Anderson, William Neil


William Neil Anderson, 86, of Lewiston, Minn., died on Wednesday, August 26, 2020, at Chosen Valley Care Center in Chatfield. Bill was born on April 13, 1934, to Ernest and Esther (Papenfuss) Anderson. He grew up as one of three children in Lewiston. He graduated from Lewiston High School and entered the Naval Reserve. Bill held many jobs over his life from Lewiston Police Officer to driving bus for Twin City Bus Line, working for Schumaker Transport, Riverside Electronics, and Merchants Bank courier. He enjoyed music and played in a regional dance band called “Emil Guenther and the Blue Denim Boys.” He was also known as playing one of the best Santas around. He was Santa in Minneapolis for several years while they lived in Fridley. He enjoyed fishing, deer hunting, playing cards, and collecting department 56 Christmas villages. Bill married Shirley Hill in 1953 and the two of them had six children together. After 17 years of marriage they divorced. He later met Brenda Arnoldy. They began dating and were married on July 15, 1976. Bill was very proud of his 26 years of service to the Lewiston Fire Department and his membership with St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church.

He is survived by his loving wife, Brenda; children, Renee Plass, Ricky Anderson, Kathy Hans, Lori (Dan) Montgomery, and Val (Jeff) Bartsh; grandchildren, Michael, Bryan, Ricky Jr., Jenna, Rochelle, Ashley, Katie Jo, Chelsey, Jake, Nicole, Natasha, Matthew, and Jessica; 36 great-grandchildren; sister, Donna (Norbert) Ellinghuysen; siblings-in-law, Larry (Gerlinde) Arnoldy, Bruce (Mardelle) Arnoldy, Barbara Weibel, and Betsy (Michael) O’Flahrety; his favorite dog, Carly; and many nieces and nephews. Bill was preceded in death by an infant son, Roy Allen; his parents, Ernie and Esther; granddaughter, Alecia; and sister, Beverly Neidner.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, August 29, 2020, with visitation one hour prior at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church. An outdoor reception will be held at City View Park in Lewiston following the burial at St. John’s Cemetery. Please bring your own lawn chair to assist in proper social distancing. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Lewiston Fire Department. Please view Bill’s tribute video and leave a memory at


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