Cover photo for Harvey James Andersen's Obituary
Harvey James Andersen Profile Photo
1932 Harvey 2023

Harvey James Andersen

May 3, 1932 — March 12, 2023

Harvey James Andersen, son of Hans Christian and Emma Christina (Petersen) Andersen, was born May 3, 1932, on the family farm northwest of Brayton in Oakfield Township, Audubon County, Iowa, and died March 12, 2023 at the Exira Care Center, Exira, Iowa, at the age of 90 years, 10 months, and 9 days.

Harvey was baptized and confirmed at St. John’s Lutheran Church west of Exira. He attended Oakfield Township Schools #6 and #1 through eighth grade and graduated from Exira High School in 1950. Harvey helped on the family farm and worked for other area farmers; and worked at meat packing plants in Omaha and Blue Star Foods in Atlantic until entering the U.S. Army in November 1952. After completing basic training at Camp Polk, Louisiana in March 1953, Harvey was assigned to the 37th Infantry Division Headquarters in the Trainee Personnel office. After 18 months at Camp Polk, Harvey was transferred to Fort Riley, Kansas, where he worked in the 10th Infantry Division Headquarters assigning replacement personnel and performing other duties, continuing to use the typing skills learned in high school. He received his honorable discharge in November 1954, at the rank of Sgt. E-5.

Harvey utilized his G.I. Bill privileges by attending Grand View Junior College in Des Moines, IA from January 1955 to June 1956, and University of Iowa in Iowa City, IA graduating with a Business Degree in June 1958. Harvey worked various part time and summer jobs during this period. After college graduation, he worked as an income tax auditor for the Iowa State Tax Commission in Des Moines and Davenport, IA and briefly with the J.I. Case plant in Bettendorf, IA. Harvey then attended Drake University Law School in Des Moines for two semesters, while working part-time for Attorney Arthur Hedberg. In July 1960, Harvey began working as a claim adjuster for The Travelers Insurance in Des Moines, transferring to Cedar Rapids, IA in November 1960, and later to their Ottumwa, IA office in 1963 where he worked and lived until relocating to Des Moines in July 1966 to work in the State of Iowa personnel office.

In August 1966, Harvey was united in marriage to Kay Andrew in Des Moines. A son, Scott Edward, was born to this union February 26, 1968. The marriage ended in 1978. Harvey was employed as an investigator for Des Moines Attorney Lex Hawkins for several years, followed by a year or two as a private investigator. He then worked in sales including Yellow Page advertising, health, and life insurance, and credit card processing. In 1986, Harvey became employed with Patterson Law Firm in Des Moines as an investigator and legal assistant until his retirement in 1998. He then did part-time work with Montgomery Ward in Merle Hay Mall during their store closing.

On December 24, 1996, Harvey was united in marriage with Carol Wandling Fetters, R.N. in Des Moines, and proudly gained John R. Crosby and Jamie Crosby as stepchildren. Carol and Harvey resided in Urbandale, IA until moving to Carroll, IA in 1999, where Carol served as Director of the Mental Health Division of St. Anthony Regional Hospital. Harvey did temporary work for an income tax agency and supervised the updating of the Carroll City Directory. In July 2002, Harvey and Carol relocated to Towson, MD for three years and then to Jersey City and Bayonne, NJ as Carol pursued her nursing profession and her doctoral education first at University of Maryland and later at Columbia University in New York City. In Maryland, Harvey worked for a time in a Target store. Sadly, son Scott Andersen lost his life in a motor vehicle accident in Las Vegas, NV on November 4, 2002.

In May 2011, they moved to Palestine, TX where Carol became Director of Nursing and taught at the Palestine campus of the University of TX at Tyler, TX. In 2015, Harvey and Carol relocated to Austin, TX where Carol continued teaching online from home until retiring in December 2016. Carol passed away in Austin from cancer March 4, 2017. On April 30, 2017, Harvey moved to Exira, IA to be closer to his family.

Harvey was a member of Brayton Lutheran Church, Brayton American Legion Post 350, Des Moines Danish Brotherhood Lodge #15, Heartland District Danish Brotherhood, the Museum of Danish America in Elk Horn, IA, the Atlantic Chapter of The Friends of the Museum of Danish America, and the Democratic Party. He was a past member of Investigator organizations, various American Legion posts, Toastmasters, and various community groups. Harvey served on several Lutheran Congregation Councils where he resided. He held leadership posts in the Young Democrats and Democratic Party, in the Danish Brotherhood, and Grand View College Alumni Association. Harvey participated in numerous volunteer endeavors. He and his wife Carol were awarded the Sally Cartwright Volunteer Service award by Grand View College in 1999. Harvey possessed a keen interest in history and government, including study of the U.S. Presidents and members of Congress. He also loved family history and genealogy. He seldom forgot the birthdays of family and close friends.

Harvey was preceded in death by his parents, son Scott wife Carol, parents-in-law Ed and June Wandling, brothers Dennis Peter Andersen in infancy, Robert Lee Andersen and Richard Allen Andersen; sisters Dorothy Viola Jespersen and Kathryn Ann Hansen; brother-in-law Donald Jespersen, Eugene Hansen, Darrell Schroeter, and Don Wandling; sister-in-law Betty Andersen, Dolores Andersen, Carol Andersen Jayne, and Beverly Wandling; nephews and nieces Ricky (Pete) Andersen, David and Sheryl Schroeter, Kenneth Andersen, Susan Jespersen Scott, Jim Lindsey, and Tyler Bame, along with many other relatives and friends.

Survivors include his sister Bertha Schroeter of Exira; Stepson John (J.R.) and wife Nancy Crosby of Tulsa, OK; Step-daughter Jamie and husband Bill Tucker of Austin, TX; Step-grandsons John Radcliffe Crosby, Winston Augustus Crosby and Charles Bancroft Crosby of Tulsa, and William Scott Tucker of Austin; Step-granddaughter Gwendolyn Bernadette Tucker of Austin; first wife Kay Andersen of Las Vegas, NV; Nieces Judith Andersen (Ron Mickevicius) of Baxter, MN; Jane Andersen of Ankeny; Diana Lindsey of West Des Moines; Peggy (Larry) Woolard of Bentonville, AR; Donna Bame of Rogers, AR; Sally Andersen Smith, Julie (Allan) Nissen, Linda Hansen, and Shelley (Roger) Petersen, all of Exira; and Mary (Burt) Blom of Marshalltown, IA; Nephews Rex Andersen of Brayton; Jim (Bobbi) Andersen of Exira; Richard Dean Andersen of Frankfort, IN; Ronald Jespersen of Rogers, AR; Thomas Hansen and Todd Hansen, of Exira; sister-in-law Barbara Wandling of Naples, FL, and numerous other relatives and friends.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, March 16, 2023, from 5:00-7:00 PM at the Kessler Funeral Home in Exira, IA. Services will be at 10:30 AM on Friday, March 17th at the Brayton Lutheran Church, Brayton, IA with Paster Loren Christensen officiating. Burial will be at St. John’s cemetery west of Exira. Casket bearers are Nicholas Andersen, Jason Andersen, Rex Andersen, Jim Andersen, Richard Dean Andersen, Ronald Jespersen, Thomas Hansen, Todd Hansen, Zack Petersen, Brian Andersen, and Brian Lindsey.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Harvey James Andersen, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, March 16, 2023

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Kessler Funeral Homes, Inc. - Exira

234 West South Street, Exira, IA 50076

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Friday, March 17, 2023

Starts at 10:30 am (Central time)

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St. John's Lutheran Cemetery

, Exira, IA 50076

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