Lila Lee Andersen
Surprised to be living this long, here is Lila's story.
Lila Lee Andersen, 92, was welcomed to her heavenly home at Buchanan County Health Center at Independence on Dec. 3, 2020. Arrangements by Murdoch Funeral Home & Cremation Service.
Lila was born in a log cabin in Blackwell, Okla.,
Oct. 16, 1928, to Ruby and Ira Wheeler. The family moved
to Center Point, Iowa, in 1930.
Overcoming the Great Depression and being bedridden for a year with St. Vitus Dance, (now known as PANDAS Syndrome). She graduated valedictorian of her class in 1947. With one year's tuition saved and a vocal performance scholarship, she attended Cornell College. During that time, she met and married Junior Andersen in 1948. They lived in Walker, Iowa, and were married 60 years until Junior's passing. She was a bookkeeper for their family business, The Walker Creamery Company, and was also a broker for Andersen Realty. In the 1950s and 1960s, Lila was a national winner of 25 word or less contests, winning a trip around the world, a trip to Paris, a ton of flour, and a dream kitchen among other things. In 1982, at the age of 55, she graduated from Coe College, with a B.A. in English and Elementary Education. Always a voracious reader, the college experience gave her an additional thirst for knowledge. Along with God, husband, home and family, education was her main goal. All of her five children and 13 grandchildren inherited Junior and Lila's love of higher education, with all 18 attaining college degrees and most with advanced degrees. Lila served with Junior on various Democratic Committees for Linn County, and worked for every election in Walker until 2018. Lila's poetry was featured in Lyrical Iowa, along with book reviews for several publications. After Junior's passing in 2008, Lila began volunteering at Mercy Hospital, Cedar Rapids. She rarely missed a Wednesday, until her retirement in 2018, at the age of 90. She also created recycled upholstery fabric market bags and quilts that she gave away to hundreds of people. On the day of her diagnosis of pancreatic cancer in mid-November, Lila said, "Though life had struggles, all my dreams came true. I got my five children, 13 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. I've lived a wonderful life, and look forward to my heavenly life."
Left to miss their mom are Linda (Keith) Smith, Nancy (Dwayne) Kula, Carol (Jeff) Paxhia and Dan (Janice) Andersen; grandchildren who miss their grandma's wise advice are Alecia Staley and Bradley Andersen, Geoff, Ben and Chip Smith, Laura Knox, Melissa Vernon and Allison Petruzzi, Michael and Matthew Paxhia and Eric, Lucas and Morgan Andersen; great-grandchildren are Colton Andersen, Eli Staley, Mira and Sami Smith, Liam and Luke Rubenstein, Trey and Jett Smith, and Connor and Landon Knox.
Preceding Lila to heaven are son, Allen Andersen; husband, Junior Andersen; and great-grandchild, Nadia Smith.
Lila's favorite quote is from Julian of Norwich.
"All shall be well,
And all shall be well,
And all manner of things shall be well."
Many thanks to the numerous health care professionals at Buchanan County Health Center and Dr. McCormick.
The family celebrated her 90th birthday with a weekend bash in 2018. There will be a family celebration at a later date.
Please leave a memory of Lila you'd like to share with the family at www.murdochfuneralhome.com under obituaries. Her family will appreciate anything to make 2020 a little bit better! If you would like to read some of Lila's poetry and essays, please visit www.familyandfarming.com and type "Lila" in the search bar.