Leisure World Centenarian, Mutual 9
By Nancy Miller (her daughter)
Pearl Anderson was born on August 18, 1922 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She lived in the house her dad had built until she got married. Bancroft Elementary School was just across the street so she didn’t have far to go to school. She grew up in the house with her six brothers and three sisters. Her older sister, Hazel, died at three months old due to pneumonia so she never really knew her. Pearl was the second to the youngest of the family and is the only one left of the family. The rest died in their 80’s due to heart failure. Her younger sister, Eleanor, died in her 50’s due to breast cancer. Her older brother Floyd, died in his 20’s due to a construction accident. She remembers riding a tricycle down a hill and her Dad calling her his little princess. She remembers going with her siblings to the store across the street to buy treats and just say “put it on my dad’s tab”, as the store owner owed her Dad money and that is how he got paid back. Her Dad died when she was 8 years old, due to heart failure. He was only 50 years old. Her mom passed away in her 80’s. She also remembers one of her brothers, Paul, accidently stepping on her cat when walking out the door and killing it. Pearl also remembers carrying her cello in the snow to school. She attended Bancroft Elementary School, Fowell Junior High School, Central High School, and a Vocational High School where she took business courses, bookkeeping, and became a Comptometer Operator. A comptometer is a mechanical calculator that was like using a keyboard on a computer. She got a job at Sterling Electric in Minneapolis.
In June of 1944 she met her husband, Harlan, through her Sunday school teacher. Harlan had come home to visit his family in Minneapolis before he was inducted into the army at Fort Snelling, near Minneapolis. The Sunday school teacher, Marie, had arranged for them to go to a Youth for Christ Meeting on Saturday night. Harlan called Pearl and said he couldn’t come as he was being transferred to Camp Fannim, Texas. He asked if he could write her and Pearl agreed. That is how it all started.
When he was done with basic training, he came home on furlough near Thanksgiving. Their first date was a lunch date at the Nankin (a Chinese restaurant which is no longer there in Minneapolis). Marie told Pearl she was going up to Harlan’s parents and relatives home in Wolverton, MN (about20 miles south of Fargo, ND) and asked if she would want to go with her. They took the train to Wolverton, and Harlan and his cousin, Carrold, were there to meet them. Carrold took Marie to his home and Harlan took Pearl to his parent’s home. They had Thanksgiving together with all the relatives. After Thanksgiving, he left for overseas.
On Pearl’s 24th birthday, August 18th, 1946, they got engaged and had a party with all the relatives. They were married on June 21, 1947 at Elim Covenant Church in Minneapolis, MN. Harlan’s uncle married them.
After they were married a couple of years, they took a trip to California to see if Harlan could get a job at Douglas Aircraft in Long Beach. (He had been working there before he got drafted into the army.) Pearl agreed to move if he did. Well, they hired him and they drove back to Minnesota. Pearl quit her job at Sterling Electric as they had to be back in California in ten days for Harlan to go to work.
They rented an apartment in Lynwood as it was in the middle of traveling to Los Angeles Free Church and work. A year later, the built a home in Lynwood. Harlan’s uncle was the contractor and they lived there for 68 years, until she moved to Leisure World in 2018. Harlan passed away in 2016, so he never made it to Leisure World.
They had a daughter, Nancy, in October of 1953 and a son, Mark, in January 1956. Nancy was married for 26 years to Danny but then divorced. They had two daughters, Erin and Cathy. Cathy married James and they have a daughter, Nora – 3 years old. Mark married Barbara and they had a daughter, Clara, and a son, Mathew. Clara married Mark Neische in 2020 and had a daughter, Wynifred Jane, on February 15, 2022. So Pearl has four grandchildren and two great granddaughters.
Pearl enjoys traveling as she went on a cruise to Mexico with Harlan and also flew to Hawaii. As a family they made many road trips back and forth to Minnesota and North Dakota every summer. Together they had a trailer on the Colorado River near Parker, Az. They both enjoyed water skiing (along with both their kids), Harlan until 88 years old and Pearl until she was 94 years old. She even rode a horse on her 98th birthday. But on her 99th birthday, she had COVID (mild), so she could not do much. Pearl also enjoys, playing the piano, singing solos and duets, reading, baking chocolate chip cookies, sewing, and taking one hour walks. Pearl never drove, so she always depended on Harlan to take her everywhere!
At Leisure World, she is involved with the Leisure World Baptist Church that meets in Clubhouse 4 on Sundays and Clubhouse 3 on Wednesdays for Energizers (a bible study). She plays the piano for the Bible study and likes to sing in the choir on Sunday (when the choir starts up again). She also enjoys going out to eat afterwards too!
To celebrate Pearl’s 100th birthday, she will be in the Minneapolis area to celebrate with all her relatives. She is also planning to have a get together with her Leisure World Baptist Church friends and family.
Pearl says that what keeps her going strong is the Lord has been with her for the past 100 years and has given her a manifold of blessings for which she is very grateful to God. She loves God, prays to him every day, says God takes care of me, and saved me. Pearl says she is ready for heaven.