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1926 Violet 2019

Violet Anderson

September 27, 1926 — March 7, 2019

Violet Anderson, age 92, of Blue Earth, peacefully passed away on Thursday, March 7, 2019, at the United Hospital District in Blue Earth, with her son, Randall, and granddaughter, Carissa, holding her hands. A public celebration of Vi’s long and well-lived life will be held in the summer – once the grass turns green and the flowers are in bloom. She will be interred at Mt. Hope Cemetery in St. James later in the year. Condolences may be left at www.pattonfh.com. Violet Idell Egger was born on September 27, 1926, on a farm outside of St. James, MN, to Elva Muriel (Stover) and Louis Eugene Egger. For the duration of the Depression, Vi and her three siblings helped their parents raise dairy cattle, laying chickens, and pigs; cultivate garden crops for sale in town; and grow corn, wheat and oats (but never barley, as her teetotal mother refused to support beer production). When she wasn’t working on the farm Vi attended Watonwan County District 32 country school and St. James High School. Anyone who knew Vi could tell you she had a strong will and strong convictions – a product, perhaps, of her parents’ deep-seated Germanic roots. Vi also descended on her mother’s side from a line of the earliest English settlers to America – free-minded dissenters who sought space to hold their own opinions about things. Her ancestors first landed in Ipswich, MA, in 1630 and Sandwich, MA, in 1634, and were later instrumental in the foundation of Hartford, CT and Lyme, CT. As a teenager during the closing months of World War II, Vi moved to Minneapolis and joined the war effort on the assembly line at Honeywell Aerospace. There she was part of the team that manufactured autopilot gyroscopes for the Norden bombsights that were installed on B-17s, B-24s, and B-29s. Vi returned to St. James where, on V-J Day, she married Warren Eugene Anderson of Heron Lake. The birth of their son, Larry, was followed on Christmas Eve the next year by the first set of triplets born at the St. James Hospital: Karen, Kenton, and Kurtis. Their daughter was born with a rare, inoperable condition that required Vi and Warren to make repeated trips to the University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital; they lost their only daughter one week shy of her first birthday. The family moved to Blue Earth in 1953, where Warren later established a small family business and Vi raised a household of energetic boys. It was said that they provided a safe house for neighborhood kids who were in trouble at home, but the truth is that Warren and Vi always held their back door open for anyone. Vi was later employed for almost three decades at St. Luke’s Lutheran Home as a Certified Nursing Assistant, where she worked full-time on the night shift until retiring at age 82. Despite rarely getting more than a few hours of sleep each day, you would always find her working in her yard, tending her flowers, feeding the birds, and looking forward to visits from her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Vi was also very active in the Rachel circle at Salem United Methodist Church, and served as the Third Ward’s chief election judge for almost twenty years. Vi loved to read and led by her example. Until the last few weeks of her life she still looked at four daily newspapers, and in bed each night read her mother’s Bible; in earlier years she tirelessly read to her children and grandchildren – and then taught them to read before they went off to kindergarten. Indeed, her youngest son’s kindergarten teacher noted the impact of Vi’s efforts: “When we would be trying anything new, Randy always wanted to learn it at home first – and would say ‘Mom hasn’t taught me that yet.’” For many years Vi and Warren enjoyed the cabin they built on Bass Lake, where she loved to sit on the screened deck in the quietude of sunset. She also loved rhubarb and strawberries; BBQ ribs and seven-layer salad; banana bread and Russian tea cakes; sweet pickles and beet pickles; fried green tomatoes and cornmeal-crusted rock bass; kringla and rosettes; and chocolate-covered cherries and yellow roses. But most of all she loved her Bichons Frises (Basia, Tiffany, and Lily), her grandchildren, and her great-grandchildren. For those who were on the receiving end of it, Vi’s love was transparent and unyielding. As a fourth grader Carissa put it best in her response on a worksheet; when prompted with “My grandmother can do many things! I think she’s best at ___________,” the answer to her was clear: “loving you.”   Vi is survived by her son, Randall; grandchildren Micheal (Nicole) Anderson, Bobbi (Mike) Harrington, Carissa (Joe) Bell, Carmen (Josh) Wood, and Cassandra (Dan) Johnson; great-grandchildren Elayna and Macklain Anderson, Joe and Jack Bell, Kennedy, Elizabeth, and Raina Wood, and Stuart, Kenton, and Olin Johnson; special nephews Denny Ferris and Mark Egger; and daughter-in-law Cathy (Mike) Koons. She is also survived by her treasured friends Kathy Simonson, Paulette Larson, and Carol More, and her second sons Mick Bauer, Jeff Schaper and Mark Hedberg. Vi was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Warren; her infant daughter, Karen; her sons Larry, Kurtis, and Kenton; her siblings, Eva, Elbert, and Melvin Egger; and her favorite aunts, Stella Sefton and Anna Griggs. Vi was also preceded in death by close family friends Ray and Lilas Koch and Melvin and Irene Earl, and her dear childhood friend, Doris Jean Forlines.
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