Kristin Anderson, 68

Celebration of Life will be Thursday, June 1, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Webster, SD. Pastor Mike DeKraai will officiate. Inurnment will follow at Webster Cemetery.


Kristin Karen Anderson’s keen sense of humor and positive attitude remained intact until the day she passed away at age 68 on Tuesday, November 22, 2022 at Burcham Hills, East Lansing. She was born on January 11, 1954 in Pierre, South Dakota to Gov. and Mrs. Sigurd (Vivian Walz) Anderson. The infant Kristin was distinguished as the first newborn to reside in the Governor’s mansion.

Kristin spent her final months at the Burcham Hills Center for Health & Rehabilitation in East Lansing, where she was loved by the staff for her quirky humor. One day before she died, four nurses were serenading her, at her request, during COVID testing. Kristin was in the midst of planning Christmas caroling for her floor. Her wish to hear a chapter or two read aloud from her books was nearly always honored.

Kristin was equally loved by family and friends for her love of music, movies, and trivia of all kinds, her infectious laugh, her passion for Harry Potter and Little House on the Prairie, and frequent requests for “prayer bumps” whenever someone she knew had a need. Her compassionate nature shone through when she drove 100 miles to support her cousin and provided comfort during her aunt’s final breath.

Kristin lived in Pierre and Webster, South Dakota until the family moved to Washington D.C., where her father was a commissioner with the Federal Trade Commission. They moved back to South Dakota in 1964. Kristin graduated from Webster High School in 1972 and was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church.

Kristin graduated from the University of South Dakota in 1976 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and mass communications and a Master of Arts in mass communication in 1978. She was a member of numerous organizations, including Alpha Phi Sorority, Guidon Scholastic Honorary, and others. She was a reporter and copy editor for the USD Volante throughout college.

After graduation, she worked as a reporter for The Redfield Press in Redfield, and she was named an “Outstanding Young Woman of America” in 1981.

She served as managing editor of The Brookings Daily Register from 1981 to 1989. She was employed at University Relations at South Dakota State University in Brookings from 1987 to 1991. Her memberships included Brookings Centennial Committee, Brookings Historic Preservation Commission, South Dakota Press Women and was a past president of the South Dakota Managing Editor’s Association. She delighted in her appointment to the Governor’s State Capitol Complex Beautification and Restoration Commission. She was also a member of Chapter CR in the PEO Sisterhood in Brookings.

In 1993, she moved to East Lansing, Michigan, where she pursued a doctorate in higher education administration at Michigan State University and was active in several graduate student organizations. She frequently attended St. John’s Student Parish in East Lansing. In 1994, she became an information officer at University Relations at MSU until her early retirement due to health issues. Through her workplace she was involved in several university committees. She moved to Okemos, MI in May 2001 and enjoyed her neighbors there until her move to Burcham Hills in 2022.

Kristin is survived by her cousins, Carolyn Farmer Wickens of Jackson, Mississippi, Robert DeHaven Walz of Kansas City, Missouri, Julie Graham Condon of Edina, Minnesota, Linda Farmer Ames of Columbus, Georgia, and Stewart Chaussee Walz of Sandy, Utah; their families; and many loving friends. She is preceded in death by her parents.

Those who wish can make a donation in Kristin’s memory to the University of South Dakota Foundation, benefitting a family scholarship fund, 1110 N. Dakota Street, Vermillion, SD 57069. Please note “Kristin Anderson” in the memo. In addition, donations can be directed to Sparrow Foundation, 1210 West Saginaw, Lansing, MI 48915. Specify “Hospice” in the memo.