Marilu Anderson


Marilu Soper Anderson was born Dec. 20, 1929, in Rapid City, S.D., to James Walter Soper and Bertha Koopman Soper. She grew up on a ranch about 40 miles from Custer, S.D., attending one-room schools until the eighth grade.

After graduation from Custer High School, Marilu attended a three-year, hospital-based nursing program in Rapid City. She met her future husband, Allen E. Anderson, at Veterans Administration Hospital in Cheyenne, Wyo., where he was a patient and she was one of his nurses.

She and Allen were married Dec. 15, 1951, in Custer. They lived in Fort Collins, Kremmling and Colorado Springs, Colo., and outside Roswell, N.M., before returning to Fort Collins, where Allen completed a master’s degree and began a career as a wildlife biologist for the Colorado Division of Wildlife. Marilu worked evenings as a nurse to help support the family while Allen was in graduate school and later when their children were older. 

In 1980, the couple moved to Montrose, Colo., so Allen could be closer to his study area for his last research project on mountain lions. Marilu liked living in a small town where she could walk to many places. 

After Allen’s death in early 1997, Marilu lived alone for two years before her youngest daughter, Gwen Anderson, and Gwen’s twins came to live with her.

Marilu, of Montrose, Colo., died May 22, 2019. She was 89.

Marilu was also preceded in death by her parents; sisters, Audrey Moore of Broomfield, Colo., and Bette Nystrom of Grand Junction, Colo.; infant granddaughter, Chelsea Deubach; nephew, Tim Fitzpatrick; brother, Walt (Katy) Soper of Newcastle, Wyo., children, Gail (Jim) Hoffman, Eric (Veanne) Anderson and Gwen Anderson; grandchildren, Katie Hoffman, Monya and Karis Anderson and Anthony and Gandhi Anderson; several nieces and nephews and their children.

A memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 29, at Mountain View Friends Meeting in Denver.