Hilding "Neal" Anderson, 82, of Evansville passed away Saturday, June 10, 2023, at Evansville Care Campus.
Hilding Neal was born to Hilding and Jean Anderson on May 30, 1941, on a farm in Evansville. He was welcomed home by two half- sisters, Katherine and Shirley, and later was joined by a brother, Gerald. The family resided north of Evansville.
At three months Neal became very sick. They called a nurse from Evansville out to their house. Hiding’s brother, Walter drove them immediately to St. Luke’s Hospital in Alexandria. He was diagnosed with a sleeping sickness and meningitis only to later find out it was a bad case of polio. He was in and out of hospitals frequently, including the Sister Kenny Institute where he stayed for a few months, and he saw many different doctors. The cord in the back of his right leg became knotted. Although he went through two operations in order to straighten it, it was still two inches shorter than his left. Also caused by polio his right arm was tensed up to his body and he has impaired speech.
Even though Neal was crippled, he did well throughout his entire life. He started going to public school and he played well with other children. When he was about seven, he wandered into a cornfield, got lost, and scared everyone but himself. When Neal was fourteen, his father died after a long illness. He attended school through his junior year, then went to a children’s workshop. There he was trained to work with animals at the University of Minnesota Hospital. For 30 years he worked there, cleaning the cages and feeding the test animals.
For 5 of those 30 years, he lived with a blind man, named Louie in Robbinsdale. Louie died of diabetes in 1964. At age 24 he bought and moved into his own house, also in Robbinsdale. Later he was joined by his mother, Jean. They stayed in Robbinsdale until April of 1991 and then moved into a house in Evansville. In August of the same year Jean died of cancer.
Neal lived in the house in Evansville until he moved into The Care Campus in Evansville September 17, 2013.
Neal led a hard life but he worked his way through it. He never drove a car and the only job he ever held was the one at the University Hospital. As hobbies he liked to put together puzzles, paint on canvas and also to paint ceramics. While he lived in the cities, he also made model planes, cars, ships and made items with ceramic beads.
Neal was preceded in death by his parents, Hilding and Jean Anderson; sisters, Katherine and Shirley; brother Gerald, and nephew Terry.
Neal is survived by brother-in-law, Nick Karabotsos (Denver Colorado); sister-in-law, Cheryl Doose (Alexandria MN) and many Nieces and Nephews.
Memorial Service: 3 pm, Wednesday, June 14, 2023,3 at Faith Lutheran Church in Evansville with a visitation one hour prior to the service.
Arrangements with Glende Nilson Funeral Home, Evansville