Maury Anderson, 75, former Libby Middle School and Junior High School educator, passed away Oct. 8, 2023, at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, Washington due to complications from Covid.
Maurice (Maury) Anderson was born Jan. 8, 1948, in Red Wing, Minnesota to Perley and Kitty Anderson. He grew up in Hager City, Wisconsin, attending a one room elementary school, graduating from Ellsworth High School in 1966.
Maury completed his college degree in Industrial Education at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, and later his Master’s Degree in Vocational Education in Menomonie, Wisconsin. Maury’s first teaching job was at Milton High School for three years and then at Sun Prairie Jr. High for four, both in southern Wisconsin.
Maury grew up enjoying all outdoor activities. After being influenced by a trip to Alaska to visit his brother Jim and a later ski trip to Colorado and Utah, he decided to move west to the mountains, landing a teaching job in Libby, Montana in 1977.
That year seven single gals were also hired (Maury always laughed about the odds), and that’s how he met Pat Hanson. An immediate connection ensued, and two years later, on Aug. 25, 1979, they were married on a very special spot near Saco, in eastern Montana - the hill where Pat’s grandparents homesteaded in 1910 and where her dad was born.
From the beginning, while at the ranch during holidays and summers, Maury fit in right away. He had grown up helping on dairy farms in Wisconsin, so he had the cow connection with Pat’s dad. Her mom was a great cook and Maury loved to eat so that was also a plus. In fact, she’d often ask what Maury wanted to eat even before asking Pat!
Throughout the years, for holidays and summers, time was split between the ranch and traveling to see his family and friends in Wisconsin.
In Libby, Maury and Pat wanted to live in the country so after acquiring some property with an unlivable house, but a great view of the Cabinet Mountains, they began working on their “forever” home. Utilizing his carpentry skills and practical fix-it mind, they embarked on a long range plan — house and shop construction, property cleanup, forest thinning and firewood cutting. The physical work and the enjoyment of always improving things defined Maury, even up to several days before his death.
Throughout his career, Maury really enjoyed teaching shop and seeing his students learn practical skills while challenging them on special projects such as rocketry, Co2 cars, and various woodworking items. He always appreciated his teaching colleagues for their friendship and support.
Maury retired early from teaching in 1997 to help Pat’s parents at the ranch, with Pat retiring in 1999. While keeping their home in Libby, they juggled their time between Libby and Saco, with many miles racked up at 500 miles one way. They laughed about going from “herding kids to herding cows!
Hard work but such quality time with Pat’s parents and family and for the two of them, lots of fun. Everything from building maintenance, fencing, haying, harvesting, and cattle work on foot, horses and four wheelers. They both really enjoyed calving season, even with the 24/7 schedule and unpredictable weather. In recent years, Maury and Pat were spending most of their time in Libby.
Recreation in Libby revolved around hiking (especially the Cabinets and Glacier National Park), camping, hunting, water skiing, canoeing and both cross country and downhill skiing. There was always a future trip planned as traveling to new places was a priority. They headed out on many trips, taking their trailer to most of the national parks in the Southwest, cruising the Mediterranean and Caribbean, and enjoying trips to Hawaii, Bolivia, Alaska, Canada and Mexico. Special memories were made traveling to Africa (Kenya and Tanzania), climbing Mt. Rainier and Mt. St. Helens, and hiking the Chilkoot trail in the Yukon and the Grand Canyon down and back.
Maury and Pat were a real team, “joined at the hip” as some would say. He was a genuine and caring man, helping out many people throughout the years. A quote come to mind — “a truly good man and a life well-lived.” Maury was gone too soon. His wish was to have no formal funeral service and an informal gathering will be planned at a later date.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Kitty and Perley Anderson, and his mother-in-law Luise Hanson and father-in-law Moral Hanson.
Survivors include his wife, Pat Hanson, of Libby, Montana; his sister, Judy Melquist (George) of Robbinsdale, Minnesota; brother, Jim Anderson of Tucson, Arizona; brother, Joel Anderson (Grace) of Pepin, Wisconsin; and sister, Chris Truttmann (Tim) of Hager City, Wisconsin; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Also surviving are his brother-in-law James Hanson of Saco, Montana, and sister-in-law Nancy Hanson (Tim Wilson) of Saco, Montana.
Memorials may be sent to: Kootenai Pets for Life, PO Box 1454; Libby Memorial Events Center, PO Box 360; Libby Volunteer Ambulance, PO Box 307; or David Thompson Search and Rescue, PO Box 1552, all of Libby, MT 59923.
Arrangements were under the care of the Schnackenberg Funeral Home of Libby. Online memories and condolences may be shared by visiting www.schnackenbergfh.com.