funeral Services were held Friday, June 3, 2011 at the Fish Lake Lutheran Church with Rev. Dale Stiles officiating. Jon Ekstrom accompanied by Darlene Fixell sang “One Day At A Time” and “On Eagles Wings.”  Pallbearers were John and Don Pearson, Greg and Tim McDonald, Gary Fixell and Ray Goldman. Honorary pallbearers were Burt Coleman, Dellis Sandquist, Filmore Hammargren, Lawrence Medin, Tom Janssen, Skip Soderberg and Jim Berg. Interment was in the Cambridge Union Cemetery. Arrangements were with the Carlson-Lillemoen Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Cambridge.