William (Bill) Kenneth Anderson, age 77, passed away peacefully in his home with his family by his side on November 12, 2021, in Garfield, MN after bravely battling cancer for twelve years.
Bill was born to Frances Johnson Anderson and Kenneth (Ken) Anderson in Breckenridge, MN on July 20, 1944. Ken served in the U.S. Army and was stationed in France during WWII. He didn’t see his son until Bill was a year old. Bill was the oldest of three children. He graduated from Moorhead State University with his Bachelor of Science in History and minor in Political Science. Bill was a beloved high school history teacher and basketball coach for various small towns in ND.
In 1963, Bill met June Genz at their High School. Bill and June went on to have two children: Kristine and Janet. Bill and June were married for 12 years. Bill and Rosalea Syverson Ramey married in 1979 and together raised three children Wendy, Cary, and Taylor.
As a founding member of the Douglas Area Trails Association (DATA) in 1977, Bill helped build 460 miles of snowmobile trails in Douglas County. He was the Trail Manager for 34 years grooming and supervising the trails. Many from Alexandria and the surrounding areas will remember the DATA dogs who served faithfully by Bill’s side.
Bill is best remembered by his friends and family as an avid hunter and fisherman who loved to share the sport with others. He was known to take the MN Governor and Department of Natural Resources employees fishing at his favorite locations.
He loved animals and would go out of his way to care for an animal in need. When a baby owl accidentally hit the truck window and landed in his daughter’s lap as they were driving down the road, he gently held the bird to see if it was alive. The baby owl received an honorary burial. Another time, while ice fishing, Bill found a duck frozen in the lake. He carefully chiseled out the mallard and brought it into the house to warm up. He even allowed the duck to eat his minnows to regain strength.
Bill was a great problem solver and creatively tackled every challenge that came up, whether it was home repairs or designing a fishing lure. His motto was, “Work smarter, not harder.”
Bill was fair and didn’t judge others by their past, enabling them to rewrite their stories. He was always willing to give someone a second chance and an opportunity to improve themselves.
He loved to take his family on fishing and camping trips. One of his favorite places to visit was Lake of the Woods. His girls learned to bait a hook by the time they were seven years old.
Family members left behind are his wife Rosalea Anderson and five daughters, Kristine Dzagan, Janet Hauver, Wendy Hoff, Cary Winch and Taylor Ramey-Anderson. He has nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. His siblings Mary Lindgren and Edward Anderson also grieve the loss of their brother.
A Celebration of Life ceremony will be held summer 2022 at the family lake cabin on Ottertail Lake.