Pearl Bernice (Strom) Anderson was born on August 18, 1922, in Minneapolis, MN, to Gus and Emelia (Carlson) Strom. She was born in the house her dad built. She had six brothers and three sisters. Pearl was the second to the youngest of the family and was the last one to pass away.
She remembers riding a tricycle down a hill and her dad calling her his little princess. She would go with her siblings to the store across the street to buy treats and just say “put it on my dad’s tab”, as the store owner owed her dad money and that is how he got paid back. When she was eight years old, her Dad passed due to heart failure at 53 years old. Pearl attended Bancroft Elementary School, Fowell Junior High School, Central High School, and a Vocational High School where she took business courses, bookkeeping, and became a Comptometer Operator. She got a job at Sterling Electric in Minneapolis.
In June of 1944, she met her future husband, Harlan, through her Sunday school teacher, Marie. He was drafted into the army so he asked if he could write to her and Pearl agreed. That is how it all started. Their first date was a lunch date at the Nankin.
When he was done with basic training, he came home on furlough at Thanksgiving to the family farm near Christine, ND. Marie told Pearl she was going up to the Wolverton, MN, and Christine, ND, area to visit Harlan’s parents and relatives. She invited Pearl to go with her and she agreed. They spent Thanksgiving together with all of Harlan’s relatives. After Thanksgiving, he left for overseas.
On Pearl’s 24th birthday, August 18, 1946, they got engaged and had a party with all the relatives. They were married on June 21, 1947, at Elim Covenant Church in Minneapolis, MN, by Harlan’s uncle, Carl Beckman.
They took a trip to California to see if Harlan could get a job at Douglas Aircraft in Long Beach. He had worked there before being drafted. They hired him and they drove back to Minnesota as they had to be back in California in ten days for Harlan to go to work.
A year later, they built a home in Lynwood, CA. It was halfway between Harlan’s work and the Free Church in Los Angeles, CA. Harlan’s uncle, David Anderson, was the contractor and they lived there for 68 years. Harlan passed away in 2016 and she moved to Leisure World in 2018. Pearl and Harlan enjoyed traveling and they went to Mexico, Hawaii, and Sweden. As a family they made many road trips back and forth to Minnesota and North Dakota every summer. They would go to the river and she water skied until she was almost 93. She even rode a horse on her 98th birthday. Pearl also enjoyed playing the piano, singing in the choir, solos and duets at church. She enjoyed reading, baking chocolate chip cookies and caramel rolls, sewing, and taking an hour walk. Pearl never drove a car.
At Leisure World, she was involved with the Leisure World Baptist Church. She played the piano for the Bible Study, liked to sing in the choir and going out to eat afterwards, too.
In July 2022, she fell and broke her hip. She had surgery on it and was sent to a skilled nursing facility for rehab. A broken hip was not going to keep her down! She was determined to make it to her 100th birthday party.
To celebrate Pearl’s 100th birthday, she had a big party at Green Acres Event Center in the Minneapolis area with over 100 relatives there. She also had a party with her Leisure World Baptist Church friends and family one week later.
After all her birthday parties, she was admitted to another skilled nursing facility. She had a massive stroke on Friday, September 2, 2022, and died in her sleep on September 7, 2022. Pearl said that what kept her going strong is that the Lord had been with her for the past 100 years and had given her a manifold of blessings for which she was very grateful to God. She loved God, prayed to Him every day, said God took care of her, and saved her. Pearl said she was ready for heaven.
She is survived by her daughter, Nancy Miller, and her son, Mark (Barbara) Anderson. She has four grandchildren, Erin Miller, Cathy (James) Slawinski, Clara (Mark) Niesche, and Mathew Anderson. She has two great-granddaughters, Nora Slawinski and Wynifred Niesche. In addition, she is survived by her sister-in-law Elaine (Anderson) Carlson; numerous nieces and nephews, and even more numerous great-nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, her 6 brothers and 3 sisters.
Visitation will be from 10 AM to 11 AM, with a funeral at 11 AM, Saturday, October 8, 2022, in Eagle Valley Evangelical Free Church, rural Christine, ND. Burial will be in Eagle Cemetery.