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Keith Anderson

Keith Wayne Anderson died peacefully, surrounded by his family, January 2, 2021 following a long and courageous battle following exposure to Agent Orange during the Vietnam conflict and from complications resulting from a medical procedure performed in 2000. Due to the current COVID-19 guidelines, burial with Military Services will be held at a later date in Northwood Cemetery, located in Grygla, Minnesota.

Keith Wayne Anderson was born on April 25th, 1947 in Thief River Falls, Minnesota, the son of Theodore and Delilah (Lee) Anderson. Keith was raised on the Anderson family farm on Moose River Road, north of Grygla, Minnesota and was baptized and confirmed nearby at the Northwood Lutheran Church. He attended grade school in Grygla and high school in Goodrich until 1964 when, in his junior year of high school, his family moved to Kalona, Iowa. He graduated from Mid Prairie High School in Wellman, Iowa in 1965.

Keith entered the United States Army in August 1965 and served in Germany. There he was promoted to Sergeant at the age of 19 and later served in Vietnam during the Tet Offensive. Keith was honorably discharged in August of 1968. Following military duty, Keith moved to West Branch, Iowa where he worked for the West Branch Telephone Company. On May 29, 1969 he married Susan Bothel Oepping, later divorcing.

In 1974 Keith started his career in real estate. Over the next 25 years he held various leadership roles in the real estate, mortgage, and escrow industry. In 1994 Keith became General Sales Manager of Iowa Realty and First Realty Better Homes and Gardens in Des Moines, Iowa. In 1997, he returned to Cedar Rapids to become the President of Eastern Iowa Real Estate Service Division. He was also involved in land development in the Cedar Rapids/ Marion area. Keith’s relationships with his professional peers were extremely important to him. He was always approachable, thoughtful, and bold in his decision making. Keith was a leader. He empowered people by helping them achieve their financial and personal success in real estate and in life. Keith encouraged people to look within themselves for a solution, pointing out their strength and worth. He had an incredible gift for making every person he came in contact with feel valued and special.

On July 16, 1994, he married Teresa (Bigler) Wagner at Northwood Lutheran Church in Grygla, Minnesota. In 1996, Keith and Teresa purchased a farm on Moose River Road near Grygla, MN. They enjoyed spending time there and at their lake home at the Ken-Mar-Ke Resort on Lake of the Woods, near Baudette, Minnesota. In 2002 Keith’s medical conditions forced him to retire from the profession that he loved dearly and was so passionate about. That year, Keith and Teresa decided to spend their summers in Grygla, Minnesota and their winters in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. In Grygla Keith had time to enjoy his childhood roots. In 2010 Keith and Teresa moved to Kalona, Iowa to be closer to their immediate family.

Keith was a positive and optimistic man with an incredible sense of humor and a unique, contagious laugh. He always had an extra smile, providing care to those around him as he listened to their woes. He truly cared. Keith was known for his generosity and kindness to everyone. He loved animals, children, and the elderly. His greatest joy was his family, children, and grandchildren who always lit up his eyes and made him smile.

Keith was a friend of Bill W. since September 25, 1981. His sobriety was his salvation in life. The program’s philosophies of “To Thine Own Self Be True,” to “One Day at a Time,” truly enhanced and enriched his life. The physical and medical burdens of the past 20 year were lightened, knowing he could live each day well and cherish every moment. Keith and his wife Teresa enjoyed many good times together, cherished each other, and appreciated each other’s sense of humor.

Survivors include his wife, caretaker, and best friend Teresa and four sons. Brian (Hope) Oepping of West Liberty, Iowa; Brad (Martha) Anderson of Shueyville, Iowa; Justin (Melissa) Wagner of Marion, Iowa; and Jordan (Laura) Wagner of Grimes, Iowa. Grandchildren Ali, Race, Jacob, Isaac, Erika, Mason, Wren, Nashua, and Tierra. Mother Delilah Anderson of Kalona, Iowa; ex-wife Susan Anderson; brother Dean Anderson of Kalona, Iowa; sisters, Alana (Duane) Bontrager of Kalona, Iowa; Joan Gerot of Ainsworth, Iowa; Carol (Marvin) Bontrager of Frytown, Iowa; Marilyn Anderson and friend Pat May of Kalona, Iowa; and Voncille (Kevin) Johnson of Kalona, Iowa; and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews, relatives and friends.

