TUCSON, Ariz. — Francis “Babe” Anderson, 88, passed away Nov. 30, 2012, at Veteran’s Hospital, Tucson, Ariz. He was born to Fred and Mary Anderson on Dec. 21, 1923, in Brainerd. He married Ada, the love of his life, on Feb. 4, 1950, and they had been married for 62 years.
Babe Anderson’s generation has been called the “Greatest Generation,” and his life is a testimony to that legacy. Babe graduated from Brainerd High School where he was named to the All-District basketball team in 1940–41 and 1941–42, and also team co-captain.
From 1942–1946, Babe served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He earned the Navy Good Conduct medal, American Campaign medal, European African Middle Eastern Campaign medal with star, and the Asiatic Pacific Campaign medal.
After the war, Babe continued as a partner in Anderson Cleaners, the family business in Brainerd. In 1971, he turned to real estate, becoming a broker and establishing Babe Anderson Realty.
Babe had a heart for service. This is especially visible in education. He served on the East Gull Lake school board for seven years, and the Brainerd school board for 12 years. While serving in Brainerd, Babe worked tirelessly to help envision, fund, develop, and bring the construction of the Brainerd High School and the athletic field to completion. He was inducted into the Brainerd High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 1986.
In 1979, Babe and Ada moved to Green Valley, Ariz., where they continued in real estate. Babe was an associate broker in Tower Realty, which became Coldwell Banker Realty. He retired at 80.
Babe is survived by his wife, Ada; their children, Jerry (Becky) Anderson, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Jodi (Kent) Schwen, Brainerd; Sara (Dean) Miller, Tucson, Ariz.; Dan Syrdal (son-in-law); 10 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by their daughter, Laura; his parents; and siblings, Everett, Robert and MaryLou.
Babe loved his wife and family, his communities, a good round of golf, fishing, hunting, walking, camping and enjoying the long life with which he had been blessed.
The funeral and interment were held in Tucson on Dec. 4.
A memorial service will be held in Brainerd on Jan. 14 at First Lutheran, 424 S. Eighth Street. Visitation, 10:30 a.m.; service, 11 a.m.; lunch following service.