Cover photo for James Anderson's Obituary
James Anderson Profile Photo
1949 James 2024

James Anderson

August 7, 1949 — June 29, 2024

White Bear Lake

James Darrell Anderson left us on June 29, 2024, of complications from early lung cancer treatment. He was 74 years old. Jim lived an extraordinarily rich life, had few regrets, loved, and was loved deeply. Jim was a kind man with a generous heart, a gift with words, and a wit that entertained all. We will miss his radiant smile and twinkling blue eyes.

Jim was born on August 7, 1949, in Portage, WI, the second of Raymond and Doris Anderson's two children. While growing up, his dad energetically fostered his lifelong passions for golf and the Green Bay Packers. Jim received his B.A. in Political Science (1972) and M.A. in Social Work (1980) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Jim spent his life making the world a better place for all of us in his sphere, personally and professionally. He was a powerful advocate for those without a voice: refugees, homeless, and vulnerable populations. His leadership, in partnership with many, gave hope and new beginnings to thousands transitioning to new lives-first by working with the International Rescue Committee in Thailand (1980-1991), then as a Political Asylum Officer (1991), and as a Refugee and Immigrant and Low-income and Homeless Human Services Planner in Ramsey County, Minnesota (1992-2016). He ended his career by serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer with Liz in Uganda (2018-2020). Jim enjoyed acting as a "Special Advisor" to Liz in her role as Peace Corps Country Director in Namibia.

While living in Thailand, Jim met the love of his life, Elizabeth Walker. Liz and Jim married in September of 1984 and had two boys, Paul and Nick. They raised their boys in White Bear Lake, MN. Until his passing, Jim was an avid golfer, hiker, and explorer. He devoured books and music, treasured his friends and family, and relished his last days living with Liz and hosting visitors in Namibia. Besides his boys, one of Jim's proudest accomplishments was hiking all 2,197 miles of the Appalachian Trail at age 67.

Jim is survived by his loving wife of 39 years, Elizabeth Walker Anderson; sons, Paul Raymond Anderson (Connor Kasch) Nicholas Walker Anderson (Vera Markovna Swanson) and; sister, Susan Rae Sweeney; and many dear family, friends, and colleagues. Memorials are preferred to two of Jim's favorite organizations: Appalachian Trail Conservancy and International Rescue Committee. Please join us as we celebrate Jim's remarkable life on July 26, 2024, 5:00-8:00 pm at Como Lakeside Pavilion (3rd floor), 1360 Lexington Parkway North, St. Paul, MN.

"It's not what we have in our life, but who we have in our life that counts." - J.M. Laurence.

Liz, Paul, Nick Anderson

PO Box 342

Afton, MN 55001, United States


Street Address (for deliveries):

Pat Walker MD (for Andersons)

15234 Afton Hills Court South

PO Box 159

Afton, MN 55001

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