|PETER COLEBANK, father of
JAMES COALBANK, father of
JAMES D COLEBANK, father of
L S COLEBANK, father of
JOHN M COLEBANK, father of
GRACE GENEVEVE COLEBANK ANDERSON
|Grace Geneveve Colebank was born November 9, 1927 to John
M and Clara Nasman Colebank on their farm in south
Woodside Township, Polk County, 9 miles from Mentor,
Minnesota. Grace grew up on her parent’s dairy, crop and
livestock farm and attended grade school at rural Hillside
District 87. She rode bus to high school in Mentor where she
graduated. Grace then attended teacher’s college at Mayville,
North Dakota and the school of nursing at Thief Fiver Falls,
Grace met Edor Anderson while she was engaged to marry his
friend, who introduced them. Edor Anderson was born February
23, 1925 to Abei and Hilma Olson Anderson on their farm in
West Valley Township in Marshall County, Minnesota. Edor
attended the rural West Valley grade school and then went to
the Northwest School of Agriculture in Crookston, Minnesota.
Edor enlisted in the Army where he served in the 862nd Aviation
Engineers Battalion. His tours of duty included Germany.
Grace and Edor were married July 29, 1950 in the rural Maple
Lake Church near the arm where Grace grew up. Their
attendants were Grace’s sisters Ann, Ruth, her brother John,
friends Verne Green and Leroy Dyrud. Pastor Holverson
performed the ceremony which was highlighted by the fainting
of the best man just before the vows were exchanged.
Grace and Edor farmed in rural Newfolden, Minnesota from
1951 to 1956. They then moved into Hoyt Lakes, Minnesota
where Edor was employed by the Erie Mining Company as a
welder and later as an electrician. In 1975 Edor retired on
disability due to a heart attack and the family moved back to their
farm in rural Newfolden. This farm was the same farm Edor’s
grandparents had homesteaded in 1882. When it became a
Century Farm in 1982, they celebrated the event on Labor Day
with an “Old Setter’s” picnic and a pig roast.
Grace operated “Grandma’s Café” in nearby Stephen,
Minnesota and was an agriculture statistician for the NASDA.
Her hobbies were bowling, knitting and photography. Edor was
a fix-it man who enjoyed doing general and machinery repair.
Grace and Edor belonged to the Moose Lodge at Aurora,
Minnesota, the VFW at Hoyt Lakes, Minnesota, and the
American Legion in Newfolden. They were long-time members
of the Lutheran church and were active in the Bethania Free
Lutheran Church in New Folden.
Edor suffered a heart attack and died April 17, 1993. Grace
moved to Fargo and lived with her daughter Jeanne until her
death on September 25, 2014.
The children of Grace and Edor were:
Gregory Ellis Anderson – born September 28, 1951 in Karlstad,
Minnesota. Gregory died in a gun accident in his teen years and
is buried in Memorial Cemetery, Hoyt Lakes, Minnesota.
Sheri Renae Anderson – born June 22, 1954 in Karlstad,
Minnesota. She graduated from Aurora-Hoyt Lakes High School
in 1972 where she was a National Merit Finalist. She earned a
BS degree from Moorhead State College. Sheri lives in Fargo
with her son Willy Frances McMahon and her partner Donald
Garry Lee Anderson – born December 25, 1955 in Karlstad,
Minnesota. Garry worked in the oil industry before he received
massive head injuries in a vehicle accident in 1986. He
graduated from the Minneapolis Rehabilitation Institute in 1990
and was hired as a maintenance information specialist in
Hennepin County Community Services Department in
Minneapolis. Garry has one child, a son with ex-wife Georgiann
Randy Alan Anderson – born May 17, 1958 in Virginia,
Minnesota. He graduated from Marshall County Central in 1977.
He and his wife Shelly farm the home farm near Newfolden.
Randy has three children.
