Verlyn Dean Anderson, 88, of Moorhead, MN, passed away on Sunday, April 3, 2022, in his home. He was born October 23, 1933, to Arthur and Cora (Hovland) Anderson in Fergus Falls, MN. He grew up on a farm near Rothsay, MN, and graduated from Rothsay High School in 1952. He attended Concordia College in Moorhead, MN, where he graduated in 1956, meeting his wife, Evonne Beastrom, at Concordia. They were united in marriage on June 7, 1958, in Ellsworth, WI.
Verlyn taught elementary school at Elizabeth, MN, for one year before teaching English and being the librarian at Hawley High School, Hawley, MN, for another year. He taught English and Latin at Waconia, MN, High School from 1958-1962. He received a master’s degree in English in 1962 from the University of Minnesota and a second master’s degree in Library Science in 1965, also from the University of Minnesota. Later, he received his Ph.D. in American Studies in 1972, from the University of Minnesota. In 1962, Verlyn joined the Concordia College faculty as a librarian. From 1968-1998, he was Director of the College Library and Professor of Scandinavian Studies and History. While at Concordia, he began participating in the Norwegian Adult Program at Skogfjorden, the Concordia College Language Village site near Bemidji, MN, and continued this after his retirement from Concordia.
Verlyn has been active at Trinity Lutheran Church in Moorhead and at Kringen Lodge, Sons of Norway, Fargo, ND, where he was Cultural Director for many years and taught Norwegian and Genealogy classes. He also led more than 40 tours to the Scandinavian countries and the British Isles for local and family groups and for the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Tour participants enjoyed hearing him telling (sometimes in a humorous way) what they were seeing, as well as giving them a course in the history and geography of Norway 101. In 2008, he and Evonne took their family to Norway to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary and while there, he was awarded the prestigious St. Olav Medal by Norway’s King Harald V for his work in developing and fostering excellent relationships between the U.S. and Norway. The presentation was made in the St. Nicolai Church, the larger of the historic Sister Churches in Hadeland. He regarded this as a great honor.
Verlyn and Evonne had three daughters. Kristi was born in Minneapolis, Karen in Waconia, and Randi in Moorhead. They always said that they dare not move or they would have another child.
Verlyn is survived by his wife of 63 years, Evonne; daughters, Kristi (Robert) Sundlie, Karen (Greg) Schulz, and Randi (Ken) Stevenson; grandchildren, Paul (Grace) Sundlie, Thomas Sundlie, and Brenton Sundlie; great-grandson, Jonathan Sundlie; siblings, Ardell Ahrendt, Ole (Kim) Anderson, and LuAnn (Larry Scheidegger) Finkenaur; and many other loving relatives and friends.
Visitation will be from 5:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M., Wednesday, April 6, 2022, at Wright Funeral Home, Moorhead, MN. Visitation will continue from 10:00 A.M. to 11:00 A.M., followed by the funeral service at 11:00 A.M., Thursday, April 7, 2022, at Trinity Lutheran Church, Moorhead, MN. A livestream of the service will be available on Verlyn’s webpage at www.wrightfuneral.com where a guestbook and video tribute may also be found. Burial will be at South Immanuel Cemetery, near Rothsay, MN, after the service.
In lieu of flowers, donations preferred to Trinity Lutheran Church, Sons of Norway in Fargo, or Lutheran Disaster Response Eastern Europe Response.