Clear Lake, SD
1939, 2748, Pactola, F-4, Ass't Leader
Erling Anderson, 91, a longtime resident of Palo Alto, died of complications from dementia at Valley View Nursing Home in Hamilton, Montana, December 29, 2008.
He was born in 1917 in Minneapolis, Minn., and was raised on the farm near Clear Lake, S.D. He worked for the Civilian Conservation Corps as a carpenter in the Black Hills of South Dakota building park structures that still stand. He joined the Army in 1940. He served as a tank mechanic in Headquarters Co. 899th Tank Destroyer Battalion. He saw action in the North African and Italian theaters, was part of the D-Day invasion, followed Allied forces across France and into Germany, and helped liberate the Dachau concentration camp. He was awarded the Bronze Star. Upon returning home to South Dakota, he became a lifetime member of the American Legion and was part of a group that performed 21-gun salutes for veterans' funerals.
He met Mary Elaine Nicola in 1946 and they were married in October of that year. Together, they farmed near Clear Lake and had three daughters and a son. In 1960, the family moved to Palo Alto. He worked for the Palo Alto School District in the maintenance and construction department. He and Mary Elaine were active in the Lutheran church of the local Sons of Norway. He taught himself furniture-making and created numerous family heirlooms.
He retired in 1987 and in 1991 moved to Ione, CA to be closer to a daughter and grandchildren. Mary Elaine died in 1999. In 2003 he moved to an assisted living community in Montana.
He is survived by his daughters, Cheryl Lind of Novato, Calif., Kaye Powers of Ione, CA, and Laurie Anderson of Hamilton, Montana; sons, Milo Anderson of Wenatchee, Wash., and David Anderson of Stevensville, Mont.; and three grandchildren.
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