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1953 Steven "Steve" 2022

Steven "Steve" Craig Anderson

January 6, 1953 — May 16, 2022

Steven Craig Anderson “Steve” of Grand Island, NE passed away on Monday, May 16, 2022 at the age of 69, after courageously battling stage 4 prostate cancer for 13 months. Steve spent his final weeks much the same as he lived his life – carrying the conversation amongst family and friends and complaining about the state of Husker football.

Steve was born to Jerry and Shirley Anderson in 1953 in Grand Island, NE. He graduated from Grand Island Senior High in 1971 and received a Bachelor’s of Broadcast Journalism degree from the University of Nebraska in 1975.

Following college, Steve had a four month stint in Sidney, NE at KSID Radio, then signed on as sports director for NTV Channel 13 in Kearney, NE. Five years later he made the jump to KHAS Channel 5 in Hastings in a similar role. For the self described “sports junkie”, both broadcasting jobs provided Steve dream opportunities to interview the likes of Tom Osborne, George Brett, and Reggie Jackson, cover Kearney State’s improbable run to the 1978 NAIA basketball championship game, and participate in multiple Big 8 Skywriters tours.

In 1982 Steve left the TV business and joined his father to help run Skate Island, the family-owned roller skating rink in Grand Island. For almost 40 years Steve presided over countless chicken dances and limbo contests, distributed endless Skee-ball prizes, and hosted thousands of birthday parties. Steve remained the proud owner and operator of Skate Island until that business was dissolved following its roof collapse in February 2021.

Never losing sight of his broadcasting roots, Steve agreed to be the Fonner Park horse track announcer in 2004. Horse racing was always in Steve’s blood, having grown up idolizing his late grandfather Garnett Phifer from Red Cloud, NE, who was a career thoroughbred owner. For 19 years Steve covered Fonner’s spring meet, with additional stints at Horsemen’s Park in Omaha, State Fair Park in Lincoln, Prairie Meadows in Des Moines, and Canterbury Park in Minneapolis. Steve crafted old lines into his own style, using “pickin’ ‘em up and layin’ ‘em down” and “it’s a ding-dong battle for the lead” amongst others to bring the Fonner crowd to its feet. Steve’s passion for horse racing shined brightly through the intercom, and it was a job he cherished doing up until his final day at “The Fon” on April 2, 2022.

Steve is survived by his wife, Kathy (Eriksen) Anderson, with whom he shared 20 years of marriage with; his children, Neysha Whiten and Ryan (Carmen) Anderson; three step-children, Ann Sorensen, Trevor Sorensen, and Kyle (Brandee) Argent; and eight grandchildren, Kyan, Aiden, Kayah, Lily, Talia, Sydney, David, and Daniel. Steve is also survived by his former wife Karen (Brokering) Anderson, the mother of his children; his two sisters, Sheri Hack and Kathy Davis; and his father Jerry. He was preceded in death by his uncle Arden Phifer and mother Shirley.

A Celebration of Life service will be held at 3 PM on Thursday, May 26, 2022 in the Bosselman Conference Center at Fonner Park. Fr. Richard Piontkowski will officiate. The family will greet friends following the service.

A private burial will take place at Loup Fork Cemetery on Friday. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Steve’s honor to the GRACE Cancer Foundation or to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.

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Service Schedule

Past Services

celebration of life

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Starts at 3:00 pm (Central time)

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