Randy “Rocky” Aanenson, 69

Randy “Rocky” Aanenson, 69, of Garretson, died Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022, at the Avera Dougherty Hospice House, after a courageous fight with cancer. Funeral services were held Monday, Jan. 10, 2022, at Zion Lutheran Church in Garretson. Interment was in the church cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Garretson Fire Department, Garretson Food Pantry, Garretson American Legion, or the Dougherty Hospice House. 

Randall Orville Aanenson or Rocky, as he was known to his many friends, was born July 1, 1952, to Orville and Rose Mary (Cowell) Aanenson in Luverne, Minn. He grew up on a farm near Hardwick, Minn., and attended elementary school in Hardwick and high school in Luverne, where he graduated in 1970. After graduation, Rocky enlisted in the Army National Guard and went to basic training at Fort Ord in California. Upon completion of basic training, Rocky returned to Luverne where he worked at AR Woods.

Randy spent a lot of his free time in Garretson, where he met his best friend and love of his life, Donna Hove. Randy and Donna were married on Sept. 28, 1974, at Zion Lutheran Church in Garretson. After a brief stay in Luverne, Randy and Donna moved to Garretson where they made their home and raised their three children.

In 1978 Randy began working for John Deere in Garretson and continued to work there until his retirement in 2018. He saw many changes in his 40 years with John Deere and met so many great friends. His love for John Deere tractors showed thru his many “toys” he bought and displayed in his home.

Rocky was in the Army National Guard for 22 years. He began his service in Luverne and later transferred to the 1742nd transportation unit in Flandreau, until he retired in March of 1992. Rocky had a lot of great memories from his time spent in guards. Some of his most memorable were his trips to London, Korea and Germany. In November of 1990, Rocky was called up for active duty to serve his country in Operation Desert Storm. He returned with his unit in May of 1991 to a large parade and community celebration. Rocky made many friends through the guards and helped mentor a lot of friends along the way. This past summer, after 30 years, he was reunited with the 1742nd unit he served with in Desert Storm. Rocky had several stories to tell from his years in the guard. 

He was also very involved in the Garretson community, serving on the city council and as an active member of Zion Lutheran Church. In 1978, Rocky joined the Garretson Fire Department where he missed very few calls, was treasurer for many years, and enjoyed training and mentoring new firemen. He retired from the fire department after 30 years. Following retirement, he continued to support the Garretson firefighters and made many new friends. Through the years, he was an active member of the Garretson American Legion, holding every office in the chapter at some point.

Randy and Donna enjoyed traveling with friends and family. Some of their most memorable trips were an Alaskan Cruise, Las Vegas, Montana, Kansas City Chiefs football games and driving through the western United States visiting National Parks. They also enjoyed visiting their “snowbird” friends in Arizona.

Randy was a very proud Dad of his two sons and daughter. He loved cheering on his kids and later his grandkids in all their activities. There were very few events he missed, some days he would travel and watch multiple events to see all his grandkids.

Randy was always very positive and loved people. Some would say “he had the gift to gab”. He found and made friends wherever he would go. This was evident as he battled cancer. He had so many amazing friends and family that dropped everything to help him out, came to visit and called to check in.

Randy is survived by his wife, Donna; sons, Scott (Danielle) Aanenson and Shelby (Kacey) Aanenson, all of Sioux Falls; daughter, Heidi (Tony) Roos of Hardwick, Minn.; eight grandkids, Megan, Autumn, Collin, Austin, Haylee, Paxtin, Emersyn and Genesis; siblings, Gloria (Jim) Rolfs of Luverne, Minn., Joyce (Sam) Hansen of Hardwick, Minn., Carol (Jim) Hatting and Alan (Dixie) Aanenson, all of Luverne, and Joan (Myron) Berry, Sioux Falls; his mother-in-law, Nelda Hove of Sioux Falls; brothers-in-law, Kevin Hove and Kory (Lisa) Hove; aunt, Gloria Aanenson, Luverne, MN; many nieces and nephews, cousins, and so many wonderful friends.

Randy was preceded in death by his parents, Orville and Rose Mary Aanenson, his father-in-law, Dennis Hove, brother-in-law, Kent Hove, and many dear friends and family.

For online condolences, visit minnehahafuneralhome.com

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