Dale Andersen, 86, passed away at his home in Kearney Tuesday, April 16, 2013, after a year and a half’s illness. Memorial services were Monday, April 22, 2013, at the O'Brien Straatmann Redinger Funeral Home in Kearney with the Rev. Gary Main officiating. Interment will be in the Kearney Cemetery at a later time. Memorials are suggested to the American Cancer Society, Seneca Cemetery, or the First United Methodist Church in Kearney. Online condolences may be submitted to www.osrfh.com .
Dale was born in Seneca, Jan. 11, 1927, one of 15 children born to Ernest W. Andersen and Verna E. Yost Andersen. Dale learned many fine things from his dad, not the least of which was the value of hard work…a great deal of hard work.
He attended grade school and high school in Seneca, where he met and fell in love with Anna Grace Rodewald… to be his forever “country girl.” They were married in 1947, and his bride Grace and their two children, Myron and Patty DeFrance survive him.
Early in his working career, Dale worked with his dad in his tank wagon business. He also worked for the Burlington Northern Railroad until 1949, when the advent of the diesel train engines reduced the round house gang. Dale next learned heavy equipment operation with Roberts Construction Co., out of Lincoln. With their new trailer house in tow, they were able to move with the company.
Myron was born in 1950, and with the birth of Patty in 1952, the family was temporarily complete. They settled in Broken Bow, and Dale went to work for the Custer County Highway Department. He remained with Custer County, and retired as Shop Foreman 40 years later.
In 1958, Dale and Grace purchased a small grocery store in Broken Bow, which was largely staffed by Grace and his kids, with generous help from dad on weekends and evenings. Eventually the store was sold, and the Arrow Carwash was added to keep everyone busy. They were happy and proud when both children graduated from college in Kearney, and went on to successful careers and wonderful families, and expanded their family to include three grandchildren and six great- grandsons.
Dale and his wife retired in 1992, and enjoyed travelling, with their first adventure being to Alaska. With their enthusiasm for Nebraska winters waning, they wintered in Fredericksburg, Texas for 15 years. In 2002, they build a new home in Kearney to be near family. He was a proud member of the First United Methodist Church.
Dale enjoyed a good life…a long and a very happy life before he was called home. He wanted his family and friends to be reminded of that.
He was preceded in death by his parents, and by his sisters Joyce, Mae McLaughlin, Verna Ellajean, and by his brothers Gerald, Don DeVern, Edwin, Jack, Larry Yost, and Dennis Yost.
He is survived by his beloved Grace, son Myron, Ruth Gove, and daughter Patty DeFrance and her husband Jerry; grandchildren, Chad Andersen and his wife Tracy, Stacy Andersen Bivona and her husband Blake, and Audra DeFrance Gilman and her husband Brian; great- grandchildren, Owen, Tripp and Tye Andersen, and Chase and Brandt Gilman, and Cash Bivona; sisters, Char Taylor (Loren) and Kay Wolfenden (Leroy); brothers, Bill (June), Wes and Jim; and by many wonderful cousins, nephews, nieces, friends and neighbors.
Published in Custer County Chief, April 25, 2013