Dale Anderson, age 86, passed away peacefully at home on Saturday, February 26, surrounded by his family. Dale was born on December 20, 1935, to Harry and Anna Anderson, near Grantsburg, WI. He attended school in Grantsburg and often spoke with fondness of his boyhood years there.
As a youth he loved to ice skate, roller skate, and hang out at his dad’s gas station and auto repair shop, and, with his younger brother John, ‘borrow’ Coca-Colas from the store cooler. In high school, Dale was active in football, basketball, and baseball, though by his own admission, it was not his forte. His real passion was music—he sang tenor in the choir, played the baritone horn in band, and learned to play the accordion. He, John, and two friends formed a vocal/instrumental quartet that performed in many area churches.
Dale’s love for music also changed his life in a way he didn’t expect when he caught the eye of Arleth Johnson as the quartet performed at an outdoor worship service. Arleth remembers seeing him on stage and saying to herself, ‘I want to get to know him!’ And she did—they began dating and were married on June 15, 1957, and would have soon celebrated 65 years! Between 1961 to 1970, Dale and Arleth had four sons, Kendal, Keith, Nathan, and Noland.
Dale attended UW-Superior and graduated from Wheaton College in 1959, earning his B.A. in Music Education. Shortly thereafter, Dale was hired as the Band Director at Lincoln Junior High in Duluth, MN. In 1970, Dale earned an M.A. in Counseling and moved to Eau Claire, WI, to become the Placement Director for the Chippewa Valley Technical College, which included proctoring GED testing for jail inmates.
Dale enjoyed hunting for cars, cheering for the Packers, remodeling the family cabin, and was continually coming up with new ideas, especially for businesses, a passion he passed along to all four sons. A short list of ventures he pursued: creating a fishpond, breeding Siberian Huskies, raising rabbits, growing cucumbers for pickles, selling and installing pond aerators, a miniature golf course, and farming earthworms (!) His most successful enterprise was owning and operating multi-family homes, something he began in his 20s and continued into his final days.
Dale loved the fact that his jobs allowed him the time to be with his family. He cheered us on at baseball and basketball games, wrestling matches, golf tournaments, band and choir concerts, and took us on many family vacations. The boys remember hiking in the Rockies, boating on Lake Altoona, kayaking on the river, camping all over the country in the family camper van, and sitting around the fire roasting marshmallows.
Above all else, though, Dale was a follower of Jesus, and pursued God’s Kingdom in everything he did. At an early age he realized that if Jesus had indeed risen from the dead, he could do what he claimed he could—reconcile us to God and give us life, both now and after this life.
Toward that end, Dale volunteered as church choir director, led Bible studies and small group gatherings, taught Sunday School, brought kids to AWANA, supported missionaries around the world, and with Arleth, founded ‘Praise,’ a high school church singing group, and mentored engaged couples in preparation for marriage. We often sang together as a family in worship services and church events. He also served on the board of The Wilderness Fellowship, a spiritual retreat center near Grantsburg, for 30 years. His daily practice was to begin each day reading scripture with Arleth and praying for others, especially that they would know and experience the presence and power of Jesus.
Dale was preceded in death by his parents and his brothers George (Blanche) and Jerome (Marilyn). He is survived by his wife, Arleth; sons Kendal (Sherry), Keith, Nathan (Julie), and Noland (Michiko); seven grandchildren, Katie (Sean) McCormick, Zach Anderson, Anders (Rebekah) Colbrook, Chase Anderson, Eliya Anderson, Logan Anderson, and Lauren Anderson; brother John (Pat); nieces, nephews, and other relatives.
A celebration of Life Service will take place at 3 pm on Sunday, March 6, 2022 at Valleybrook Church, 412 S Barstow St, Eau Claire, WI 54701. Visitation will take place at the church on Sunday from 1:30 pm until the time of service. Inurnment will take place at a later date in the Riverside Cemetery in Grantsburg, WI. To view the service virtually, please use the link provided http://valleybrookchurch.org/anderson
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to The Wilderness Fellowship Ministries, https://www.wildernessfellowship.com/donate/ , for a future prayer cabin. Friends and family may offer condolences online at www.hulkefamilyfh.com.
Hulke Family Funeral Home in Eau Claire is assisting the family with the arrangements.