Jerome “Swede” Anderson


Jerome Charles Anderson was born July 23, 1939, in Worthington, to parents Edwin Walter Carl and Ruby Sophie (Jacobson) Anderson. He was baptized January 7, 1940, and confirmed in 1954 at First Lutheran Church in Worthington, where he was a lifelong member. His faith was very important to him. Jerry attended Central Elementary School and was a 1957 graduate of Worthington High School.

Jerry served in the United States Navy as a Machinist’s Mate from July 1957–July 1960. He spent time in Yokosuka, Japan, on the USS Jupiter Cargo Freighter. He received an honorable discharge for his time enlisted. He was very proud of his years of service to his country.

He attended an automotive mechanic program at Dunwoody Technical Institute in Minneapolis for one year (1960-61 school year). After returning from Dunwoody, Jerry worked for his brother Duane, at the Standard Station in Worthington. He always enjoyed hot rods and started building racecars as a young man.

On February 10, 1962, Jerry was united in marriage to Blanche Frances Zahradnik at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church (now the Good Shepherd Church) in Jackson, Minnesota. They made their home in Worthington, and shared 36 years of marriage. To this union, three children were born: Charles, Tamara, and Shelly. Swede worked at several service stations in town until he had the opportunity to work with his brother Earl for Mahlberg Alignment. In 1975, Swede and Blanche bought Mahlberg Alignment, where they worked together. They were later able to update their business, removing the old building and constructing a new facility, Anderson Alignment.

Swede’s love of racecars was evident in his 50+ years of racing. He built several different types of cars; Super Modifieds, Late Models, A Mods, and B Mods. He was a founding member of the Worthington Racetrack in 1972. He and Blanche spent countless hours each week preparing the track for the races. He was always willing to help other race teams with advice, repairs or adjustments to their cars, even though they were the competition. He was a NASCAR fan, attending the Daytona 500 in Florida for 42 consecutive years.

In his later years, Swede starting collecting Cushman gas engines and scooters. He loved going to auctions and tracking down leads for more treasures. He enjoyed going to the tristate area town celebrations, threshing bees and power shows; sometimes showing his Cushman motors or scooters. He was interested in sharing the history of how these motors were used with the younger generations.

Swede died peacefully Saturday, May 30, 2020, at the Sunset Hospice Cottage in Worthington, surrounded by family. He had reached the age of 80 years, 10 months, 7 days.

Swede is survived by his son and daughters: Charles (Michelle) Anderson of Worthington, Tamara (David) Heeren of Lakeville, and Shelly (Mark) Arnold of Holloway; 10 grandchildren: twins Joseph (Sarah) Anderson and Jason (Molli) Anderson, Justin (Ashley) Anderson, Nicholas Weets, Zechariah Weets, Tiffany Heeren, Jacob Heeren, Amber (Jarod) Tuff, Amanda (Brandon) Klein, and Alyssa (Tronn) Tosel; 15 great-grandchildren: Ethan, Elizabeth, Carter, Mason, Aubrey and Ellie Anderson, Avery Tuff, twins Ainsley and Jackson Tuff, Kennedy and Kora Klein, Kadence, Hilary, Emersyn, and Briar Tosel; and special friend, LaVerna Feltman; one sister, Mary (Allen) Tolk, brother-in-law Al Kuehl, and several nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife Blanche in 1998; brothers and sisters-in-law: Earl and Christy Anderson, Duane and Bertha Anderson, and Wesley and Shirley Anderson; and sister Janice Fedt.

The family will have a private service at the Benson Funeral Home Wednesday, June 3, 2020 led by Pastor Jeanette McCormick from First Lutheran Church. At noon, there will be a public viewing at the Worthington Cemetery. People will be able to either view Jerome in person or “drive by” to pay respects. At 1:00 PM, there will be a graveside service that all are welcome to attend. The service will conclude with military honors. Casket bearers will be his grandchildren: Joseph Anderson, Jason Anderson, Justin Anderson, Nicholas Weets, Zechariah Weets, Tiffany Heeren, Jacob Heeren, Amber Tuff, Amanda Klein, and Alyssa Tosel. Burial will be in the Worthington Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family would like to present memorial gifts to the Murray County Speedway and the First Lutheran Church.

Benson Funeral Home in Worthington is in charge of the arrangements.

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