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Obituary: Anita (Nelson) Anderson

Described by her father as "a peach of a girl" on the day she was born, May 27, 1929, Anita (Nelson) Anderson peacefully passed away Nov. 4, 2021. As a child of Finnish parents living on a farm, Anita was curious, thoughtful, and a lover of animals.

In 1947 she graduated from Esko High School as the class valedictorian. She worked at the Esko co-op store, serving the farmers in the area, and later moved to Cloquet, where she met Raymond "Hank the Barber" Anderson. They married in 1956 at Zion Lutheran Church in Cloquet, a touchstone of her faith for more than 50 years.

Anita and Hank built a life centered around the outdoors, their children, having a sense of humor and living a simple life. Family and friends remember her as creative, witty, and careful with her words. To her delight, this strong woman chopped her own wood, cooked remarkable meals on a cast-iron wood stove, joyfully played on the floor with her grandchildren and cross-country skied into her 80s.

To her children and grandchildren, she modeled the Finnish sisu and "what mattered" in life: family, loyalty, kindness, embracing the outdoors, gardens, sauna and conversation over hot coffee. Hers was a life well-lived for 92 years, and she continued to her last days as a "peach of a girl."

Anita joins a chorus of family and friends in her passing, including her husband, Raymond W. "Hank" Anderson; her parents, Charles and Lydia (Saukko) Nelson; her sister, Mildred (Pete) Bottila; and dear niece Jane Sheehan.

Surrounding her as she passed were her children, Mark (Kay) Anderson, Greg (Lorrie) Anderson, and Jody (Mike) Acers; special niece, Janice (Kenie) Spieler; as well as the many staff members, who became family, at the Sunnyside Health Care Center. Those who called Anita "Grandma" include Eric Anderson, Bryan Anderson, Josh (Katie) Terwey and their children, Jake and Avery, Jenna Anderson, Emily Acers and Andrew Acers.

A time to remember and celebrate Anita's life will begin at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 12 at Zion Lutheran Church, 1000 Washington Ave., Cloquet, followed by the memorial service at noon, with lunch to follow. Arrangements are entrusted to Atkins Northland Funeral Home. Memorial gifts preferred to Zion Lutheran Church or Sunnyside Health Care Center. To sign the guest book and leave an online tribute, see http://www.atkinsnorthlandfuneralhome.com.

Pine Knot News, Nov. 12, 2021