Margaret Mary Anderson, 95
Margaret Mary Anderson passed away on May 8, 2023 at the age of 95 years. Margaret was born on December 25, 1927 to Jasper Hobson and Eva Constance (Marshall) Ludwig in Chicago, IL. Her father was a bricklayer and nursery worker and her mother was a music teacher. The family moved to Fremont, NE during Margaret’s junior year of high school. She graduated from Fremont High School in 1945. In May of 1949, she graduated from Doane College in Crete, NE with an elementary education degree.
Margaret’s first teaching job was in Hebron, NE. She attended the Methodist church and joined the church choir. Margaret met John Victor Anderson, who was a young local farmer, that also attended the church and sang in the choir. After a whirlwind courtship, they were engaged April 18, 1950 and married June 18, 1950. The couple moved to Lincoln, NE where John attended the University of NE on the GI Bill and Margaret taught school.
In 1954, John acquired a teaching job in Irwin, IA. When pulling into the small town for the first time, with 3- year-old Barry and newborn Jonna, he told Margaret they wouldn’t stay but a couple of years and would then move to a larger city. Those plans changed, and they resided in Irwin for 67 years where John and Margaret raised their 5 children. John taught vocational agriculture and started the FFA program in Irwin, and later left teaching to work in the livestock feed business. Margaret began teaching again and went back to school herself for teaching certifications in English and History. She then taught at the junior high and high school level at Irwin-Kirkman Consolidated School. Always the life-long learner, she later earned a degree in Library Science, and worked as the Irwin-Kirkman Jr. and Sr. High Librarian until she retired.
Music was always a very important part of Margaret’s life. She sang in the church choir and played the piano. She passed her love of music on their children, encouraging them to play instruments and sing in the choir.
Margaret loved to travel and learn about the history of the US and the world. Every summer the family packed up the car for a two-week camping trip to experience their love of history and geography and see as many states as possible. Margaret was able to visit all 50 states, Canada, and Mexico. She later enjoyed many distant trips and cruises all over the world, including visits to Asia, Europe, and Central America.
Margaret’s list of hobbies included many loves: reading, sewing, knitting, playing cards and board games, singing, making county fair entries with family heirlooms and pictures, and working on genealogy.
The Irwin United Methodist Church was a very important part of her life. She held many offices and served in many capacities. She sang in the choir and belonged to the women’s group for many decades. She was also active in numerous social and service clubs over the years including; Delta Kappa Gamma sorority, card clubs, Irwin Library Club, Irwin Historical Society, Gideons, Eastern Star, American Legion Auxiliary, American Business Women’s Association, and National Education Association.
She was instrumental in applying for and successfully getting a grant from the Lied Foundation to build the Irwin Lied Public Library. She served on the board and volunteered her time as a librarian for many years. Margaret wrote a column called The Bookworm for the local newspaper. The articles included reviewing books, covering local news and some of her own experiences.
Margaret was preceded in death by her parents Jasper Hobson Ludwig and Eva Constance Ludwig, her husband John Victor Anderson (2001), her sister-in-law Hattie Fidella Anderson Cox-Moses, her brother-in-law Charles Anderson, and her brother-in-law Jerry Anderson.
She is survived by her two sisters; Constance Anderson and Eunice Gandre, her brother-in-law Donald Gandre; her five children and 12 grandchildren: Barry Lynn and Nancy Anderson (sons Will and Kevin); Jonna Marie Willadsen (sons Mark and Aaron, daughter Callie); Carmel Kay and Charles Biskner (son Chad, daughter Carly); Earl Todd and Ann (Poungtong) Anderson (sons Stewart and Robert, daughter Megan); John Victor and Cheryl Anderson II (daughters Jessica and Natalie); the spouses of her grandchildren, her 17 great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and many friends.
Visitation with the family will be at Pauley-Jones Funeral Home in Harlan Friday, May 12, 2023 from 5:00-7:00pm. The funeral will be held at the United Methodist Church in Irwin, Iowa on Saturday, May 13, 2023 at 2:00pm. The internment will be at Oak Hill Cemetery, Irwin, IA, following the service.
In lieu of flowers, the family wishes donations be made to the Irwin United Methodist Church, Hansen House (Harlan), St. Croix Hospice (Denison), or the Lied Irwin Library.