Howard P. Anderson, 72, of Elburn, passed away unexpectedly, Tuesday evening, April 12, 2011, at Loyola University Hospital in Maywood, Ill.
He was born Sept. 13, 1938, in Aurora, the son of Gunnar and Edna (Freeland) Anderson.
Howard grew up in Elburn and attended local schools. After graduation with the class of 1956, he worked for Northern F.S. delivering feed. Later, Howard began working for Elburn Co-Op until he began a 35-year career as a Maintenance Supervisor for Burgess-Norton until his retirement in May of 1997.
Howard met someone special in 1958. Bernice Ketcham caught not only his eye but his heart. Before long they were married at Grace Lutheran Church in Aurora, on Dec. 10, 1960. Though the air was cold that day, their love was warm and true and would last 50 years.
They began their life together in a tenant house in Elburn for a time before moving to Main Street. Later they moved next door into their present home.
Howard was a dedicated member of his community serving on the Elburn Village Board and as a lieutenant on the Elburn Fire Department. He was also a member of the Northern Illinois Steam and Power Club, the Minneapolis-Moline Collectors Association and the Upper Midwest A-C Collectors Club.
Howard’s hands were “magic” and restored a little bit of anything. From antique tractors, clocks, furniture and an old ‘37 Dodge pickup that was his pride and joy, he brought new and beautiful life to the old and forgotten items of yesterday.
His passion garnered him several trophies at the Big Rock Plow Match and numerous car shows throughout the years. Howard was a “jack of all trades,” and the first person you called when you needed advice on how to fix anything. His family was most important to him, a fact that was clear to see when you looked into his eyes while he attended all of his children and grandchildren’s sporting events. He was a photographer of sorts, snapping hundreds of pictures of all the family get-togethers, though many of those pictures never saw the light of day.
He and Bernice also became the “vacation destination” for their grandchildren for a week each summer at their cottage on Lake Roshe-a-cri in Wisconsin.
Howard loved to watch his grandson Nick quarterback the University of Wisconsin-Platteville team to victory, though nobody wanted to sit by him if they lost. Howard cheered Neil on as well during his snowmobile races and his special pursuit of life. He also loved watching college basketball and NASCAR, where he cheered on his favorite driver, Dale Earnhardt Sr., and later Junior as well. He was a member of the “Liars Club” that held court over coffee at The Kountry Kettle every morning, seven days a week. Howard was a dear friend to many and loved by all. He will never be forgotten.
He is survived by his wife Bernice Anderson, three sons, Curt (Susan) Anderson of Elburn, Craig (Suzanne) Anderson of Sycamore, and Kent (Tammy) Anderson of Cortland; two grandsons, Nick and Neil Anderson, both of Sycamore; is mother, Edna Anderson of Batavia; three siblings, Judy (Ron) Johnson of Elburn, Byron (Sue) Anderson of Batavia, and Sheila (Bill) VanBuskirk of Big Rock; many nieces, nephews and a community of friends.
He is preceded by his maternal and paternal grandparents, as well as his father, Gunnar Anderson.
Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m., Friday, April 15, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn. A funeral service will begin at 11 a.m., Saturday, April 16, also at the funeral home. Rev. Michelle Prentice-Leslie, pastor of the Community Congregational Church of Elburn, will officiate, and interment will follow at Blackberry Township Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in his name to benefit his favorite charities. Checks may be made to the “Howard Anderson Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or on the web at www.conleycare.com.