Gary Anderson, 77, of Bristol passed away Saturday November 21, 2020 at his home near Bristol.
A private funeral service will be 3:00 P.M. Wednesday November 25, 2020 at Bethesda Lutheran Church in Bristol, this will be livestreamed on our Facebook page. Burial will be at Prairie Mound Cemetery near Butler.
Public walk through visitation will be 1-3 P.M. at the church on Wednesday.
Gary Arnold Anderson was born Nov. 20, 1943, in Bristol to Arnold and Lorene (Roth) Anderson. From a young age, he quickly took to the hard work and long hours required of farming. He also learned great pride in caring for and maintaining his vehicles.
He graduated from Bristol High School in 1961, and worked with his brother Bruce on their father’s custom harvesting crew “down south.” He attended Northern State Teachers College for nearly a year, coming home to farm for good when he learned his father had purchased a new tractor.
He married Linda Kathryn Knebel on Aug. 25, 1963, in Bristol. They made their home north of Bristol and raised three children, Tammy, Troy and Todd. On the farm, Gary raised cattle, pigs for a time, and grew small grains and row crops.
Throughout his life, he made great use of his natural mechanical aptitude, constructing anything from a bale fork to his goose-neck trailer with tilt bed -- all from blueprints in his mind.
He enjoyed taking care of his family and often treated them to road trips to various places, including Canada, Michigan and the Black Hills. In the early 1980s the family took several trips to the State Fair in Huron, staying overnight in the pickup camper he built.
For nearly forty years he farmed with his father and brother north of Bristol. After Arnold passed away in 2000, Gary continued farming until only recently semi-retiring.
His lifelong love of Ford tractors blossomed in the last 20 years of his life. He founded and maintained Anderson Classic Tractors, and for years he and Linda searched and traveled the countryside collecting a wide assortment of older Ford tractors.
He enjoyed restoring, caring for and displaying those tractors in his farmyard for years along Day County Highway No. 33, and cheerfully hosted countless pop-in visitors who were drawn in by the welcoming sign and flags at the end of the driveway.
Each year he looked forward to the James Valley Threshing Show in Andover, assembling crews of anyone willing to drive a tractor the 10 miles to get that year’s display to the show. He was especially proud whenever one of his family members would drive in the parade with him. He was very thrilled to lead the parade in 2015 as he and Linda were honored that year by the James Valley Threshers.
He could often be seen enjoying a pop and candy bar and chatting with anyone willing to share a story. He was known to be quite lucky and was quick to pick up the dinner check.
He loved and was proud of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He loved being called “Papa,” and enjoyed making them laugh.
Gary suffered and did his best with rheumatoid arthritis for 20-plus years. Two major surgeries to repair an abdominal aortic aneurysm led to further health issues, including heart problems. Through it all he still looked forward to the next visitor in his “hot tub room.” He also kept his drive to get work done because, as he often said, “There’s a lot of little things to do.”
Beginning in the 1990s, he looked forward each year to hosting out-of-state pheasant hunters. He hunted and swapped stories with them for more than a decade.
He enjoyed smoking Old Gold cigarettes and caring for many cats and dogs on the farm over the years.
He was a past member and president of the Bristol Jaycees, and was a member and past president of the Bethesda Lutheran Church in Bristol.
Survivors include wife Linda of Bristol; one daughter, Tammy Winter of Aberdeen; two sons, Troy (Gayle) Anderson of Aberdeen and Todd (Dolly) Anderson of Sioux Falls; one brother, Bruce (Bonnie) Anderson of Bristol and one sister, Lynne Joyce Nygaard of Estelline; two granddaughters, Hillary (Marcus) Robinson of Aberdeen and Hope Winter of Aberdeen; two grandsons, Justice and Grady Anderson of Aberdeen; four great-grandchildren, Drake Winter, Lauryn Robinson, Lexi Robinson and Liv Robinson, all of Aberdeen; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents and two sisters.
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