Faith in Daily Life - Monte Anderson
Growing up in a small town with a strong Norwegian heritage (three of his four grandparents were born in Norway), this month’s featured Peace member has enjoyed “a life well-lived,” and he continues to enjoy life to its fullest. Read on to learn more about Monte Anderson, a man who continues to live his vocation.
Monte was born and raised in the area near Milan, Minnesota. When he was twelve years old, he contracted Rheumatic Fever. The illness caused him to miss six months of school, so he had to repeat seventh grade. This forced him to get to know a whole new group of classmates and delayed his high school graduation by one year. His doctor would not permit him to play sports in high school after recovering from this disease, so he made the best of things by being a scorekeeper for the town basketball team, keeping track of statistics for the high school football team, and in the summer he was the scorekeeper for the town’s baseball team. While in high school, he had several part-time jobs, starting when he was fourteen. He worked for the local implement dealer, in two restaurants as a waiter, and at the hatchery in town, where he sold feed products to farmers and took care of baby chicks. He also furnished information to the Milan Standard Newspaper, a weekly publication.
After high school, Monte earned a scholarship to attend the University of Minnesota, where he graduated with a degree in accounting. While at the ‘U,” he worked in the Correspondent Study Department. During his junior year of college, he was hired by the securities broker J.M. Dain & Company, and he worked there during the summer and his final school year. After graduation, he continued to work for Dain (which became Dain Rauscher) for another 35 years. When he started there, the company had fewer than 50 employees; when he retired, there were more than 3,000. When asked about living the life of a Christian within a secular industry, Monte says that he never felt that he was part of a “non-Christian” organization because the leadership at the highest level had values similar to his own. “I belonged to a Bible Study group at work, and I know that there were several employees who participated in the group and were active in their churches and religious activities,” he recalls. When he retired, he was told by several employees how much they appreciated the way they were treated in their relationship with him. “Of course, that was the most important message I heard,” he says.
When it comes to both happiness and success, Monte gives credit to his wife, Evie. He says that his former colleagues often told him how lucky he was to be married to her! The couple has three children, six grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. In retirement, Monte has enjoyed writing poetry and has written one book, entitled No Letter Today, and other stories. He enjoys reading, doing crossword puzzles, and solving sudoku puzzles. Despite his doctor’s orders back in his youth, Monte has played basketball and racquetball and has been a runner. Monte and Evie had been members of Peace while it was located in Wayzata, and when it combined with Grace Lutheran Church to create a new church in Plymouth, they joined this new congregation. They have been members for 53 years. In the past, Monte taught confirmation, served as Treasurer on the church council, and has helped with stewardship, especially when it came to building at Peace’s current location. Although they now live sixteen miles from our Church, they continue to attend and are sometimes the greeters who welcome you with a smile when you enter the building on Sunday mornings. They credit their friendship with Pastor Ron Fretheim as one of the main reasons they stayed at Peace despite their moves to Eden Prairie and Bloomington.
“I think the success I have had in life is due to the support I received in my home life,” Monte shares. He continues, “my religious beliefs and the church friends we have had, helped me throughout my life. For me, the Church has been critically important from Milan to Eden Prairie and all the other stops along the way.” Monte’s father died before his 71 st birthday, and his brother died when he was 41 years old. His mother lived to 90. He says, “I have had rheumatic fever twice, kidney stones three or four times, a heart attack, pneumonia, have a pacemaker, have had total replacement of my left knee, and have had my right shoulder ‘made new.’ I will turn 85 years of age in four months and know that God has been taking care of me all the time. Evie and I have been married for 63 years, and the Church has always been with us. I consider myself unbelievably fortunate.” Your friends at Peace consider themselves fortunate to know you and worship with you, Monte!