Andrew Bernard Anderson went to be with the Lord on Friday, January 18, 2019, at his home in Helena, Montana with his family present.
Andrew was born to Robert and Lillian Anderson in Havre, Montana on March 20, 1946. He was raised on the family farm at Augusta, Montana and attended Augusta grade school and high school. He enrolled at the Helena Vo-tech where he took a two year course in diesel mechanics. In 1967, he finished the mechanics school, married Karleen Hammer from Lincoln, Montana, in May and left for the Army in August when he got the call from Uncle Sam. Andrew was medically discharged from the Army in 1968 with kidney disease.
Andrew began working in Great Falls as a truck driver while his wife, Karleen, finished nursing school at the new Deaconess Hospital (now Benefis). Daughter Karla Kay was born in Great Falls in 1969 followed by Lisa Marie in 1972. In 1975, Andrew couldn’t resist the call to return to Augusta to join his family in farming and ranching. His little family of 2 girls soon became 3 when Lana Lee was born in 1977. In 1986, Uncle Sam called on him again with a final offer for a Gl bill education and he returned to Helena to attend the Vo-tech once again for auto mechanics.
When he finished schooling he began employment with the GSA motor pool of the Federal Government. He worked there until 1997 when he had to take a medical retirement and began dialysis treatments for kidney failure. In 2000, he received a kidney transplant that lasted for 10 years. After that he returned to home hemodialysis up until his death. While on dialysis, Andy continued with his love for farming and mechanics on his little farm in the Helena valley where he spent many hours fixing and welding on farm machinery—his own and the neighbors.
Andy was very talented with his gifts for mechanics, carpentry, welding, plumbing and electrical work, but his best gift was his family with 51 years of marriage to wife, Karleen, 3 beautiful daughters and 11 special grandchildren that he loved dearly. Andy was a rough, tough cowboy type but with many years of failing health, he became a very kind and gentle person. In his final days, the spiritual gifts of generosity, patience, thankfulness, encouragement and love for others became very evident. These gifts developed with a personal relationship with the Lord when he accepted the free gift of salvation and forgiveness of sin.
Andy realized that God was in control as he survived many episodes of critical illness such as septic shock and chronic kidney rejection requiring several flights to Seattle to save his life over the years. Andy loved all the nurses who cared for him over the years in the dialysis units in Great Falls and Helena. He wanted to thank all the special people who cared for him and especially Dr. Rosenbaum and Dr. Parambi in Great Falls and Dr. Paustian , Dr. Pincomb and Dr. LaClair of Helena.
Andy was a preceded in death by his father, Robert Anderson. He is survived by his mother, Lillian Anderson of Great Falls, his wife, Karleen, daughters Karla (Ross) Butcher, Lisa (Brooks) Hammel, and Lana (Jasan) Moyer. His sisters, Roberta (Keith) King of Corvallis, Oregon; Wanda (Chuck) Pfrimmer of Great Falls, Mt. and brothers Bob (Alice) Anderson of Canyon Creek, Mt. and Larry (Liz) Anderson of Libby, Mt. He is also survived by his 11 grandchildren as well as many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins.
Andy’s bucket list contained a desire to move to Lincoln for retirement but he will now be spending eternity in a much more beautiful place.
A Family receiving Friends will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, January 23, at Anderson Stevenson Wilke Funeral Home, 3750 N. Montana Ave., Helena. A Funeral Service is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. Thursday, January 24, 2019 at the Augusta Community Church, 219 Laura St, in Augusta. Burial with Military Honors will follow the service at the Augusta Cemetery with a reception to be held at the Augusta Youth Center after the burial. Memorials can be made to the St. Peters Dialysis Unit and Hospice of St. Peters c/o St. Peter’s Hospital, 2475 Broadway, Helena, MT 59601. Please visit below to offer a condolence to the family or to share a memory of Andy.