Juanita Victoria “Vickie” Brown – Pioneer of Bemidji

Vickie Brown passed away peacefully in her sleep on October 1, 2022, at the age of 92, in Bemidji, MN.

Born to Victor Burditt Brown and Ruth Kathryne Desiderio in Chicago, IL, Vickie grew up in the Chicago area, graduated from Evanston Township High School, and attended Illinois State University in Normal, IL, where she graduated. a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1951 and met and married Francis Charles Fremgen. They first raised nine children together in Chillicothe, IL, then moved to Brookfield, IL in the mid-1960s. She became a substitute teacher for all high school classes, including PE boys. She was a water safety instructor and taught swimming lessons for many years. She has been involved with Girl Scouts for over 50 years as a troop leader, camp director and regional representative.

After moving to Bemidji in 1973, she earned a master’s degree in environmental education from BSU. She taught biology at Grygla, Akeley, Blaine and Bemidji and served as Jay Cooke State Park Naturalist for ten seasons. She married Donald Gilbert Anderson on March 17, 1979 and, while proudly maintaining her Italian heritage, came to share and embrace her Norwegian lineage by joining and later as co-president of local lodge Sons of Norway, organizing and performing in a Scandinavian. heritage dance group and avid Nordic skier until their 80s. They also camped throughout MN and across the country, especially enjoying annual canoe trips in the BWCA.

Vickie pursued a wide variety of interests. She has traveled to the United States, Europe, Mexico, Australia and the Pacific Islands. She made an effort to learn languages ​​before and during the trips, including Italian, Russian and Japanese, and continued on her return by meeting regularly with local Italian and Norwegian book/coffee clubs. She spent six months in the early 1990s teaching English as a second language in Moscow and witnessed Yeltsin’s inauguration. She and Don often hosted foreign students, many of whom were longtime friends. For many years, the Dalai Lama influenced his view of the world.

Vickie has supported many community organizations including contributing to and performing in shows at the Bemidji Playhouse and Concordia Language Villages. She often volunteered to read to children at local elementary schools and was a founding member of the Harmony Food Co-op. She became the second director of the Minnesota Finlandia ski race in the mid-1980s.

She was an avid knitter and sewed many quilts, shirts, jackets and outdoor gear, as well as award-winning Halloween costumes. A lifelong cook, many enjoyed her jellies, syrups, pies, canned vegetables and lasagna. She has spent countless hours fishing with her family in her canoe or boat, and her strong passion for the outdoors and environmental causes has been shared and passed on to many students and all of her children. Not one to sit idle, she found time to become a licensed massage therapist, garden, read, walk, swim, dance, ride a bike, and play the piano and accordion.

Mother, wife, sister, grandmother, she is survived by her brothers Vic Brown and Randy Holland and her sister Genie Brown. Vickie leaves the future to her children, Timothy Michael Fremgen (Natalie Miller) Santa Fe, NM, Thomas Eugene (Ann) Fremgen, Golden CO, Robert Joseph Fremgen, Boulder CO, Christine Frances (Phillip) Sullivan, South Bend, IN, Annette Marie Fremgen, Bemidji, MN, David Earl (Jane) Fremgen, North Riverside, IL, Daniel Martin Fremgen (Diana Paul), Juneau, AK, Fritz Fremgen (H. Jean Delaney), Jamestown, ND, Carl Anthony Fremgen, Lyon , HE ; grandchildren Tamara Rosza, Aleshia Rummel, Marcella Tarantino, Luke Sullivan, Toria Sullivan, Shawn Fremgen, Jacob Fremgen, Elizabeth Fremgen, Leo Fremgen, Ava Fremgen, Nick Fremgen and Michael Fremgen; five great-grandchildren and numerous cousins. She was predeceased by her husband Donald G. Anderson, her younger brother Murray and her grandson Ian.

A celebration of life will be held at Ruttger’s Birchmont Lodge, Bemidji, MN at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 29, 2022. Condolences may be left at ceasefuneralhome.com.

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