James F. Anderson, 83, of Ely and Hermantown, walked after a brief stay at Solvay Hospice in Duluth on April 17, 2022.
He was born on Valentine’s Day 1939, which was also his teenage sister’s birthday – a special bond that carried them through the years as she helped raise him while his mother and son father had just begun the great adventure of starting Echo Tail Lodge on the East Arm. from Burntside Lake. He was his family’s special surprise and, at 16, when his father passed away, he was thrust too quickly into resort responsibilities which set the stage for how he would face hardship and adversity. of life: with quiet resolution and lovable determination. As a “caboose,” the bond forged with her mother through happy times and hardship remained intact with her passing.
His early extended family life shaped who he was and he was proud of his Ojibway heritage as a member of the Bois Forte Band. Almost all of the stories told by him served the dual purpose of entertaining and teaching, and he enjoyed passing on his knowledge of language, events, and family traditions filled with Andersons, Toutloffs, Rolandos, and Bosheys.
He taught for more than 35 years, the majority as a math and science teacher at Hermantown Middle School. He enjoyed passing on his knowledge to young and old alike and was surrounded by wonderful colleagues who made his teaching career even more enjoyable.
Although this part of the journey is over, the special memories remain. He was known for his quiet wisdom, kind laughter, incredible work ethic, ability to fix anything, sense of humor, witty lyrics and wry observations, love of nature and the natural world, walleye fishing, canoe trips, his love for his family and his genuine and gentle helpful nature. Very few birds went hungry in his presence, and summer walleye and winter trout can now rest more easily with his fishing gear now stored. Too soon after retiring, he suffered a stroke that robbed him of delayed canoe trips and northern adventures. As he worked to regain his mobility, his grandson Sam became the light of his life and the two shared countless adventures through hours of stories, teaching and learning, and laughter. Typically, he showed as a grandparent what he was as a parent – patient, guiding, playful and loving.
He now joins his immediate family in the spirit world – his parents John and Mary Anderson, his sister Norma (Johnson), and his brothers John and Bill. He is survived by Dail, Jim (Nora), Chris (Joanna) and his grandson Sam, as well as generations of nieces, nephews, in-laws, resort guests, fellow teachers and educators, and the many students who he taught along the way. No words will adequately convey his devotion and love for Dail, who was his lifelong paddling partner and outdoor adventure companion, as well as his constant companion, cook, confidant, conscience, chief accountant and ultimate guardian. The comfort he felt in her presence at the end showed the strength of their 60 plus years together. He couldn’t have become what he was for all of us without her by his side.
While his adventures in retirement were cut short by his stroke, in his recovery and beyond, he remained a guiding force in his family as he showed that physical obstacles were no match for him. attitude and humor, and his wisdom and positive attitude have remained intact, even as he has fought an additional battle with multiple myeloma in recent years. His nurses loved his infectious laugh.
He will now return home to Burntside, joining generations before him who lived and loved the land and the lake water – where he grew up, where he learned and taught many life lessons, where he met Dail and where his heart was happiest – his circle closed. Please share your condolences online and photos at sunrisefuneralhomeandcemetery.com.