Darrel E. Andersen was born to Earl and Lily (Greve) Andersen on the 5th of February, 1935. He was a Korean War vet and farmer extraordinaire. He loved his Anita Legion brotherhood (Post 210) and working in the field or with cattle. He was a Christian man who loved our Lord and Savior and was a part of the pack of Earl and Lily’s, which included Eugene, Lois, Doris, Verlee, Roger, and little “sissy” Diane. But he would always say his proudest accomplishment was who God blessed him with to be his life partner and the offspring who came from that partnership.
Dad met Momma (Barbara Ann Reynolds) when she was engaged to another man, who was a friend of his. He told the friend upon meeting her that if he ever broke it off with her, he (Poppy) would be making her his wife. The man laughed at Poppy but he did break it off with Mom and … well, you know how that story ends or began. Pops and Mom were married on March 8th, 1959, and the dynamic duo of Jeff and Greg made their appearance known on December 19, 1959. On October 21, 1961, Curtis Mark joined the clan with a head full of black “Curly” hair. And on September 15, 1963, Amy completed the Andersen pit crew! Poppy attended school in a one-room schoolhouse where his oldest sister, Lois, was his teacher. After graduating from school he entered the Army and served during the Korean War. Upon his honorable discharge, he returned home to help his dad on the farm before getting married and beginning his life long career as a farmer, working either in a field or with livestock or, most times, both. After living around the Brayton, Cumberland, or Marne areas, Dad got a position as a hired man working for Ted Wickman and the family settled on a farm on White Pole Road, three miles west of Anita, in 1966, or as Poppy said “there’s abouts” when asked about the exact year. They stayed there even after both Pops and Ted decided it was time to retire. Poppy then began his career as a bus driver for the Anita Community School District until his full retirement in 2015. On July 1, 2016, Momma and Poppy moved to Allen Place Assisted Living as Mom was “tired of all the cooking and cleaning and yard work and having to do this and that on this farm” and Poppy was “just too dam old to keep mowing this yard!” A yard he was so proud of and kept manicured to the extreme! And he “don’t know how to clean or cook as I’m the only person in the world who can put three eggs in a pan to fry and come out with half an egg to eat!” The saddest day of Poppy’s life was not when Momma went Home ahead of him but was on January 29, 2021, when our brother Greg went to be with Jesus. He would often say, “A parent is not supposed to outlive his child”. It was a time we worried we would lose Pops to an actual broken heart.
Poppy went Home to our Lord and precious Savior at 12:10 a.m. on Thursday, May 12, 2022. He went Home with a heart full of love and knowledge of how much he was loved on this Earth! The one main memory that so many of you have shared with his family is the memory of his infectious smile and contagious laugh. He joined Momma, Greg, his parents, his brothers and sisters, and in-laws (or out-laws as he very lovingly referred at times). Those left to love and laugh at memories that have wrapped themselves around our hearts and minds are his children: Jeff (Annette) Andersen, Curt Andersen, and Amy (Don) Mardesen, and daughter-in-law, Sherry Andersen. His grandsons: Nick (Haley) Andersen, Chris Andersen, Mike (Megan) Andersen, Veronica (Dustin) Cribb, and Jerricka (Mike) Brousseau. He also proudly leaves behind his greats: Ryan, Connor, Blayzz, Owen, Makenna, Addisyn, Eleanor, Corbin, Nolan, Peyton, Emmett, and Charli. His sister Diane (Darell) Jensen and sisters-in-law, Betty (Orville) Tanner and Denise Adams. And so many nieces and nephews who he hoped and prayed all knew how very much he loved and was so unbelievably proud of!! All of you!
If you knew Poppy, you were not a stranger! He didn’t know any of those! He said he would not have a legacy to leave his children. No money to inherit. No property to split. “The only thing I’ll have to leave you with is a love for our Lord, a knowledge of a good work ethic, and to love your family and friends because they will be your greatest accomplishments!” Guess what Pops? That’s the greatest legacy we could have ever have asked you to leave us with!
In lieu of flowers or monetary gifts please share a smile with everyone and approach someone with a hand extended or arms opened wide! Please do what our amazing Dad did: leave the world with a smile on your face and a heart full of love!!
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 21, 2022, with a luncheon to follow at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Atlantic, IA. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the memorial service also held at the church. Burial will be held at Evergreen Cemetery in Anita, IA, with military honors from the Anita Post 210.
Services are handled by the staff of Schmidt Family Funeral Home of Atlantic, IA.