Genevieve “Gen” Mae Anderson, age 85, formerly of Hampton, Iowa, most recently a resident of the Oakwood Care Center, Clear Lake, died, Friday, Dec. 9, 2011, surrounded by the love and prayers of her family. Funeral services will be Wednesday, Dec. 14, 11 a.m., at the Andrews Funeral Home, 516 1st Street Southeast, Belmond, Iowa. The Rev. Rod Hopp will be officiating. Burial will be in the Hampton Cemetery. Memorials or expressions may be directed to the family of Genevieve Anderson, c/o
Dale Anderson, 2532 South Shore Drive, Clear Lake, IA, 50428. The family would like to express their sincerest appreciation for the love and care shown to Gen and her family by the Hospice of North Iowa and the Oakwood Care Center.
Genevieve Mae Ahrens, the daughter of Albert and Rose (Murphy) Ahrens, was born Jan. 2, 1926, in Ingham Township, Franklin County, Iowa. She attended Franklin County area schools.
Gen was united in marriage to Berle Anderson, on May 28, 1944, at the church parsonage in Bristow, Iowa. Following their marriage the couple made their home for the next four years in Dumont, Iowa.
The couple then moved to a small farm east of Dows, Iowa, where they began their family. The couple’s union was blessed with seven children including their sons, Russell, Dick, and Dale; daughters, Phyliss, Dee, Donna, and Joyce. Gen, as she often wanted to be called, also had another daughter, Virginia, who passed away at birth. Gen was also the proud grandma of 14 grandchildren, and great-grandma of 14 great-grandchildren.
Gen and Berle eventually moved to a farm outside of Coulter, Iowa. Berle then went to work at Farmer’s Hybrid in Hampton, while Gen continued to focus on raising her remaining family at home. She always raised a large yearly garden to supply food for her family. She truly loved animals and over the years she had raised Poodles, Pomeranians, St. Bernards, her favorite cat, “Coochie”, as well as a group of pigs.
After losing her husband, Berle, in 1975 at only 50 years old, Gen stayed on her Coulter farm for two more years. Her youngest son, Dale, graduated in 1977.
In Gen’s words, “since I finally got all of the chickens (her kids) out of the nest”, she decided to move to a small house in Hampton.
After several years of raising her family and being left alone, Gen became active in a bowling league and went to the Hampton Senior Center, where she met many new friends and became known as a prankster, playing many little tricks and pranks in good clean fun on her friends. Her good humored pranks even spilled over into her love of holding and going to garage sales. Her own sales would often include a “free items” box with a lid on it it rigged like a “Jack in the Box” that would jump out when it was opened by the shopper’s curiosity. In addition to her hobbies of bowling and garage sales, she looked forward to outings to play bingo and adventures on bus trips to the casino at Tama, Iowa. Her family and friends will remember her intensity at the slot machines, where she would often ask them to “stay out of her zone.” She was always up for a good game of cards. Gen truly blossomed like a flower during much of her years living in Hampton.
Gen also had a soft spot in her heart for dolls and had collected many of them over her lifetime. She looked forward to a trip out for Kentucky Fried Chicken.
She will be remembered by her family for the wonderful Sunday afternoon dinners when she would provide them with a full chicken dinner made with her loving hands. They will reflect on her often as they hear tunes by her favorite entertainers, including, Lawrence Welk, Johnny Cash, and Louis Armstrong.
Those who knew Gen well, including her family, will remember her as a lady who always put the needs and wishes of every member of her family first, before her own needs. Gen lived a simple life and her presence will be missed by her family and friends. Gen truly believed and often said, “everyone should tend to their own business and keep your nose out of others business.”
After moving from Hampton, she lived for a time at the Apple Valley Assisted Living in Clear Lake, prior to becoming a resident of the Oakwood Care Center in Clear Lake.
Gen’s memory will live on in her surviving family including her children, Phyllis Nelson, Hampton, Dee (Jerry) Lyons, Alden, Iowa, Russell (Vicki) Anderson, Thornton, Iowa, Donna (Raymond) Olemann, Marshalltown, Richard (Debbie) Anderson, Lake Havasu, Az., Joyce (Gary) Meyers, Alden, and Dale (Debbie) Anderson, Clear Lake; 14 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Berle, in 1975; an infant daughter, Virginia Anderson; brothers, Ilo and Delbert Ahrens; and sisters, Marge Oehlert, Alice Tjarks, and Bev Pruitt.