Jeffrey Curtis Anderson was born on March 14, 1969 in Laguna Beach, CA to Karen (Gullickson) Anderson and Gary Anderson, a United States Marine and Vietnam War Purple Heart Recipient. Days after Jeff’s birth, he and his parents left California and returned to the family farm in Walnut Grove, Minnesota, where he lived and worked and played every day as a child and teenager. Jeff was a born outdoorsman. He loved to hunt and fish. Any time spent outside and in the sunshine was time well spent for Jeff. He and his younger brother Steven spent their days playing on their family farm, and later working on it with their father and grandfather. It was easy to play cowboys on a cattle farm, and Jeff and Steven played it often. One day when playing fireman was in order, they set the grove on fire, alerting their parents by running in the direction of the house indicating that they needed the garden hose as quickly as possible. As teenagers, Jeff bet his brother Steven that he couldn’t hit a spot power pole with his .22. When Steven hit the spot, and Jeff lost the bet, the power went out to the house. Crews worked until three in the morning to fix the problem and restore power to the house. In addition to working the land with his family, Jeff raised sheep. He loved his dogs. He was always thrilled at the chance to tell the story of how he found a nest of abandoned duck’s eggs in the pasture. After fabricating an incubator, he was able to hatch them, only to watch them return to the pond on their farm for many years to follow. Jeff adored his parents and grandparents, and many aunts, uncles, and cousins—spending time in the presence of family and good food was one of his favorite pastimes. Perhaps most of all, Jeff loved to hike every day the land that had been in his family for four generations. Jeff graduated from Walnut Grove High School in 1987, one of a class of only 30 students. Shortly after, he attended Alexandria Technical Institute in Alexandria, MN and later Worthington Community College, where he completed an Associate’s Degree. His love of learning prompted him to attend Southwest Minnesota State University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. Following his graduation from SMSU, he became employed with them in their Computer Services Department for many years. It was there in 2001 that he met his wife Stephanie Mitchell, the love of his life. Stephanie and Jeff were married in 2002. In Marshall, they raised three children: Grant, Laurel, and Kjirsten. In 2007, they moved to Malcolm, NE, back to the country life that Jeff had been so very fond of as a child. On their acreage, Jeff planted hundreds of trees and berry bushes, and tended a garden that made all others pale in comparison. Until his final day, that garden continued to be a symbol of Jeff’s unfaltering commitment to excellence and unconditional devotion to his role as a steward of the earth. In 2009, Jeff and his family welcomed his fourth child, a second son, Reid, to the world. Every bit of Jeff’s energy, and the love that flowed from it, was for his family, particularly his children. They were the light of his life and his reason for everything he thought to be perfect and beautiful about the world. Jeff directed Information Technology (IT) for GT Exhaust in Lincoln, NE, a job that he took pride in, one that he enjoyed to the fullest.
He is preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, Buster and Goldie Gullickson, his paternal grandmother, Marge Anderson, and his infant son Gabriel Kaylor Mitchell-Anderson. Jeff is survived by his wife Stephanie, his children Grant, Laurel, Kjirsten, and Reid of Malcolm, NE, his parents Gary and Karen Anderson of Walnut Grove, MN, his brother Steven, sister-in-law Sheila, and nieces Courtney and Ashley Anderson of Brookings, SD, his grandfather Leo Anderson of Redwood Falls, MN, his mother and father-in-law Rise and George of Malcolm, NE, and his brother-in-law and sister-in-law Joe and Christine and nephews Nicholas and Alexander of Omaha, NE. Jeff is additionally survived by dozens of loved ones and friends who will miss him, feeling all too well the hole his dynamic presence has left in the world he left behind.
A Memorial Service will be held on Thursday, August 23, 2012 at 2:00 P.M. in St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, 2325 S. 24th, Lincoln.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be given to the family for Jeff’s children’s education fund.