Anderson, Harriet Bertha

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1996 MWA Alumnus of the Year

Birth:        February 12, 1936 in Stewart, McLeod Co., MN
Death:       March 21, 2010 in Hutchinson, McLeod Co., MN
Burial:      Oakland Cemetery, Hutchinson, McLeod Co., MN
Findagrave:   95120433
Spouse:   Wesley Dale Anderson
Parents:   Anders Kristian (Chris) Andersen and Martha Valentine Johnson

Harriet Bertha Andersen-Anderson
Photo: Harriet Anderson

Harriet Anderson, 74, of Hutchinson, passed away Sunday, March 21, 2010 at her home. Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Thursday at Seventh-day Adventist Church in Hutchinson with interment in Oakland Cemetery. Visitation will be 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 24, and 8 to 9 a.m. Thursday, March 25, at the Dobratz-Hantge Chapel in Hutchinson. Visitation will continue one hour prior to the service at the church. Memorials preferred.
Hutchinson Leader, March 23, 2010

Life Sketch:
Harriet Bertha (Andersen) Anderson was born at home during a blizzard on February 12, 1936, near Stewart, Minnesota. She was the daughter of Chris and Martha (Johnson) Andersen. Harriet grew up on a farm 10 miles southwest of Hutchinson, attended Lyndale Country School, and graduated from Maplewood Academy in 1954. She attended Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska for one year.

On August 20, 1956, Harriet was united in marriage to Wesley Anderson in the Maplewood Academy Chapel in Hutchinson. After teaching in Dodge Center, Minnesota, for one year they returned to Hutchinson to raise their family. During those years Harriet and Wes were blessed with three children: Clinton, Kimberly and Curtis. They shared 53 years of marriage.

When her youngest child reached school age, Harriet returned to teaching at the Northwoods Elementary School in Hutchinson and began summer school classes to complete her degree. She taught there until she retired in 1994. Harriet won the Zapara Excellence in Teaching Award in 1991. When she quit teaching in 1994, she found a new role for herself as Grandma Harriet at Karen Larsen’s daycare. She spent many hours there holding babies, reading stories and singing lullabies.

Harriet was a lifelong member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Hutchinson, and served in various roles. She was a Cradle Roll Sabbath School leader, an Adult Sabbath School pianist, a Music Coordinator, a deaconess, and an elder. She also coordinated and ran the Sunday church service at Burns Manor Nursing Home in Hutchinson for many years. Harriet was well known and loved for her encouraging words and wise advice. As a loyal supporter of Maplewood Academy, she donated time, talents and resources for the continued growth of the school. Many students had Sabbath dinner at her house over the years.

Harriet was a talented musician. She had a unique and rich alto voice and played piano beautifully with little formal training. Harriet and Wesley’s home was always open for fellowship, music and good food. She loved reading, gardening and writing. Harriet loved nothing more than to hear her children sing; whether it was on Friday nights around the piano, as they practiced for a special program, in concerts during their high school or college years, or (when they all landed in music teaching jobs) at their school’s concerts. She was always her children’s biggest supporter.

On Sunday, March 21, 2010, at age 74, she passed away at home surrounded by her family after a long battle with cancer. She will be truly missed. Harriet is survived by her: Husband, Wesley Anderson of Hutchinson, MN; Children, Clinton Anderson and his wife, Leah of Columbus, WI, Kimberly Wooster and her husband, Nicholas of Hutchinson, MN, Curtis Anderson and his wife, Bridget of Spangle, WA; 6 Grandchildren, Melissa, Heidi and Gregg Anderson, James and Karl Wooster and Ronnie Anderson; Brother, Kenneth Andersen and his wife, Midge of St. Cloud, MN; Sister, Sharon Johnson and her husband, Ivan of Hutchinson, MN; Sister-In-Law, Margaret Andersen of Maple Plain, MN; Many other relatives and friends. Harriet is preceded in death by her Parents, Chris and Martha (Johnson) Andersen; Brother, Alvin Andersen, and infant grandson, Kurt Wooster.

Life Sketch – Courtesy Kim Anderson-Wooster

Editor’s Note:
In 1996, Harriet (Andersen) Anderson (MWA class of 1954) was selected as the Maplewood Academy Alumnus of the Year for her long-standing devotion to her alma mater.