Erlin Theodore Anderson, 86, of Cresco, Iowa, died Monday, Nov. 25, 2013, at the Patty Elwood Center in Cresco.

He was born Oct. 2, 1927, in rural Winneshiek County, Iowa, to Theodore and Agnes Anderson. He was baptized on Nov. 6, 1927, and confirmed May 23, 1943.

He attended country grade school and graduated from Cresco High School in 1945. His dream then was to join the Air Force. The local draft board changed his dream when they announced he was more needed on the farm to keep it going since his father was not well, so he stayed on the farm.

His main recreation when young was roller skating. He spent many evenings skating at the local rinks where he was an excellent skater.

On Nov. 3, 1951, he married Marilyn Henderson at the Fremont Lutheran Church in rural Cresco. Together they operated a dairy and livestock farm and raised their six children.

He was a member of the Fremont Lutheran Church holding various offices until it closed. He became president of the Fremont Cemetery Association and was very proud of the perpetual care fund that he was instrumental in establishing. The family then joined and participated at First Lutheran.

He followed his father as a director and agent for the Norwegian Mutual Insurance Association, serving in this capacity for 38 years. He also constructed many farm buildings in the local area and found great satisfaction in seeing a building project from start to finish.

During retirement he enjoyed woodworking and wintered for 17 years in Apache Junction, Ariz., with his wife.

After years of living with Alzheimer's disease, he resided his final two years at the Patty Elwood Center, rural Cresco, where he received excellent and loving care.

He is survived by his wife, Marilyn Anderson of Cresco; six children, Virginia "Ginger" (Keith Larson) Anderson of Canton, Iowa, Rebecca "Becky" (Drew Tulley) Anderson of Houston, Texas, R'Delle (Paul Ely) Anderson of Trinidad, Calif., Lorri Vaughn of Richmond, Va., Paula (Steve) Green of Los Angeles, Calif., and Donald "Don" (Jaci) Anderson of Cresco; 13 grandchildren; two stepgrandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren and one due in April; five stepgreat-grandchildren; a sister, Sylvia Lynch of Madison, Wis.; a brother, David (Lois) Anderson of Apache Junction, Ariz.; a sister-in-law, Valda Anderson of Enumclaw, Wash.; and a brother-in-law, Walt Leas of Denver, Colo.

He was preceded in death by a son-in-law, Steve Vaughn; two sisters, Adelaide (and her husband Jerry) Dykstra and Karen Leas; a brother, Charles Anderson and two brothers-in-law, Robert Lynch and Donald Henderson.

Memorial services were held on Monday at the First Lutheran Church in Cresco. Burial followed in Fremont Cemetery in rural Cresco.

Memorials may be given to the Patty Elwood Center or the Fremont Cemetery Association in his memory.