Jeanne Marie Anderson Vrem – born September 2, 1961 in
Aurora, Minnesota. She graduated from Aurora-Hoyt Lakes high
school. She married Mark Timothy Vrem, a graduate of Mayville
State College in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in music.
Jeanne and Mark had three children and resided in West Fargo,
North Dakota. Jeanne cared for her mother until her death in
2014, then fell gravely ill herself with pancreatic cancer in 2015.
She died shortly after being diagnosed.
|Grace Colebank Anderson in January 1944
|Left to right: Grace with cousin June Colebank, cousin Vickie
Colebank, cousin Carroll Colebank, sister Ruth, and brother John
Grace with sisters Ann,(left) and Martha (right)
Grace and Edor with Grace's Aunt Linda Colebank
Grace, year unknown
|West Valley School, Newfolden: L to R Edor
Anderson, Eleanor Anderson, Doris Rokke,
Eunice Elseth, Gordon Bring. Olger Rokke
OBITUARY OF GRACE COLEBANK ANDERSON
Grace Genevieve Anderson, age 86 of Newfolden, MN, passed away September 25, 2014 at the home of
her daughter, Jeanne Vrem in West Fargo, ND.
A memorial service will be held at 2:00 PM on Tuesday, September 30, 2014 at Westaker Free Lutheran
Church in Newfolden, MN, with Pastor Phil Rokke officiating.
A visitation will take place one hour prior to the memorial service on Tuesday at the church.
Grace Genevieve (Colebank) Anderson was born at home in Woodside Township in Polk County on
Armistice Day 1927, and grew up on her family’s small farm with six brothers and sisters. Her parents were
John and Clara Colebank. Her sisters were Ann and Martha Ruth. Her brothers were Maynard, Lawrence,
John, and Norman. As a rural Depression-era child, she grew up without indoor plumbing or electricity. She
fetched the cows from the pasture at milking time and knew how to put a chicken to sleep for the night by
tucking its head under its wing and rocking it back and forth in her arms. Her parents lit candles on the tree
on Christmas Eve, and sometimes Christmas gifts meant long underwear and an orange in her stocking.
She attended a one-room school through 8th grade and graduated from Mentor High School. She was
confirmed at Maple Lake Lutheran Church. Grace was active in 4-H, and in 1943 was awarded a $25 war
bond for her achievements in 4-H. Her brother Norman, who had traded his bicycle for a Model A, taught her
to drive. She was a fan of Shirley Temple and collected photos of Hollywood stars for her scrapbook.
Grace attended Mayville State Teacher’s College and taught rural school. A student, Robert Bakke, gave her
the prize-winning oil landscape he painted, which she kept in her living room. She studied nursing at the
University of Minnesota and was working as a nurse in Thief River Falls when she met Edor Anderson, who
grew up on a farm outside of Newfolden. They married in 1950 at Maple Lake Church and settled in Fargo,
where they both worked for Sears. They planned to move to Minneapolis so Dad could attend Dunwoody
Institute on the GI Bill, but were called back to his parents’ farm, where they belonged to Bethania Lutheran
In 1951 Greg, their first child, was born, followed by Sheri and Garry. In 1957 Edor was hired by Erie Mining
Company on the Iron Range. He called Grace and told her to sell the cattle and pack up. The first six months
they lived in Evergreen Trailer Court while homes in Hoyt Lakes were built. Grace found a lifelong friend,
Rose Sammartano, who lived across the street from her new home. Like other new mining families, they
were called “packsackers” at first. Grace and Rose visited and took p hobbies, playing canasta antiquing
furniture, digging in abandoned places for old bottles to collect, making ceramics, going to rummage sales,
sharing their lives with each other and with other women. Two more children, Randy and Jeanne, came
along. She and Dad joined Faith Lutheran Church. Grace was a Cub Scout den mother and part of a Ladies
Circle. She and Dad joined the local Moose Lodge, the VFW, and the American Legion.
