|5/21/2021 11:57:00 AM|
Philip A. Anderson, age 102 of North Branch died peacefully on Monday, May 17, 2021 at the Ecumen Assisted Living Facility in North Branch, MN.
Phil was born January 22, 1919 and raised in North Branch. He graduated from North Branch High School in 1936. Phil’s first job was working in his father’s butcher shop. Later he owned and operated, along with his brother Clayton, one of the first school bus routes in the area. Soon after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Phil enlisted in the Marines and fought in the Pacific Theater -- including battles at Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan, Guam, and Iwo Jima -- through the end of the war, attaining the rank of Platoon Sergeant in charge of Field Artillery Firing Control. His weapons qualification was that of Expert, achieved within the first month of his enlistment.
On January 10, 1946 Phil wed Clarice Tell of Sunrise Township and they were married for 70 years until her April 11, 2016 death. They owned and operated the Cozy Café in North Branch from 1946 through 1950. In 1950 they purchased their farm located four miles southeast of North Branch. The couple raised beef cattle for two decades, but they mostly farmed cash crops continuously until 2016 when they finally retired. While tending to their Hereford cow and calf herd, their farm totaled 580 acres. Phil was one of the incorporators of Branch Township into the Village of Branch in 1961 and was among its original councilmembers. In 1966 Phil received the Jaycees Outstanding Young Farmer award in recognition of his agricultural and civic contributions to the community. He was also the protagonist in getting 360th St. (Branch-Lent Townline Road) between County Hwy 14 and Hemmingway Ave recognized as a public road and subsequently improved to make it passable for all. This effort included his representing himself before the Minn. Court of Appeals in 1985 (370 N.W.2d 920 (1985)). Throughout the 1980s and the following three decades, neighbors and travelers along Hwy 14 loved buying the Anderson’s melons, squash, tomatoes, and raspberries. When Phil had a chance, he liked to hunt deer, pheasants, ducks, and geese. Being a very independent and resourceful man, Phil lived on his own at the farm until nearly age 101.
He was preceded in death by his parents Edward Anderson and Annie (Bergdahl) Anderson, wife Clarice, and all his siblings and their spouses; Donald (Rose Mable) Anderson, Norma (Carl) Eckhardt, Clayton (Evelyn) Anderson, Bernice (Fred) Wetzel, Kathleen “Liddo” (Robert) Hammagren, and his younger brother Charles Anderson, a casualty of WW2. Phil is survived by his son Dennis (Becky) Anderson of White Bear Lake; granddaughter Erica (Matthew) Knorr of Green Bay, WI; great-granddaughter Maddison Knorr, and Clarice’s sisters; June Bates, Ellis Stjernquist and Ethelyn Cotten.
As of now no public memorial service is planned, as Phil outlived all of his local contemporaries. A date is yet to be determined for private interment. Arrangements are under the direction and care of Grandstrand Funeral Home and Cremation Service in North Branch. www.grandstrandfh.comat www.grandstrandfh.com