John Thomas Anker, 68

Published 5:37 pm Saturday, May 31, 2014

John Thomas Anker, 68, a resident of Austin, Minn., passed away on Dec. 10, 2013, at Sunset Homes in Rochester, Minn., after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s Disease.

He was born Nov. 28, 1945, in Austin, Minn., to Alvin and Ruth (McGuire) Anker. A 1963 graduate of Austin High School, John was involved in track, football and student council. He was awarded the first annual Pat Geraghty Memorial award and scholarship for athletic ability, scholastic achievement and leadership.

John graduated from Central College in Pella, Iowa, in 1967, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology. While at Pella, he played defensive linebacker for the “Dutchmen” football team and was co-captain his senior year.

John Thomas Anker

John Thomas Anker

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John served in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Saigon, South Vietnam, in 1970 as a medical technician. He served 18 months at the Third Field Hospital USA RPOC.

On July 27, 1975, John was united in marriage to Marlene Rensink at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Austin, Minn. The couple raised two daughters, Emily and Carrie. John enjoyed biking, golfing, running, reading, disc golf and spending time with his grandson Jackson. John worked for the Hormel Co. in Austin for more than 30 years, retiring in 2004 due to declining health. During his time at Hormel, John held several elected positions for Local 9 of the UFCW before he was elected president in 1987.

John was preceded in death by his parents, Al and Ruth Anker; and one grandson, Riley Anker.

John is survived by his wife, Marlene of Austin; two daughters Emily (Aaron) Heimer of Blooming Prairie, and Carrie Anker of Austin; six grandchildren, Jackson Wilson, Zoe, Daisy and Gracie Heimer, Bailey and Micah Anker; one brother Robert (Patricia) Anker of Carmel, Ind.; brothers-in-law Marvin (Nancy) Rensink of Pleasanton, Calif., Larry (Kay) Rensink of Naperville, Ill., Kenny (Deann) Rensink of Austin; sisters-in-law Shirley (Rensink) (Gary) King of Sioux City, Iowa, Linda (Rensink) Darling of Austin; many nieces; nephews; aunts; uncles; and cousins.

A memorial mass will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, June 6, 2014, at Clasen-Jordan Mortuary in Austin with Father Paul Nelson officiating. Visitation will be for one hour before the service at Clasen-Jordan Mortuary. After the service, there will be a reception at the Hormel Historic Home with interment following at Calvary Cemetery