Lenore (Goodson) Andersen, 94, passed September 3, 2016 at Mayo Clinic Hospital, Saint Marys Campus, Rochester, MN. Macken Funeral Home handled arrangements. A private family gathering is planned at North Lawn Cemetery in Fort Dodge, Iowa.

Betty Lenore Goodson was born in Des Moines, December 31, 1921, daughter of Frank and Rachel Goodson. The Goodson family later relocated to Fort Dodge, Lenore graduated from Fort Dodge Senior High, married Bernard (Bernie) Andersen and the couple raised four children in the first 20 years together. Lenore kept the home and Bernie worked at Hormel meat packing plant.

In 1961, a fifth child was born and Bernie, at 40, would be diagnosed with the progressive type of Multiple Sclerosis (M.S.). Soon after, he would lose his driver’s license and foreman job at Hormel. In his last decades of life, he was chair bound, legally blind, memory impaired and unable to speak.

While it’s hard to imagine the fear and devastation Lenore must have felt, she didn’t dwell on what was lost or what would likely be, but rather found work doing what she knew: Caring for people. She worked as a nurses aid at Trinity Regional Hospital for nearly 25 years. Arriving home each day for a second shift.

Retiring at 65, Lenore moved to Oklahoma to help her sister take care of their mother. Then in 2001, Bernie passed, marking the end of a 60-year marriage. She moved to Rochester to spend her final days with her son Mark.

Lenore is survived by sister, Maxine Croley, Bartlesville, OK; daughter, Judith (Trowbridge), Blue Springs, MO; sons, Mark, Rochester, MN; and Blake, Saint Petersburg Beach, FL; seven grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. Two children preceded her in death: Bruce in 2003 and Susan in 2013. In August, Lenore lost Muffin, her cherished Shih Tzu.

“… for there is nothing heavier than compassion. Not even one’s own pain weighs so heavy as the pain one feels with someone, for someone, a pain intensified by the imagination and prolonged by a hundred echoes.”

Milan Kundera,

The Unbearable Lightness of Being