Barbara Andersen, age 80, of Atlantic, IA, passed away Tuesday, December 24, 2019, at the Allen Place Assisted Living Community in Atlantic, Iowa.
Born June 22, 1939, to Lloyd and Dortha (Dorsey) Reynolds, Barbara was born at home in Adair, Iowa. She attended college in Creston, Iowa, for secretarial skills. She married Darrel E. Andersen at the Methodist Church in Anita, Iowa, on March 9, 1959. They were surprised but excited when they were told they were expecting in December of that same year as they wanted to have a child right away. However, because God has such an awesome sense of humor, they welcomed twin boys, Jeff and Greg, on December 19, 1959. They made their home in Marne and Darrel was a farmer. Things were going smoothly until October 21, 1961, when another son, Curtis, joined the clan. Now they had two 2-year olds and a newborn. See – we told you God has an awesome sense of humor. By then they were living in Cumberland and making a living farming the land. Barb was a stay-at-home mom because, well, let’s face it, who wants to watch twin 2-years old and a newborn. Then one day God looked down on Barb and Darrel and said, “Needs a little more something!” and on September 15, 1963, the family welcomed daughter, Amy Jo, and now life was complete.
Barb worked as a secretary for many years in the different fields of medicine. She worked under the direction of the Director of Nursing (aka: VVG), at CCMH for several years. She also worked as the secretary to the director of the nursing home in Anita formerly known as Colonial Manor (now Caring Acres) and the PT department at Cass County Memorial Hospital (CCMH) under the directions of Steve Strong for a few years until Curt suffered a brain aneurysm, followed by a stroke. After “retiring” and hanging up her flower apron, she started driving the suburban for special need kids at Anita Community Schools. In all her years of working, this was probably her greatest joy. Oh, how she loved those kids!! “The wheels on the bus go round and round….” Barb was known for not only her incredible work ethic but how she dressed and her fingernails. She always kept her fingernails very groomed, painted and beautiful. It is one of the first things Darrel’s youngest sister, Diane, and his nieces noticed when they met Barb for the first time. “Her long, beautiful nails.”
Barb had a heart of caring and love. She was always patient with the numerous critters that found their way to our home in the summer. A Siamese cat brought all the way from Anita in Curt’s shirt as he pumped his bicycle home three miles! Too many raccoons to count that ended up calling our front porch “home”. Dogs, cats and even a gerbil all called the Andersen Ponderosa home at one time or another. Even when Poppy would come into the house on a cold rainy night, saying he had another “orphan”, Barb would immediately get a calf bottle ready to go and head to the barn to take care of her new baby. Barb did have a way with words at times. We fondly referred to them as “Barb-isms”. “Pick up your HQ320 cars and tracks or I’ll pick ‘em up for you and you won’t like where they’re going to go!” Or whenever she needed something oiled – “Darrel, where’s your W2D40 at?” And NEVER ask her to measure something – “It’s three feet and about four little hash marks long.” She must have been a great teacher though because Amy measures the exact same way today!
Barb was an amazing wife, mother, grandmother but we think her proudest role was that of a follower of Christ. Barb always “gave it to God” when things were tough or rough or just plain too hard. “He hasn’t let me down yet!” I definitely have an image of when she arrived at the Gate, Poppa God was standing right there, arms open wide, and with a smile as bright as the sun itself said, “Well done, my good and faithful servant! Well done!!”
Greeting her Home will be her mom and dad; her brothers, Jr. and David Adams; her very much loved out-laws, Earl and Lily Andersen; as well as brother and sister out-laws, Eugene and Roger Andersen, Lois Henningsen and Doris “Janie” Pedersen; and other family and friends.
Left here on Earth until reunited again one day is her husband of 60 years, Darrel; four children, Jeff (Annette) of Anita, Greg of Anita, Curt of Atlantic, and Amy (Donnie) Mardesen of Atlantic; three grandsons, Nicholas (Haley) of Dubuque, Christopher of Cumberland, and Michael (Megan) of Atlantic; two step-granddaughters, Veronica Mardesen (Dustin Cribb) of Arkansas and Jerrica (Michael) Brousseau of Atlantic. Barb will also be remembered by her sister, Betty (Orville) Tanner of Georgetown, TX; sis-in-law, Verlee Flynn of Kansas City and sis-in-law Diane (Darrell) Jensen of Kimballton. And certainly not to be forgotten are her nine amazing great-grands, Connor and Ryan Andersen of Cumberland, Owen, McKenna and Addison (who was born on her great-grandmother’s birthday) Andersen of Atlantic, Blayzz Andersen of Dubuque, and Corbin, Nolan and Peyton Brousseau of Atlantic; as well as so many other nieces and nephews that Barb always felt very blessed to call her own. Also, the countless friends she considered her family as well!! Thank you one and all for touching Barb’s life! Oh, how she loved each and every one of you!
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Friday, January 10, 2020 , at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Atlantic, IA. Inurnment will be held at a later date at Evergreen Cemetery in Anita, IA. In lieu of flowers the family request memorials to the family to be used per Barbara’s wishes.