The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

Arnold Louis Anderson


Arnold Louis Anderson, 86, of Opheim, Mont., passed away at the Billings Clinic after a short illness and surgery on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018.

He was born June 28, 1931, on the family homestead in Valley County, south of Opheim. He was the youngest of four children born to Daniel G. and Anna Anderson. His father passed away when he was 9 years old, and he and his siblings helped their mother keep the farm solvent through difficult years. He graduated from Opheim High School in 1949.

In 1952, his family was informed by the U.S. Government that either he or his brother, Dan, were required to be drafted into the Armed Services. Arnold, being the younger of the two, volunteered to join. On his way to sign up for the draft, he ran into a friend, and both decided to enlist into the U.S. Navy rather than be drafted into the Army. He served his basic training in San Diego and served on the USS Polaris.

On a weekend leave from a Naval station in Japan, he and a friend were taking pictures and had just taken a picture of a woman working in her garden. As they were walking away, a young Japanese woman asked if they would come and have tea with her grandmother (the woman in the garden) because it was an honor to have your picture taken at that time. When they joined the woman for tea in her home, they soon discovered that she was the widow of Commander Yamamoto, the commander-in-chief of the Combined Fleet during WWII and the mastermind of the Pearl Harbor attack. He and his friend were able to visit extensively with her through her granddaughter, who spoke fluent English.

During his service in the Navy, he was on all continents, except Australia and Antarctica. He was honorably discharged from the Navy as a second petty officer in 1955. He returned back to the family farm.

On Feb. 10, 1957, he married Mary Lou Gardner in Cut Bank. They had two children and were married for 41 years. Mary Lou passed away in 1998.

He subsequently married Donna Sorum, of Two Harbors, Minn., and they spent time traveling between the Opheim farm and their Two Harbors home on the banks of Lake Superior, as well as trips to Florida, the East Coast and Europe. He cared for Donna until her death in 2015, and then returned to the family farm and lived both there and at Prairie Ridge in Glasgow until his death. He spoke fondly of his extended family at Prairie Ridge and greatly enjoyed his time there socializing and painting. He was asked and honored to be the painting instructor at Prairie Ridge during his time there.

He greatly enjoyed spending time with his many lifelong friends in Opheim as well as new friends he made in Two Harbors, but his time with his children and grandchildren, his siblings and his very special nieces and nephews, as well as Donna's sons, was priceless to him. He also enjoyed fishing, playing cards, attending the sporting events of his children and grandchildren, and traveling, but his heart always led him back home to the family farm.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Mary Lou; his second wife, Donna Sorum; his parents; his siblings, Ellen Lenoir, Hazel McGaffey and Dan Anderson.

Survivors include a son, Blake L. Anderson and his wife, Kim; a daughter, Judith Anderson (Matt Simley); and four grandchildren, Teal Hansard (Buc Weisert); Brandon Hansard and his wife, Darbi, Chere and Mitchell Anderson, as well as his dear nieces and nephews.

A visitation was held on Tuesday, March 6, at 10 a.m. at the Opheim Community Church with the Services starting at 11 a.m. Burial was in the Lawndale Cemetery in Opheim.

Memorials may be made to the North Valley EMA or a charity of your choice.


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