Christian H. Anderson, age 47, of Shakopee, who was an inspiration and friend to so many people, passed away on Sunday, April 11, 2021, the result of a brain injury caused by a fall.
Chris was born on July 24, 1973 in Edina. He grew up in Shakopee, where he spent his youth pursuing a passion for baseball and music. After graduating from Shakopee High School, Chris received a degree in History from Augsburg College and went on to teach at Minnesota Transitions Charter School, where he was a respected and beloved history teacher. He loved playing his guitar and riding his motorcycle.
Chris's life was forever changed in 2004 when he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis after experiencing double vision in the classroom. Unable to continue teaching, he put all his energy into fundraising for the National MS Society to help others who had been afflicted with the disease and hopefully get closer to finding a cure. Over the next 17 years Chris would lead his Walk MS Team Victory to raise more than $300,000 for the cause and was recognized as one of the top fundraisers in all of the Upper Midwest.
Throughout his life Chris had a passion for baseball and the Minnesota Twins. Few were able to top him when it came to baseball trivia, and every year he counted down the days to spring training. His goal was to attend a ballgame at every Major League stadium, and he came very close to realizing that dream. While his MS kept him from playing the game he loved, it provided him with one of the highlights of his life. In 2016, as the top fundraiser for MS Day at Target Field, Chris threw out the first pitch before the Twins game. Not one to lob the ball to the catcher, he fired a fastball from the mound. It was, as Bob Uecker said in the film Major League, "juuuuuuuust a bit outside" and rolled to the backstop but provided a story that Chris would repeat often.
Music continued to play a major role in Chris's life after his MS diagnosis. For more than 20 years he worked as a karaoke DJ, bringing cheer to amateur vocalists, and impressing the crowd whenever he took the microphone for himself. A huge fan of Bob Dylan, Chris never failed to attend his concerts if they were within driving distance, and he saw him perform dozens of times. The name for Team Victory, and its motto - "Trails of troubles, Roads of battles, Paths of victory, We shall walk" - are from the lyrics of one of his favorite Dylan songs.
The defining characteristic of Chris's life was his love of people - and they loved him right back. In dealing with his struggles with MS, he inspired people to live their best lives, and he was just so much fun to be around. He will be truly missed.
Survivors include his mother, Cathy; brothers, Tracy (Mk Klein) and Steven; girlfriend, Robyn Farm; nieces and nephews, Laurel, Dominic (Jessica), Nate and Madison (Mitchell) Kilmer; great-nieces and nephews, Eden, Eli, Abraham, Everett, Jackson, and Lucy; aunts, Darlene Roiland and Jane Koskela. Chris was preceded in death by his father, Harold.
In lieu of flowers, Chris's family requests that people make a contribution to Chris's Team Victory fundraising page, National MS Society in the name of Team Victory for the 2021 Walk MS: Twin Cities.
A Celebration of Life will be held on July 24. Information will be posted at a later date.
Arrangements with McNearney-Schmidt
Funeral and Cremation, Shakopee, 952-445-2755.
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