Marilyn June Andersen
Passing away peacefully in the early morning hours of Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020, was a woman of great spirit and strength whose legacy will not soon be forgotten.
Marilyn June Andersen was born on June 23, 1930, in Strawberry Point, Iowa. She was the daughter of Magdalena Weger and Martin Baumgartner. Despite being the youngest of five children, she took on a caregiving role at an early age, cooking and cleaning for herself and much older parents. It was this independent, selfless attitude she carried with her throughout her life.
At age 16, she met a young medical student, the younger brother of their town doctor, and they quickly developed a romance. On June 23, 1949, her 19th birthday, she was married to Dr. Kenneth Nels Andersen. After Kenneth finished his residency, they moved to Center Point, Iowa, where they lived for their entire lives. They were happily married nearly 66 years until Kenneth passed away in 2015.
Marilyn attended the University of Iowa College of Nursing and worked as a nurse for her husband as they started a family. When her youngest started kindergarten, Marilyn enrolled at Coe College, where she eventually earned her B.A. in German and English literature. She then went on to earn a Master of Arts in literature from the University of Iowa. Many of her dear friends in life were her classmates and college professors.
If you knew Marilyn Andersen, you knew her laugh. You knew her joyful spirit and her spunk, as well as her penchant for everything leopard-print. You also knew that she had an unbridled love for all of her family members. You could barely make out any wallpaper behind all of the pictures of family members in her kitchen, where she met with family and friends over lunch and coffee, her laugh filling the room.
Marilyn was a lover of all animals but had a special place in her heart for cats, which she treated as family members. She also took care to feed all outdoor stray cats and wildlife in her backyard and was a lifelong donor to many animal rescue organizations.
However, her love for others extended beyond her family and her furry friends. Along with her husband Kenneth, Marilyn was an encouraging role model for all of those in the Center Point community. Dedicated to improving their community, Marilyn and her husband gave generously of their time and resources to many local organizations, including the Center Point Lions Club, the Center Point Ambulance Service, and Fross Park, where they paid for two pavilions. After Kenneth's death, Marilyn donated to the Cedar Valley Nature Trail to help pave it the rest of the way to Center Point, in honor of her husband, who was a frequent user of the nature trail. In the last year of her life, Marilyn turned her attention to donating to the Center Point Fire Department Capital Campaign for a new fire station. She was a longtime dedicated member of the Linn County Foster Care Review Board and the Center Point Library Board. She also served on the city council in Center Point for many years and served as mayor pro tem.
Because Marilyn and her husband valued education so highly, they were proud to establish the Kenneth and Marilyn Andersen Library in Center Point and the Andersen Family Scholarship for graduating seniors of Center Point-Urbana High School. She also donated generously to the CPU School for Fine Arts and science programs.
Surviving to honor her life and legacy are her daughter, Holly Andersen and husband Pat Grady of Cedar Rapids; daughter, Christa Andersen and husband Terry Potter, Ph.D., of Ames; son, Philip Andersen, DDS and wife DeEtta, Ph.D., of Center Point; son, Kenneth Andersen, MD, and wife Elizabeth of Urbandale; as well as many "adopted" sons and daughters. Her grandchildren are Benjamin Bach and wife Andrea and their children Christian and Sebastian of Minneapolis; Andrew Bach and fiancee Sarah Herrick of Los Angeles; Nathan Potter and wife Jennifer and their children Keira, Kaden, and Kelsey of Colorado; Melinda Potter and husband Sebastian Sprague of Pennsylvania; Lorick Andersen, MD, Eva Andersen, Alex Andersen and fiancée Adalynn Shaw, all in Iowa; and Natasha and Dane Andersen of Urbandale.
The family would like to say a special thank-you to Dawn Farmer, Marilyn's niece, for always being there for Marilyn in her final years.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Center Point Fire Department Capital Campaign for a new station, Critter Crusaders of Cedar Rapids and the Cedar Valley Humane Society.
A Celebration of Life will be held in the spring of 2021. Murdoch Funeral Home & Cremation Service in Center Point is assisting the family with arrangements.
Please share a memory of Marilyn at www.murdochfuneralhome.com under obituaries.