He has preceded in death by his father Theodore, brother Ernest, son Jack, and brother-in-law Dean Gerot. Condolences may be sent to Beatty & Peterseim Funeral Home, 201 B Ave., Kalona, IA 52247. Memorials may be sent to Iowa City Hospice or Paws and More in Washington, Iowa.

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Teresa, Anderson family and Brad& Brian, I am so very sad over your loss of Keith,.He was my white knight during the 70's and 80's. Whether it was digging my car out of a snow drift or just lending a shoulder to lean on, he was the very best neighbor and friend anyone could ask for. The video is so very precious and it was nice to see that he got to enjoy his beloved Minnesota before his health declined. If it were not for Covid it would certainly take a gymnasium or larger to accommodate all of the people who would want to celebrate his life .He was once in a lifetime special and I'm so grateful he was a part of my life and my families.

Patricia Quinlan Jan 14 2021 12:00 AM

We are so sorry to hear about the loss of Keith, you have our sympathy. We pray God will grant the Anderson family strengths you need to get through this difficult time. It was a privilege and fun times to have Keith and in his family as a next-door neighbor and friend. He was a true gentleman to everyone he met. Jane & Lyle MuselSisters, Oregon

Lyle & Jane Musel Jan 8 2021 12:00 AM

Teresa, Brad, and Brian,Keith and I did a lot of fun and stupid stuff. We had many laughs, probably some of them should be left between Keith and me, I will treasure them always. He was and always will be a great friend, there for me when I needed a good buddy. I was proud of him when he changed his life around. He knew a little bit about walleye fishing, but even more about how to acknowledge and love people. He could light up any room. I miss him now, and will forever.

Merle Headington Jan 8 2021 12:00 AM

Teresa and Anderson Family, I am Cathy Lee Thompson-Guastella, third cousin to Keith. My family visited Uncle Harland Lee and Aunt Anna and family during the summersback in the 50s. Unc. Harland was my dads brother. I remember visiting Dahlia and Theodore during our visits with the Lees. Keith and his siblings were always laughing, but bashful at the same. Through the years I saw him a few times at Lee events and he still had that smile. I wish I could have gotten to know him, but miles separates families. RIP Keith. Watching the video, you had a full and happy life.

Cathy Lee Thompson-Guastella Jan 7 2021 12:00 AM

We are so sorry to learn about the death of Keith. We have many good memories of him, some are very old, like living next door in Kalona and enjoying many a card game and laughs. We know he will be greatly missed, and our condolences to his family.

Don and Jo Siefken Jan 7 2021 12:00 AM

Keith was my father's best friend, and I personally have a lot of fond memories of fishing with him and a crew of others on Swenson Lake in Minnesota. He was funny and caring, even to a smartmouth kid like me, as I was back then. I'll miss him and his great sense of humor. I can only hope that he and my father are in a boat on a beautiful lake in the afterlife catching walleyes by the dozen. He enriched the life of everyone who knew him and we're all better for it.

Rondy Roy, II Jan 6 2021 12:00 AM

Teresa and family,We are so very sorry for your loss. Although we only knew Kieth for a a few years, each time we saw him he made us feel like we were good friends. It was a pleasure to have known him. He will be missed by many. May he rest...pain free...in peace. God be with all of you.

Bob and Jane Easton (LHC, AZ) Jan 6 2021 12:00 AM

Teresa and family... I am so sorry for your loss. I remember Keith's wonderful laugh. I remember him saying, "put your hand right here", and then playfully hammering down on it with his fist. I remember those red blinking lights of his gorilla suit on Halloween, and not only him scaring us at the door with it, but then chasing us in that crazy costume all the way back to our house. I remember the week my cousins were down visiting from Decorah, and he took us all out for ice cream to the Dairy Queen... and he had us all laughing so hard. He was one of the greats, and will be missed.

Amy Strong Jan 6 2021 12:00 AM

Great memories RIP

Gary Dekko Jan 5 2021 12:00 AM

Teresa and Anderson Family - You are in my thoughts and prayers. Keith was my real estate manager - he always had an open door policy and a willing ear to listen. We also had some serious discussion about growing up on farms, his time in Vietnam and and life in general. He was one of the really good guys! May he rest in peace. May his family receive God's grace and comfort in their grief.

Carol Lakin-Vecellio Jan 5 2021 12:00 AM

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