LaVerne Anderson, age 63, died on Saturday, March 28, 2020, at his home outside of Ossian.

A service will take place at Calmar Lutheran Church on Wednesday, April 1, at 11 a.m., with immediate family in attendance. The service will be live streamed on Calmar Lutheran’s Facebook page (link below) in order for all of those who love LaVerne to be able to attend virtually, either at the time of the service or at their convenience. A celebration of life will take place at LaVerne’s home, “Andyland,” at a later date.

Link to Calmar Lutheran Facebook page to stream the memorial service facebook.com/CalmarLutheran1/

LaVerne Clinton Anderson was born on Jan. 2, 1957, in Benson, Minn., to Lorraine and Rev. Lloyd Anderson. The family moved to Calmar, in 1960, when his father was called to serve as pastor for Calmar and Springfield Lutheran Churches, where LaVerne would go on to be confirmed, married, and memorialized. LaVerne’s father, Lloyd, passed away in 1962. In 1965, his mother remarried and LaVerne gained a stepfather, Ervin Wangsness. LaVerne graduated from South Winneshiek High School in 1975. He enjoyed being a school bus driver while working on Ervin’s farm. LaVerne took pride in his work as a flooring installer for many years, and was most recently the maintenance director at the Ossian Senior Hospice, where he took it upon himself to extend his job duties far beyond maintenance by working on special projects, sharing stories, and becoming a beloved part of staff and residents’ lives.

LaVerne married his long-time sweetheart, Julie Kuennen, from Ossian, on May 19, 1990. Together they were blessed with a daughter, Erin, and a son, Allen. In 1996, LaVerne and Julie moved their young family from St. Paul, Minn., to an acreage outside of Ossian. There, they would raise their children and build LaVerne’s beloved Andyland. LaVerne was an avid collector of motorcycles, antiques, and games, and took pride in displaying them around his homestead. He recently achieved his dream of sharing Andyland with the community as a thank you for being a part of his life.

Motorcycles were a constant in LaVerne’s life. He got his first motorcycle before he had his driver’s license. Usually accompanied by any combination of his three brothers and numerous friends, he had many two-wheeled adventures. These included trips to over 30 Sturgis Motorcycle Rallies, the “Catfish Tour” to California with three close friends in 1978, and, in 1992, a six-week trip to the Arctic Circle. Some of his adventures were on skis, most notably on his annual “Cheapskate Ski Tour” to Winter Park, Colo.

LaVerne invested in his community through Boy Scout leadership for over 15 years, volunteering in numerous capacities at Calmar Lutheran Church, and traveling with his toys — including his “pig train,” carnival games, and his self-made miniature golf course — to help raise funds for community causes. LaVerne has fashioned many balloon animals and handed out many candy canes, and his greatest joy was to see a child smile. LaVerne was and will continue to be a gentle, positive role model for children and, as he liked to say, “anyone who has ever been a child.”

LaVerne is survived by his wife, Julie; children Erin, Decorah, Iowa, and Allen, Cedar Falls, Iowa; mother, Lorraine Wangsness, Decorah; brothers Luther (Karen), Calmar, LeRoy (Susan), Corning, Calif., Lowell (Laurel), Escondido, Calif.; sisters Lisa Anderson, Dubuque, Iowa, LuAnn (Don Billen) Wangsness, Seattle, Wash.; nieces and nephews Michele (Shannon) Duwe, Lucas Dehning, Kevin Anderson, Alyssa Anderson, Lara Dohner, Johnny Dohner, Isaac (Christina) Engholm, Hannah (Chris Stiedemann) Engholm, Hannah Billen, and Adam Billen; uncles Louis “Bud” Herlitzke and Gary Bergland; aunt Marlys Anderson; brothers and sisters-in-law Bruce Kuennen, Don (Jackie) Kuennen, Doris (Gary) Huinker, Bill (Jane) Kuennen, Tom (Lois) Kuennen, Patty (Keith) Frana, Lori (Mike) Lechtenberg and Jane (Chris) Meronuck; along with many more loving nieces and nephews on Julie’s side. 

He was preceded in death by his father Rev. Lloyd C. Anderson; stepfather Ervin T. Wangsness; aunts and uncles Marvin Anderson, Evelyn Herlitzke, Marion and Elaine Ingebritson, Robert “Skipper Bob” and JoAnn Nelson, and Mary Jo Bergland; mother and father-in law, Al and Shirley Kuennen; and sister-in-law, Lynn Kuennen.

Memorials may be made in LaVerne’s memory to a cause that is important to you, or to Calmar Lutheran Church, a faith community that has been important to him throughout his life. It is also his wish to invite you to memorialize him by spending time volunteering for a good cause.