Grace had a wealth of jokes, riddles, and songs. She read to us and recited poems from a Child’s Garden
of Verses, which she had received for Christmas one year. She knew how to stretch a dollar, raising dough
for buns and caramel rolls in her big roaster, frying homemade doughnuts, canning fruits and vegetables,
knitting and sewing. She knitted socks, slippers, sweaters and mittens. She sewed, including the lace and
purple satin evening gown she wore for a national Moose Lodge event.
One time, Grace and Rose decided to take an evening class at the high school, but the class was filled, so
they signed up for woodworking. Grace already bowled in a league, and now she spent time on a lathe
turning old bowling pins into lamps. Her big project for the class was building a kitchen cabinet to go above
Grace may have always had more hopes than expectations. When she lived in Thief River Falls, she started
buying a set of sterling silver on payments. Then, one weekend back home, she heard her parents talking
about the terrible risks of credit. She got worried and packed up the silverware and shipped it back. She
dreamed of having a piano and, when she and Dad did get one, played old songs and hymns. Dad was
handy with anything electrical or mechanical, but most of the time he was fixing other people’s stuff, so she
got by with a balky washer and dryer for many years.
Grace was enterprising, and she took up selling Fuller Brush products, recruiting her friend Lavonne Servaty
to also sell. After returning to Newfolden in later years she sold Stanley products. As we got a little older, she
took on a night manager job at John’s Pizza in Aurora, Minnesota, working every other week. All the
teenagers in town knew her name, and knew her to be strict if they misbehaved, but always fair.
One of the most difficult times of her life was the loss of her oldest son, Greg, in 1969. Her friendships,
especially with Rose, meant everything to her in those times.
In 1973, Dad and Grace moved back to the farm where the heat consisted of an oil burner in what had once
been the dining room and a gas-wood stove in the kitchen. There was a pantry but no counters. Hot water
and indoor toilet had been added just a few years before. Dad kept his job at the mine, driving back to the
farm on his days off. Grace was watching out the kitchen window when Randy, splitting wood for the kitchen,
chopped off the tip of his thumb. She was home when Dad electrocuted himself welding a tractor and had to
be taken to the emergency room. She was at the farm when Dad, still working at the mine, had a massive
heart attack in Hoyt Lakes.
Grace worked at the locker in Newfolden. She and Edor built a new home on the farm. She went back to
school at age 50, graduating with a 2 year accounting degree and learning computer programming. She
opened a café in Stephen, Minnesota. For several years she was a fixture in Stephen and made more
friends, including the kids in town. She worked part time for Minnesota Agricultural Statistics Service, visiting
farms and interviewing farmers. Grace enjoyed bingo with her friend Nelly Oleson.
Grace and Dad were living in Stephen when Edor died suddenly of congestive heart failure. A week later,
she lost the vision in her right eye. Six months later, while she was in the process of moving back to the
farm the home she and Edor built burned down. It was a discouraging time, but she found a mobile home
to move to the farm where the house they built had stood.
Grace’s lived at the farm with frequent visits to her daughter and son-in law Mark and Jeanne until 2001,
when health problems starting becoming significant. Except for occasional nursing home stays, she lived
with them. In December of 2009 she went on dialysis. She still took trips to southern Minnesota,
Minneapolis, Kansas City, the Iron Range, Newfolden, and Fertile to see relatives and old friends. She
attended events like Potato Days in Barnesville, the Hjemkomst Festival and Bonanzaville, and others. She
even enjoyed bingo until a few weeks before her death.
A college friend of Sheri’s, Cece Magistrale, had become Grace’s unofficial adopted daughter over the years
with many extended visits to the farm; Cece’s stepmother Natalie passed away just 15 hours after Grace.
Grace was preceded in death by her parents, John and Clara Colebank; her brothers Maynard, Lawrence,
John, and Norman; her husband Edor; and her son Gregory. She leaves her children Sheri, Garry, Randy,
and Jeanne, and 8 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.