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16394 Glory Lane
Eden Prairie, MN 55344
Phone: (952) 949-4970
Fax: (952) 949-5947
Vernon Anderson Vernon Anderson Vernon Anderson
In Memory of
Vernon Alfred "Vern" Anderson
1920 -

Obituary for Vernon "Vern" Anderson

Vernon "Vern" Anderson
Vernon Alfred Anderson of Tonka Bay and Prior Lake, Minnesota, passed away July 1, 2017. A proud but humble World War II veteran, law enforcement leader, and member of the Shakopee Mdewak-anton Sioux Community, Vern lived a life of service to his country, community, and those he loved. Born in Morton, Minnesota, on May 8, 1920, Vern was the firstborn child of Alfred and Mable Anderson. He grew up near Boy River, Minnesota, where the family farmed. After he completed school, he worked on farms and ranches from North Dakota to Texas, and enjoyed bronc and bull riding in rodeos. Vern enlisted in the U.S. Army after the attack on Pearl Harbor. He was a pathfinder in the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division. He made three jumps during World War II, including D-Day into France, the launch of Operation Market Garden in Holland, and an OSS secret mission in occupied Yugoslavia, where he helped train the resistance to disrupt the German occupiers. In one of the most dangerous missions of the war during Market Garden, Vern was one of the men who made a daytime crossing of the Waal River at Nijmegen in canvas boats under heavy German fire. He earned three Bronze Stars, including one at the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium, where his quick actions helped save the lives of his fellow troops. Although Vern was shot during that battle, he recovered from his wounds, returned to action, and remained in front-line combat until Germany surrendered. Following World War II, Vern served his community as a law enforcement officer. He was the first police chief in Mound, Minnesota, and spent most of his career with the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office, where he was captain of the Lake Minnetonka water patrol in Spring Park and advanced to the rank of inspector with the department. Upon retirement, Vern worked at several jobs, including as a heavy machinery operator, tug boat operator, and house painter. Vern enjoyed boating on the St. Croix River, sharing time with loved ones, and spoiling his pets. He was a longtime member of the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Battle of the Bulge Association. A loving husband, father, brother, uncle, grandfather and friend, Vern will be greatly missed. Vern is survived by Barbara, his wife of 42 years; brother Kenneth Anderson (Betty), daughter Sharon Anderson, step-daughter Katherine Papapietro (John), and step-son Bradley Erickson (Amy); grandchildren Amanda Yoshinaga (Alex), Elizabeth Shore (Trent), Cory Anderson (Candy), Casey Anderson (Jodie), and Chad Anderson (Laura); six great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Ashley, Robert, Randall and Harold; sisters Leona Lyons and Darlene Kaiser; and son Vernon Roger Anderson. A service of Christian burial will be held on Thursday, July 13, at 2 p.m. at Tiowakan Spiritual Center, 14625 Prairie Grass Drive in Prior Lake. Visitation will begin at noon. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Vern's honor are preferred to Lake Minnetonka Shores Presbyterian Homes, Attn: Mary Weis, 4515 Shoreline Drive, Spring Park, MN 55384. Thank you to the staff at Lake Minnetonka Shores for lovingly caring for Vern in his final years. Huber Funeral & Cremation Services Excelsior Chapel 952-474-9595
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