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Obituary: Elizabeth A. Anderson

Elizabeth Ann "Beth" Bjorklund Anderson, 99, formerly of Cloquet, died peacefully on Feb. 17, 2023, in Las Vegas.

She was born March 27, 1923 in Mankato to Hilding and Bertha (Mork) Bjorklund. After graduating from high school in St. Peter, Beth attended the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis for a couple of years. In 1943, at the age of 20, she enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps women's reserve, where she met her husband, Christian P. Anderson. They were married Feb. 6, 1944 at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.

After leaving the military, she returned to the University of Minnesota on the G.I. Bill to complete a degree in home economics education. After graduating in 1946, she taught in Chatfield in southern Minnesota from 1947 to 1955. In 1955, she obtained a masters degree in education from the University of Minnesota. She then moved to Cloquet, where she taught from 1955 to 1982.

She enjoyed camping and hiking in the great outdoors, and led a number of backpacking trips in the Sierra Mountains and Isle Royale.

She was a member of Zion Lutheran Church from 1955 to 2000, where she served on the church council, was a Sunday School teacher and Sunday School superintendent, and sang in the choir.

She was a passionate and outspoken advocate who worked tirelessly for battered women, helping to establish Rural Women's Advocates and served as director for 10 years. She served on the Minnesota Department of Corrections state advisory board for battered women from 1985 to 1991.

She received the Community Volunteer of the Year award by the Minnesota Community Education Association in 1986 and in 1994 received the Volunteer of the Year award by the Cloquet Chamber of Commerce. Her volunteer activities included the Cloquet Community Education Board, United Way of Carlton County, the Cloquet/Blandin Partnership, the Carlton County Committee on Violence Prevention, and the Arrowhead Home Economics Association.

Beth was dedicated to meeting the needs of youth and served on the governor's Youth Council and helped to establish "Rent-A-Kid," the Carlton County hotline, and a youth coffee house.

Even in her later years, she continued to remain an activist and was a member of the Citizen Review Board for abused children in Las Cruces, New Mexico. She formed the Knit Wits club, making knitted caps and booties for all new babies at the local hospital. She also started a program to donate suitcases, duffel bags, and backpacks for foster children. She was also on the altar committee at Trinity Lutheran Church.

Beth's most important legacy was her dedication and service to others, but most importantly to her students and local youth.

Beth was preceded in death by her parents, Hilding and Bertha (Mork) Bjorklund, and former husband, Christian P. Anderson. She is survived by her son and son-in-law, Stephen C. and Rex Suba-Anderson; brother, Hilding Bjorklund Jr .; grandchildren, Megan and William Counihan, Christopher Anderson,, and William Anderson; and five great-grandchildren, two great-great-granddaughters and two nieces.

A memorial service to celebrate her life will begin at 1 p.m. April 26 at Zion Lutheran Church in Cloquet.

Memorials may be directed to the Elizabeth B. Anderson fund at the University of Minnesota by checks payable to CEHD Fund 20702, and mailed to UMF, P.O. Box 860266, Minneapolis MN 55486, or online at makingagift.umn.edu/give/fund.html?id=20703.

This permanent endowment fund established by Elizabeth Anderson provides faculty research support in the area of learning disabilities and behaviors with a preference for early childhood education.

Condolences may be left at the online guestbook at Nelson Funeral Care of Cloquet.

Pine Knot News March 3, 2023