Donald “Don” Dean Anderson


Donald “Don” Dean Anderson, 84, formerly of Redfield, South Dakota, and most recently, a resident of Marion, Iowa, outside of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.   With a diagnosis of an aggressive form of dementia, he moved to the Monument Health Sturgis Care Center in Sturgis, South Dakota, where he passed away peacefully near family on Thursday, January 25, 2024. 

   Services will be held on Monday, February 12, 2024, at Hyke Funeral Home in Redfield.  Visitation, with family present, will be from 12:00 – 2:00 p.m.  His funeral service will follow at 2:00 p.m. with Pastor Todd Bowers officiating.   After the service, burial will be at Greenlawn Cemetery in Redfield. 

   The funeral service will be live-streamed on the funeral home’s website below Don’s obituary.  Arrangements have been entrusted to Hyke Funeral Home (

   Donald Dean Anderson was born on September 28, 1939, in rural Spink County to Carl and Aleta (Plano) Anderson.  He spent his childhood and youth with his family in Redfield.  He attended Redfield Public School and graduated from Redfield High School.  He met his first wife in their teenage years on Main Street in Redfield.

   In 1958, he married Sandra Lee Vanderbilt in Webster, SD, and to this union, one child was born.   He worked through high school after losing his father, Carl, when he was 14 years old.  Don lived at home with his mother and siblings until 1959.  During his high school years, he was an employee at the Redfield Press starting out in setting “presses.”  He also worked at the local bowling alley in Redfield, where he specialized in setting up the pins.   He left Redfield at age 20, started a new journey and joined his aunt and uncle in California to seek new adventures. His love story with Sandra ended shortly after they were married, although they followed each other in life for over 50 years.

   In 1982, he married Ruby Marie Anderson known as “Marie”, in Las Vegas, Nevada, and to this union, one child was born in Florida. He continued his career in the printing business in the 1980’s, and later, he and Marie parted ways. He traveled and advanced his skills in the printing business, in large press and printing operations, including a long period in Chicago, Illinois, during the late sixties and early seventies.  A most favorable time for him was working at the Chicago Tribune, setting print, and enjoying his passion to write stories. He completed an unpublished book titled “Ponyboy.”   Don spent his retirement years in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. 

   In the 1960’s, his sister Valerie Anderson had married Paul Brawn and then moved to Iowa with his mother, Aleta, and she is laid to rest near Valerie and Paul in Cedar Rapids.  Don was known in Redfield as a tough guy (rebel, a James Dean character with the Levi’s and white t-shirt).  He learned at a young age to protect himself and became a Golden Glove boxer. Most would say, “no one messes with Don Anderson.”  He was known to protect others and his family during the depression while in Redfield.  Writing was very important to Don, and he loved reading “mystery novels,” his favorite the “The Bourne Identity.”

   In retirement, while in Iowa, he was able to connect with some of his grandchildren, nieces, and nephews, who had moved to Iowa, and he then enjoyed time as well with his great-grandchildren. He enjoyed telling stories with his family and giving a little “punch or two” in the tummy to the little ones.

   He and Marie spent their time together in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, enjoying a trip to South Dakota in the late seventies, where his two daughters met for the first time, along with his two stepchildren. 

   Don retired near Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in a little rural area called Marion, where he enjoyed several years with some of his grandchildren and great grandchildren, nieces and nephews, sharing time with them, and fishing. 

   Don is survived by his two daughters: Tammy (Anderson) Ackerman (husband Wayne), of Rapid City, South Dakota, and Lenore (Anderson) Famiano (husband Michael) of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  He is also survived by four grandchildren: Shauna (Hansen) Schroeder, Cuno J. Hansen, Gianni Famiano and Giuliana Famiano; eight great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews in the Cedar Rapids area, and some from the south.  Don throughout the years was taken care of by Theresa Norton, daughter to Sandy (Tammy’s sister).

   He was preceded in death by his parents, wife Marie (Ruby) Anderson, and his siblings:  Valerie, Robert “Bobby”, Russell, Richie, and infant twins.