Gene Paul Andrews, the son of Wilbur Arthur and Flossie (Surber) Andrews, was born July 12, 1937, on a farm in Dallas County. He and his twin sister, Jane, were born 9 years after their last child, when Flossie was 42! He passed away on February 3, 2021, at Mercy Hospital in Des Moines.
He attended Washington Township school, where he played baseball, sang in the choir, and was senior class president, graduating in 1955. He worked construction for 2 years before he attended the University of Iowa for a semester to learn vocational studies of printing and journalism. He was going to move to Colorado, but he decided he needed experience in the newspaper business before getting a “real job,” so he moved to Anita in 1958 to begin working at the Anita Tribune. There he met and married LaDonna Christensen on April 21, 1962. They are the parents of two daughters, Dana and Deanna.
Gene bought The Anita Tribune in 1975 and owned it until his death. He was a big part of the community; he was a member of the Anita Chamber of Commerce, serving several terms as president; was a member of the Anita School Board and served on the Anita City Council; was a member of the Lions Club, the Quasquicentennial Board and a member of the Anita Volunteer Fire Dept. for 16 years, serving as captain of the ambulance crew for 14 of those years.
Gene and The Anita Tribune received several awards over the years, including the 1994 Iowa Health Care Association Media Award, the 1997 State of Iowa Community Betterment Program Governor’s Media Award, the 1998 and 2019 Distinguished Service Award from Cass County 4-H and in 2015, the Tribune received a Certificate of Appreciation for valuable contributions to Cass County from the Cass-Atlantic Development Corporation. He was also a member of the Fifty-Year Club of the Iowa Newspaper Association, having been in the newspaper business for fifty years and in 1998 was named Outstanding Citizen at the Apple Blossom Festival in Anita.
Gene enjoyed golfing, playing pool with his pool buddies in the winter, going to coffee at the Weather Vane Café, watching old western TV shows and watching politics on CNN. He also loved going up and down the streets of the towns the paper covered – Anita, Massena, Cumberland and Wiota – and having coffee with his friends of those towns and getting to know everyone. His greatest joys were his family, especially his great-grandchildren. When Jesse was born, he was thrilled to have a boy in the family after having put up with 6 sisters, 2 daughters and a granddaughter!
He is preceded in death by his parents; his mother and father-in-law, Amanda and Hans Christensen; his brother, Max (Doris) Andrews; sisters, Ruth (Lloyd) McLaughlin, Elsie (Phil) Crane, Jessie (Dwain) Patty, Rosa Wicks and Lois (Bob) West; brother-in-law, Don (Betty) Wicks; sisters-in-law & brothers-in-law, LaVeda (Harold) Pine, Judy Smith, Duane Littleton, Delbert (Edna) Christensen and Merlyn (Marcella) Christensen; nieces, Becky Fosselman, Cathy Schultze and Katrina Christensen; and great-nephew, Courtney Ray.
Gene is survived by his wife; daughters, Dana Larsen and Deanna Andrews, both of Anita; granddaughter, Amanda (Josh) Waske of Mt. Ayr; great-grandchildren, Jesse Wilds, Ella and Emerie Waske of Mt. Ayr; twin sister, Jane (Jack) Schultze of Van Meter; sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, Bonnie Littleton of Anita, Guy Smith of Wiota, and Gary (Jan) Christensen of Anita; several nieces and nephews, other relatives and many friends.
Memorial money will be directed to the Anita Fire Dept. and the Town & Country Club in Anita.
A graveside service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, February 18, 2021, at the Anita Evergreen Cemetery. Everyone in attendance is welcome to come to the Weather Vane Café in Anita following the service for a light meal.
Hockenberry Funeral Home in Anita, Iowa, is in charge of the arrangements.