Vermillion’s history is full of people who have left incredible legacies – ordinary folks who have championed important projects, and given their time, talent, and treasure to meet the needs of the community. Through their generous estate gift to United Way of Vermillion, Verne and Bonnie Anderson chose to create such legacy. The gift already allowed United Way to bring the 211 helpline to Clay County in 2017, and now supports the creation of a vital community resource – The Community Connection Center.
Bonnie and Verne Anderson were longtime fixtures in the Vermillion community, active members of Trinity Lutheran Church, Vermillion High School alumni, and avid pilots. The two were married in 1952. Verne farmed on his family’s land, and was known for his unique sense of humor and as a nationally-ranked trap shooter. Bonnie served as assistant to six University of South Dakota presidents. Her dynamic personality and indispensable value to USD led Gov. Janklow to name June 24, 1986 as Bonnie Haines Anderson Day. Bonnie passed away in 2011, followed by Verne in 2016. Through their estate, the Andersons remembered multiple community organizations, including United Way of Vermillion, the W.H. Over Museum, the University of South Dakota Foundation, and the Vermillion Public Library.