Higby Mortuary
Home Staff Pre-Planning Obituaries Upcoming Funerals History Contact Us

Ardean Andersen

Ardean Andersen, age 95, of Aurora, formerly of Marquette, passed away on Wednesday, December 9, 2020, at Memorial Community Care.

A Private Family Graveside Service was held at St. John's Lutheran Cemetery at Kronborg. For everyone's safety, the family will hold a memorial service at a later date. Memorials may be made in care of the family to designate at a later date. Condolences may be e-mailed to the family through the mortuary website at www.higbymortuary.com


Ardean Andersen was born 1 April 1925 in rural Marquette at the home of his parents, Albert and Agnes (Petersen) Andersen. He passed away on Wednesday, December 9th, 2020 at Memorial Community Care in Aurora, Nebraska.

Ardean attended Marquette Consolidated Schools and graduated in 1942, after which he took coursework at the Grand Island School of Business and worked at the Harry Livestock Com'n Co. He was called into the service on one of the first days of March 1945. After basic training, he was sent to Manila in the Philippine Islands, where he was assigned to detached service with AFWESPAC (American Forces Western Pacific) sending soldiers home after the war. He received his discharge in early December 1946, after which he returned home to farm.

He was married to Annebell Smith of Hay Springs, Nebraska on 27 September 1948 and they took over the home place near Kronborg, Nebr. He served on many administrative boards including the St. John's Lutheran Church board at Kronborg, the Marquette Schools Board of Education, the Hamilton County School Reorganization Committee and as a charter member of the Nebraska Association of Small Schools. He also served as a leader of the Lucky-Lads 4-H Club for a number of years. An outgrowth of this was forming a cooperative seed venture under the University of Nebraska program for seed production. The cooperative included several area farmers and later became known as Andersen & Associates, operating for 50 consecutive years. Ardean also served on the Nebraska Crop Improvement board, both as Secretary and President, and he received their distinctive Premier Seed Award in 1977. He later helped form the Nebraska Soybean Board through which he coordinated county extension meetings providing instruction on soybeans as a viable crop alternative. As part of this activity, he conducted field variety trials and hosted various herbicide trials for control of shattercane and velvet leaf.

Ardean was also appointed to the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation board and later to the regional Upper Big Blue Natural Resource Board, where he served for 10 years. His farm was recognized by Ak-Sar-Ben in 1988 for being in the same family for 100 years. It was again recognized with a Regional Conservation Award in 1994 and with the Omaha World Herald Master Conservation Award in 1997. In semi-retirement, he was involved in researching and recording the past history of the Kronborg church and community, translating many old journals and records from Danish to English to leave its heritage for future generations. He also translated a history of the first 25 years of the town of Dannebrog, Nebraska as written by a professor from Denmark.

He is survived by his wife Annebell, four children and four grandchildren, including a daughter (Cynthia Claassen, Arlington, Texas) and a son (Tim Andersen, Marquette, Nebraska). Another daughter (Katherine Andersen, Waukesha, Wisconsin) has two children. Her elder son and his wife (Greg and Melanie Richards) live in Phoenix, Arizona where Greg works as a HVAC specialist and as a basketball coach while Melanie serves as a Legislative Liaison for the state of Arizona. Kathy's younger son, Brian Richards is a firefighter/paramedic in Watertown, Wisconsin. Ardean's youngest son and daughter-in-law (Sam and Wendy Andersen, Marquette) also have two children. Their daughter (Gina Andersen, Durham, North Caroline) works as the RTP Site Engagement Lead for Cisco and their son (Max Andersen, Silver Spring, Maryland) serves as a Lieutenant in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Officer Corps. Other survivors include a brother-in-law, Ray Petersen, now residing in Ashland, Nebraska and a number of nieces and nephews.

From the words of the late Norris Alfred in his book, "Butterfly Against the Gale, "We were not born to subdue but to coexist with our world. We were not born to change the natural world, but to accept it as a temporary heritage. We need to take large doses of humility to inspire gratitude form the opportunity that our birth gave us. We must learn to appreciate the wonders that surround us; the mysteries that inspire us. And the love of life that sustains us."

Share your sympathies and/or favorite memories Messages will be given to the family.