Larry J. Anderson was born on July 5, 1919 to Signe and Algott Anderson in Berwyn, Illinois. He spent the majority of his life living and working as a Wood Pattern Maker in the Berwyn/Cicero, Illinois area until his retirement in 1986, at which time he and his wife, Doris, moved to Colorado Springs.
Larry met Doris in 1935 at an outdoor ice skating rink in Berwyn. Larry was 16 at the time, and Doris was only 13 and in Elementary school. When Larry found this out, he stopped calling on her as he felt she was “too young and just a kid”. He did, however, attend her Elementary school graduation as a guest of Doris’ sister, Millie. After a couple of years, when Doris was 15, Larry began calling on her again. This blossomed into a true love story, and they became engaged when Doris was 17 and Larry was 20. They were married on May 2, 1942 with Doris’ 2 sisters, Millie and Betty and Larry’s sister, Bernice, as bridesmaids, and Mille and Betty’s future husbands, Chuck and Allen, and Larry’s best friend, Jerry Slaby, as groomsmen.
Larry and Doris just celebrated their 70th Anniversary last month with their family and friends, including their three children, their daughter-in-law, their three grandchildren, seven of their eleven great-grandchildren, their nieces and nephew, and many dear friends at the Navajo Hogan, in Colorado Springs, which had become one of their favorite places to eat. The guests at this event were quite entertained by a spontaneous duet by two of Larry and Doris’ great-granddaughters, Mackenzie O’Mahoney and Ulrika Anderson (both aged 9).
As mentioned earlier, ice skating was a big part of their meeting and courtship. Early in their dating, Larry bought Doris a pair of “Sonja Henie” ice skates, and they went skating on the Des Plaines river near Chicago. The ice was unfortunately too thin and Doris fell through into the river. It has long been a family story that Larry was apparently more concerned that the skates would rust or be damaged than he was with Doris being soaking wet and freezing. They got into his car, started it, and turned on the heater. The romance obviously survived this mis-adventure.
After Pearl Harbor, Larry enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps on September 3, 1943. He was with the 41st Bomb Squadron, 501st Bomb Group, stationed on Guam. He rose to the rank of Sergeant, supervising a team of mechanics, rebuilding engines of the B-29 bombers which bombed Japan. He also served on the islands of Saipan and Tinian. He was discharged on March 9, 1946. He was on Guam when his son, Larry G. was born, and would periodically show us the Telegram he received from his father-in-law, George Wilson, informing him of his son’s birth. Larry saved everything, including a small branch of his and Doris’ first Christmas tree. He knew where it all was, and could produce any of it in minutes. As a footnote to his military service, he was awarded two Battle Stars, 60+ years after his discharge from the Air Corps. He could still fit into his dress uniform jacket (blouse), and wore it a few years ago during a Memorial Day observance in his neighborhood, in which he was the “grand marshall” of a small parade and celebration. As his son, I could not have been more proud of him.
Most of all, Larry was a devout born-again Christian who lived his beliefs every day of his life, and imparted those beliefs to everyone he met through his day-to-day actions. He led every family get-together in prayer, and his prayers came so naturally and from the heart that his family rejoiced in them every time. While we miss him terribly, we know his earthly suffering has ended, and he is with his Lord in Heaven!
He leaves behind his beloved wife, Doris; his daughter, Linnea; his two sons, Larry and Philip; his daughter-in-law, Leslie; his grandchildren, Larry (Patty), Karin (John), Kristin, Matthew and PJ; and his eleven great-grandchildren, Lars, Maggie, Roland, Ulrika, Pipi, Aliya, Adam, Miranda, Mackenzie, Connor and Mikayla.