LAKE SHORE -- For a Lake Shore man, 30 years as a resident and business owner meant a life amid the much-loved landscape of Minnesota and Gull Lake. Lloyd "Sonny" Anderson died Saturday at his home following a battle with cancer. He was 67.
Anderson was remembered as a man who had reached what many people never find, contentment with his life.
"Everybody says he was always so happy," his wife, Ingrid, said Monday. Anderson and Ingrid Tolfors were married on June 18, 1960, in Minneapolis. They lived in the Canal Zone for 10 years when Anderson was a labor relations management specialist for the Panama Canal Co. Then in 1970, the couple returned to Minnesota and started the business they operated together for 30 years -- the Swedish Timber House on Gull Lake's west shore.
The couple came to Minnesota when they were still working in Panama and decided to build a summer place here. They varied annual vacations between Minnesota and Ingrid's native Sweden. Ingrid Anderson said her husband always liked the old log houses in Sweden and had an idea to buy a one and put it up on a lot in Minnesota.
They ordered the house shipped to the state and decided to have a Scandinavian gift shop. The house arrived nearly 30 years ago to the day. Ingrid Anderson's uncle and brother arrived after Labor Day and worked with her husband to put the timber house up. They opened the gift shop the following spring.
"I remember when we first opened," she said, noting people said they would never make it and they had to be located out by the highway. But people came.
Repeat customers have often been vacationers who arrived the same time each summer and have the timber house on their list of stops.
"It's like good friends come and see you all summer long and we liked that," Ingrid Anderson said. "He enjoyed them and they enjoyed him.
"People expect him to come bouncing up the steps. ... He was a wonderful man. He loved Minnesota and this lake area."
Lloyd Anderson also became a supporter of the performing arts by sponsoring Swedish singing groups, folk dancing, fiddlers, choirs and even craft exhibits. Groups from Sweden performed in Lum Park, Kiwanis Park, Nisswa Community Center, Gregory Park and Tornstrom Auditorium.
"He enjoyed it so much," Ingrid Anderson said. "Just that part has been very rewarding for both of us and many people have come here and thanked us for it."
Anderson was also active in environmental issues, especially his work to protect the area from infestations of tent caterpillars. Anderson contacted property owners and organized controlled spraying of the several miles in the Gull Lake area to protect the vegetation.
People from other parts of the state learned of his efforts and called after word spread that Anderson had been active in controlling the caterpillars' devastation.
For Anderson, it was a full life of cross-country skiing, hiking, biking, reading and listening to classical music.
"He loved very much to just be here," Ingrid Anderson said. "He used to say he was very content with his life. He loved where he lived and he loved what he did.
"I just don't want people to forget him. He was a good man. He was a wonderful husband. He was very kind.
" ... He never thought he was anything special at all -- he was just a regular person."
Services are 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Brenny Funeral Chapel in Baxter.
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