Kristin Anderson passes on

I was sorry to see news of the passing of Kristin Anderson, the only child of Gov. Sigurd and Vivian Anderson. Anderson was born in 1954, during her father’s tenure governor; she was one of just a few children born to a sitting governor. She attended USD and, after a journalism career in South Dakota, found her way to Michigan, where she was still living at the time of her passing. You can read Kristin’s obituary here.

I had the opportunity to visit with Kristin a few times in connection with the planning for the statue of her father on the Trail of Governors. The Anderson statute was one of four that was unveiled in 2017 – the only year that the Trail unveiled four statues rather than three. That happened because of the generosity of the late Monsour Karim, who wanted to honor Anderson because he had been the governor when Karim had emigrated to South Dakota from Iran in the 1950s. Karim contributed one-third of the funding necessary to add the Anderson statue, and recruited two more sponsors to fully fund it.

Kristin was very touched when she learned of the sponsors’ generosity. She told me that she would not have been able to personally afford to underwrite the Anderson statute, and had worried that absent that support, the statute would never be completed. She was able to make the trip to Pierre for the 2017 unveiling, and proudly unveil the statue of her father (which today stands in front of the Sigurd Anderson Building on Capitol Avenue.)

I can’t say that I knew Kristin Anderson well, but she was very kind and fun to visit with. She was also very proud of her father’s legacy. I was happy to get to meet her.

Kristin Anderson hugs sculptor James Michael Maher after unveiling the statute of her father, Gov. Sigurd Anderson, as statue sponsor Monsour Karim looks on