January 2, 2015
10:30 A.M., Saturday, January 10, 2015
Garden Chapel Funeral Home
Friday, January 9, 2015, 5:00 – 7:00 P.M.
Garden Chapel Funeral Home
The Samaritan's Purse
Every Home for Christ
Husband: the late Charles O. Anderson
Children: the late Marvin L. Anderson
Wallace E. Anderson – Pillager, Minnesota
The late Kenneth D. Anderson
The late Charlene M. Myhre
Karla DeRose – Rockford, Illinois
April 11, 1916 - January 2, 2015
Eva Agnetta Surls was born to Fred and Olga Surls in Iowa Falls, Iowa on April 11, 1916. She was the oldest of five children. She passed away on Friday, January 2, 2015 after a short illness.
Eva accepted Jesus as her Savior at the age of 13 and a few years later, felt a definite call of God into full-time Christian service. She served Him faithfully her entire life.
At age 16 she began speaking at youth meetings at her church, and then to other group outside of her own church, traveling to other towns to do so. In 1936, when Eva was 20, her younger sister Lavonne joined her in ministry and the two held evangelistic meetings across the Midwest and Northwest. The "Surls Sisters" were known for their musical ministry, children's programs, and preaching the Word of God for all to hear.
In 1941 Lavonne left the team to marry the young preacher Russell Archer, and Eva's next sister (Freda) joined the Surls Sisters traveling team. The sisters were excited to see many people come to the Lord and mature in Him.
Following a couple of years of courtship, Eva and Charles Anderson (a widower with 3 young sons) married in June of 1944. The wedding was a part of a unique double wedding with her sister Freda and home missionary Roy Parker. After the wedding, both couples went into their own church ministries.
And so, Charles and Eva began their ministry together, pastoring Open Bible churches in Iowa including Swea City, Pella (1947-1951), Des Moines and Boone. Later, they ministered in Meadowdale, Illinois, and in Nebraska at Kearney and Callahan. Early on, they added two daughters, Charlene and Karla, to their young family.
Eva was always very active in the churches they pastored, organizing children's ministries, the music programs, the choir, Vacation Bible School, and Women's Ministries. Over the years, she also worked occasionally in the secular arena, in a district school library, in a newspaper office, in the offices of Back to the Bible Radio, and in a hospital medical records department. … always being a "light" wherever she was planted.
Following their last pastorate, Charles and Eva took on the management of the Defenders Townhouse Retirement Home in Rogers, Arkansas. They eventually retired in Rogers. In 1981 they moved back to Iowa, to the Gilman-Laurel area. During this time Charles became ill and needed treatment, so, in 1984 they moved back to Pella, Iowa where they had long-standing friendships and familiar surroundings. Charles passed away in June of 1987 after a three-and-a-half year battle with cancer.
In 1996, at age 80, Eva moved to Rockford, Illinois to be near her younger daughter Karla. Eva took up residence at the Christian Life Retirement Center for 17 years, often playing the piano or her vibraharp at their chapel services. She took joy in visiting with the other residents and ministering to them over the years.
In August of 2012 she moved to Heritage Woods Supportive Living facility in Rockford, and then in mid-November of 2014, was moved to River Bluff Nursing Home. Her next move was to be with her Lord and Savior.
Eva was devoted to family, helping to raise Charles' three sons and their two daughters. One of Eva's long-time ministries was writing notes and letters to many friends and shut-ins over the years.
Eva is survived by son Wallace Anderson and his wife Marlene, daughter Karla DeRose, daughter-in-law Marietta, son-in-law David Myhre, sisters Lavonne Archer and Roberta Huff, and brother Merrill Surls and his wife Martha, 13 grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren, and 9 great-great grandchildren, many nieces and nephews, and many wonderful friends across the country whom she always referred to as her "sisters and brothers in the Lord."
Preceding Eva in death were husband Charles Anderson, sons Marvin and Kenneth Anderson, daughter Charlene Myhre, daughter in-law Betty Anderson, son-in-law Tony DeRose, parents Fred and Olga Surls, sister Freda Parker, brothers-in-law Russell Archer, Roy Parker and Melvin Huff, granddaughter Melody Villar, and great-granddaughter Jennifer Graves.