Marilu Soper Anderson, 89, of Montrose died May 22, 2019. Christened Mary Louise Soper, she was born on Dec. 20, 1929, in Rapid City, South Dakota to James Walter Soper and Bertha Koopman Soper. She grew up on a ranch 40 miles from Custer, South Dakota, that her paternal grandfather, Walter James Soper, established. She attended one-room schoolhouses until the eighth grade, when she boarded in Custer to finish high school.
Marilu graduated from Custer High School where she excelled academically in almost all subjects but trigonometry, which she took without first studying geometry so that there were enough students to have a trigonometry class for those college-bound. After high school, she completed a three-year nursing program at St. John’s McNamara Hospital in Rapid City. Her first nursing job outside St. John’s was for the Veterans Administration Hospital in Cheyenne, Wyoming where she met her future husband, Allen E. Anderson, a patient at the hospital. They were married in Custer, South Dakota, on Dec. 15, 1951, and lived in Fort Collins, Colorado, where Allen finished college at Colorado Agricultural and Mechanical, now Colorado State University. Marilu worked evenings as a nurse to help support the family when Allen was in graduate school and later when their three children - Gail, Eric, and Gwen - were older.
In their early years of marriage, Allen and Marilu also lived in Kremmling and Colorado Springs, Colorado, near Roswell, New Mexico. Allen worked as a wildlife biologist for the state of New Mexico, which required Marilu to be alone with the house and kids for 2 weeks at a stretch. In 1957, the couple returned to Fort Collins, where Allen completed his master’s degree. Living in a housing for married students, Marilu made friends with women from all over the world. In 1980, the couple moved to Montrose, Colorado to retire. Marilu liked living within walking distance of a grocery, courthouse, library, post office, and downtown. She was active in the Newcomers Club and the League of Women Voters. She and Allen enjoyed taking car trips planned for the beautiful scenery and went on a tour of China.
After Allen’s death in early 1997, Marilu lived alone for one year before her youngest daughter, Gwen Anderson, and Gwen’s twins, Gandhi and Anthony, came to live with her. In later life, Marilu became a member of the Quaker worship group, Three Valleys, in Montrose.
Marilu was preceded in death by her parents and sisters Audrey Moore of Broomfield, Colorado, and Bette Nystrom of Grand Junction, Colorado; an infant granddaughter, Chelsea Deubach; and a nephew, Tim Fitzpatrick. Her brother, Walt (Katy) Soper, of Newcastle, Wyoming, survives her, as do her children: Gail (Jim) Hoffman, Eric (Veanne) Anderson, and Gwen Anderson. Her grandchildren are Katie Hoffman, Monya and Karis Anderson, and Anthony and Gandhi Anderson. Several nieces and nephews and their children also survive her.
Contributions in her honor may be made to the American Civil Liberties Union. https://www.aclu.org/donate-aclu
Crippin Funeral Home and Crematory assisted the family. 249-2121