Tracy and Pat Anderson have been chosen by the Kalona Days Committee to serve as Parade Grand Marshals on June 15. They were selected for their dedication to the community in numerous capacities.
“We feel very honored to be asked to serve as the Kalona Days Parade Grand Marshals,” both Tracy and Pat said. They will be riding in an open convertible.
Both first moved to Kalona in 1961 as schoolteachers. Tracy (a native of Cherokee) taught social studies at Mid-Prairie High School in Wellman. He was instrumental in moving American History to the Junior High (now M-P Middle School).
Pat (a native of Elgin) taught Kindergarten at Kalona Elementary. They met while both were attending Iowa State Teachers College (now University of Northern Iowa). They were married in l959 and graduated in 1960. Tracy earned his Masters in American Diplomatic History in l961.
In 1966 they moved to Estherville where Pat taught kindergarten and Tracy taught American History and Western Civilization at the Iowa Great Lakes Community College.
The Andersons returned to Kalona in 1969 so Tracy could start Law School at the University of Iowa. Pat returned to teaching at Kalona Elementary.
“We decided we wanted to work in a small, friendly town and Kalona fit that bill,” Tracy said.
“It was a good place to raise our two sons. The schools, church and town activities gave us a safe place to do that,” Pat added. “Our elder son told us that he didn’t just want to be good for his parents but for the whole town.
“And because everyone cares in Kalona,” Tracy added.
Tracy started to work as an attorney in Kalona after getting his Juris Doctorate and passed the Bar Exam in l972.
Tracy practiced law in Kalona until December of 2018 when he sold his law firm to the Richard Bordwell Law Office PLC of Washington.
Tracy continued his interest in education by serving on the board of Grant Wood AEA for 15 years. The Mid-Prairie School Board from 1993 to 2000, Kalona Public Library Board for 48 years (serving as president for 40 years).
“One of my main goals serving on the Library Board was to get Kalona a new library and that was accomplished,” he said. “I also wanted to hire a good librarian who would stay in the community. That was accomplished with the hiring of Anne Skaden, who is a very good one.”
Tracy was a member of the Kalona Rotary Club from 1972 to 2018 (serving as president 1976-1977) and was chair of Iowa Common Cause for two years. He helped start the low rent housing project in Kalona.
Tracy also served as Washington County Attorney 1972 to 1974 and City of Kalona attorney for several years. He argued before the Iowa Supreme Court twice.
Pat also was a dedicated community volunteer. She is a member of the Friends of the Kalona Public Library, member of the Board of the Kalona Library Foundation and the Kalona Historical Society Board of Directors, serving one term as president.
“I have made 13 mission trips to Haiti,” she noted. “I started going to Haiti to start a nutrition program for malnourished young children.” She has helped to send 5 tons of food so far.
Locally she is involved with the Kalona Food Pantry Committee of the United Christian Baptist Church and various committees of UBC church.
She is currently president of the Kalona Rotary Club. She also served as the Rotary club president in 2011.
The Andersons have two sons (Cary and Jay) and three grandchildren.
Pat noted that having an extended family always meant a lot to her and when local children didn’t have an extended family (mainly grandparents) she always tried to fill that gap.
“So we feel we are (surrogate) grandparents to a lot of Kalona area children,” she remarked.
Chamber Contributing Author: Ron Slechta