Curtis M. Andersen made his arrival on October 21, 1961, with a head so full of hair he was born needing a haircut! He went to be with our Lord and Savior on Sunday, August 6, 2023. Born to Darrel and Barb Andersen, he was the third son born of this union. He was the quiet one of the group. But with twin older brothers and, eventually, a very loud baby sister, how was he supposed to get a word in. His greatest pride and joy happened on September 23, 1983, when his son, Nicholas, was born.
Curt attended Iowa Western Community College and earned a degree in Child Development. He worked for the Convalescent Home for Children in Johnston, Iowa, for a number of years! This was a long-term care facility for pediatric to young adults, and Curt took care of numerous children with several different care level needs and was highly commended by his superiors and peers for his caring and loving nature with all of them. He moved on to work at Ruby Van Meter School in Des Moines. This was a special needs school for kids with significant intellectual needs. He was probably most happy though if he was trapping, fishing, or watching the Chicago Cubs play! He knew they were going to get the pennant, but if not this year, “They’ll get it next year!” Die hard Cubs fan through and through!
Curt moved back home with Nick by his side and started working at Cass Health, back then known as Cass County Memorial Hospital, as a nurse’s aide and moved on to working in the lab. He really loved this work and was just starting to help with autopsies when the unthinkable happened. Curt suffered an aneurysm and stroke that left him with left side paralysis/weakness. With a lot of time, rehab, and determination, Curt learned to walk again, with a brace, and do things on his own. He was eventually able to move him and Nick into an apartment and get a job. He worked for Godfather’s in Atlantic as a dishwasher and pizza delivery for many years, and after they closed, he moved his driving skills to Atlantic’s Pizza Hut and delivered even more pizzas. He was an amazing one-arm golfer, loved playing cards with family, and could drive his car, smoke a cigarette, drink a Mt. Dew, and deliver pizza, all at the same time and all with the use of only one arm! He was not handicapped but was very handiABLE! He continued to work and live on his own until numerous falls made things a bit more difficult. Curt then moved into a REM home with a 24-hour staff. The overnight staff told his family that they loved Curt being there because he was such a night owl and would talk into the night, which helped make the shift not so quiet or long. To his amazingly wonderful REM staff, past and current ~ thank you does not even begin to say it, but for ALL you did for him – thank you! How he loved his ladies!
When he was told he had lung cancer, the first thing Curt said was, “Well, of course! After two brain surgeries, a heart attack, open-heart surgery, knee replacement, and so many falls, why not throw in some cancer, too?” He faced his giants with a smile that could light up a room and an attitude that, for the most part, we should all strive to have! He would share with his sister many times his real pain(s) or his disappointments of certain things in life, his mental anguish, and he felt comfortable with her to share his negativity of many things! He kept this quiet from others, though, and when Amy asked him why he did that and wasn’t honestly open with people in that regard, he’d say it was because “what’s that going to get me if they hear me complaining? Nothing and it’ll just make them sad for me, and I do not want that!” Give him a cigarette, a Mt. Dew, and a Cubbies game or a fishing rod, and he was good to go! Throw in a couple of lottery scratchers, and life was even better! When we got Curt’s diagnosis, his sister asked him what would be something he’d really like to do. The first thing he said was to be able to see Nick, Haley, and his grandchildren a little more, “and if possible, seeing my Cubbies play in person one more time. Now that would be amazing!” Dad and Curt made a KSOM bus trip, years ago, to see the Cubbies play and he held tight to that memory! So, on Sunday, July 23rd, his dream came true to see them play again in person as he made the trip to Wrigley Field to see HIS Cubbies beat the Cardinals, 7 to 2! It was a long trip for him but he still wore his smile and said, “So worth the trip!” He also wanted help to stand up for the 7th inning stretch theme song because, “You just have to stand for that song and Harry Caray!”
Curt went Home with loved ones waiting to greet him: our Dad and Momma, our brother Greg, our beautiful Grandpas and Grandmas, Aunts and Uncles and so many other family and friends.
Those left to remember his incredible smile are his son Nick (Haley) Andersen, his grandson, Blayzz and granddaughter, Oakley Jo; his brother Jeff (Annette) Andersen, sister Amy (Don) Mardesen, and sister-in-law Sherry Andersen. His aunts and uncles, Betty and Orville Tanner, Diane and Darell Jensen, and Denise Adams. As well as his niece and nephews, great nieces and nephews, many, many cousins, and so many friends who blessed his life! He truly loved you all!
Memorial service will be held at 10:30 on Saturday, August 12, 2023, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Atlantic, IA, with Rev Lauri Boysen officiating. A luncheon will be served following the service in the church reception hall.
Visitation will be held one hour prior to the start of service at the church on Saturday.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Curtis Andersen Memorial to be designated at a later date. They may be mailed to the Schmidt Family Funeral Home P.O. Box 523, Atlantic, IA 50022.