Paul R. Anderson

Paul R. Anderson

DEFOREST – Paul R. Anderson, age 83, went to be with the Lord on Tuesday, April 18, 2017, after having Agrace Hospice Care at his home in DeForest since September 2016.

Paul was born on May 18th, 1933 to Alfred LF and Ruth (Nilsen) Anderson in Colfax, WI. Paul grew up in DeForest where he graduated from High School in 1951. He attended the UW of Whitewater before being drafted into the Army in 1953 where he served in Germany in Intelligence during the Cold War for 2 years active and 6 years in the reserves. On April 20, 1957, Paul married Mildred “Millie” Olson from Nashotah, WI.

Paul had a successful career as a life insurance salesman, mostly with Lutheran Brotherhood (now Thrivent), and traveled the world as a motivational speaker. He was a popular speaker, as there were few other presenters in the life insurance world that used magic tricks, pyrotechnics, circus music, unicycle riding, juggling, and bad jokes. As much as Paul loved his job, he often said his wisest use of a month of work time was building a tree fort for his kids.

He had several hobbies: carving, magic, singing in the church choir, singing in barbershop quartets, singing in the shower, hunting, photography, all kinds of craftwork, Native American culture, scouting, community service, being a clown in parades, archery, and eating ice cream. He was fascinated by nearly everything. But his chief pastime was people: spending time with old friends, meeting new ones, striking up a conversation with whomever was within a 15 foot radius, and showing magic tricks to perfect strangers.

One of Paul’s happiest memories was winning the Wisconsin Soap Box Derby in 1946 at age 13. The whole family went to see him advance to the nationals in Akron, Ohio; it was the family’s first trip outside of DeForest. Also in April of 2016 it was an outstanding occasion for him to go on the Badger Honor Flight.

There was no uncomfortable silence when you were with Paul Anderson. Or comfortable silence, for that matter. If he wasn’t talking, he was singing; if he wasn’t singing, he was humming. It will surprise no one that he even talked in his sleep. He lived longer than the doctors expected, because he could never say goodbye in a timely fashion.

Paul is survived by his wife Millie; daughter, Karen (Ron Haynes); sons, Eric (Kim Tyler), Kirk (Nancy Brewster), and Rolf (Terry) in the state of Oregon; two grandchildren, Collin and Maren. He was preceded in death by his parents and brothers, Alfred “Bud” and Karl. A memorial service will be held at Christ Lutheran Church in DeForest on June 10, 2017.

The family wished to express thankfulness to Agrace Hospice Care for their kind and loving help, especially Marie and Corey. Gifts may be directed to Christ Lutheran Church, Agrace Hospice Care or a charity of your choice. To view and sign this guestbook, please visit: