James “Jim” Cleo Anderson of Bethesda Home, Goessel, passed away on Friday, March 1. He was born August 30, 1932, in Cleburne, the son of Fred Niels and Alta Mae (Vernson) Anderson. He was an only child.
Jim was preceded in death by his wife Jackie on Aug. 14, 2017. Jim and Jackie met during their junior year in high school. They were married on September 6, 1953 and made their home in Cleburne, Kansas. Jim began college at Kansas State University in 1950 where he pursued a double major of Animal Husbandry and Agronomy. He was a member of the Air Force ROTC during school as well as the KSU Marching Band. In 1953, Jim quit school in anticipation of being called to military duty. He worked on the farm with his father as he waited to be drafted, but he never was. He returned to school and graduated in 1956. While in school this time, Jim enjoyed being a member of the livestock judging team under the mentorship of Dr. Don Good. This was such an important part of his life that he almost (but not quite) agreed to go to New York with Dr. Good on a judging trip the week before his wedding. Military service was also important to Jim, and he signed up and served in the National Guard from 1957-1962.
In 1960, the arrival of Tuttle Creek Dam forced the residents of Cleburne to leave their homes, as the town would be under water once the dam was constructed. Jim & Jackie moved north of Olsburg, Kansas where they farmed with Jim’s parents, and later Jim’s son, Larry, for 47 years. Jim loved farming – both working the land and working with cattle. He had a deep appreciation for nature and all of God’s creation, and he was a faithful steward of his land and livestock.
In 2007, due to Jackie’s health, Jim and Jackie retired off the farm and moved to Hesston, Kansas. They enjoyed their time in Hesston and their involvement with the Methodist Church and the Hesston Area Senior Center. Jim volunteered as both a crossing guard and a delivery person for Meals on Wheels. He and Jackie both loved music and loved to play cards. There was always singing and/or a game of pitch on hand whenever any of their children or grandchildren would visit. Jim was enormously proud of both of his children and his four grandchildren. After Jackie’s death in 2017, Jim could never quite get is footing again and his health began to decline without the love of his life to care for. Jim moved into Bethesda Home three months prior to a peaceful passing in his sleep.
Survivors include two children, Larry (Kim) Anderson of Olsburg and Patty (Shane) Meier of Newton; four grandchildren, Mark Meier of Kansas City, Alex Meier of Lawrence, Bobbi Anderson of Manhattan, and Jessy Poetzsch of Germany. He was preceded in death by his parents.
A memorial service will be held at the American Legion in Olsburg, Kansas at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, March 7th, 2019 with lunch following. Memorial contributions may be made to LMIC Don Good Excellence in Agriculture Fund in care of Petersen Funeral Home, 215 N. Main, Newton, Kansas 67114.