Philip Gene Anderson, age 86 of Viroqua, passed away on February 15, 2019, at the Bethel Home in Viroqua. Gene was born on June 30, 1932, to Clarence and Mabel (Bakken) Anderson of Bud, five miles west of Viroqua. He inherited his dad’s red hair, and it stayed thick and red his entire life, so he was also known as “Red” by some. During high school, he lettered in boxing, was active in 4-H, and helped his father on the dairy farm, where they also grew tobacco. Gene graduated from Viroqua High School in 1950 and married Barbara Ann Mason on April 2, 1953. In 1956, Gene attended the Wisconsin State Patrol Academy at Fort McCoy, after which they moved to Sauk City where Gene patrolled the stretch of Highway 12 between Baraboo and Springfield Corners. In 1962, Gene and Barb bought the family farm in Bud and returned to the Viroqua area, where they farmed until 1997. Gene was also employed by Viroqua Leaf Tobacco Company for several years before he became manager in 1985, a position he held until he retired in 1997. Gene loved hunting, fishing, bowling, and playing 500, and he and Barb enjoyed vacationing and hunting out west in Wyoming with Chuck and Viv Conaway as often as they could. Gene was active in the Bud Sportsmen’s Club and the Viroqua Eagles Club for more than 30 years each. Gene and Barb had a variety of campers and RVs through the years and drove them all the way to Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Colorado, and Texas.
Gene is survived by his wife Barb; daughters Deb Hohlfeld of Florida, Denise (Brian) Rood of Michigan, and Diane (Nathan) Martin of Colorado; sister Charlene Anderson of California; grandchildren Cassie (Phil) Sandvick of Kentucky, Matt (Erin) Rood of Colorado, Josh Rood of Michigan, Chelsea (Damian) Fleischmann of Michigan, Tanna Francis of Colorado, and Stacey (Alvin) Okvath of Colorado. He is also survived by great-grandchildren PJ Sandvick of Kentucky; Aden and Merritt Rood of Colorado; Gabe and Riley Bearss of Michigan; Samantha Martin of Colorado, Charley Martin of California; Lexy Hesselberg, Kaylee Malone and Tucker Francis of Colorado; and Israel and Thomas Okvath of Colorado. He was preceded in death by his parents and his grandson Cody Anderson of Onalaska.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, February 20th at 1 p.m. at the Thorson Funeral Home in Viroqua. The Rev. Diane Martin and Cathy Reed will officiate. Burial will take place in the Viroqua Cemetery. Family and friends may call from 11 a.m. until the time of the service. A time of fellowship and luncheon will follow the service. Online condolences may be left for the family by visiting www.thorsonfuneralhome.com. In lieu of plants or flowers, memorial gifts may be sent to Bethel Home & Services, 614 S. Rock Avenue, Viroqua, WI 54665, or to the charity of your choice.
The Thorson Funeral Home & Cremation Service of Viroqua is proudly serving the family.