Marguerite Ellen (France) Andersen


Marguerite Ellen (France) Andersen, 95, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, formerly of Cherokee, passed away Thursday, March 21, 2024 in the Iris Memory Care home in Tulsa.

Memorial services will be held Friday, June 7, at 11:00 am at the Oak Hill cemetery in Cherokee. Online condolences may be left at In lieu of flowers, please donate to a tribute fund her family set up with the Alzheimer’s Association:

Marguerite was born July 11, 1928 in Cherokee, IA to Ray and Millicent France, and graduated from Wilson High School in Cherokee in 1945. While at Wilson, she played clarinet where she was first chair in the school band, and she was an award-winner in state-wide high school music competitions.  She was married to Thomas Chalma Andersen on January 22, 1955, at parents’ home.

Marguerite earned Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in Literature at Drake University in Des Moines and University of Iowa in Iowa City, respectively. She also began her PhD degree at Stanford University, where her husband, Tom was in charge of the Naval ROTC program. Tom was a career officer of the United States Navy, where he rose to the rank of Captain with Marguerite’s steady support. Although Marguerite devoted her career to supporting Tom’s military career, she distinguished herself as a teacher at the prestigious University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa, Japan in 1961-1962, and also taught literature at Ellsworth Community College in Iowa Falls 1965-1966, while Tom served in Vietnam. In the 1970’s Marguerite taught English and literature at the Saint Mary’s Girls Academy in Alexandria, VA, where was beloved by her students, who often came by the house to visit her.

After Tom’s retirement from the US Navy, Marguerite and Tom toured the United States on Harley Davidson motorcycles, and excelled in endurance athletic events. At age 59 Marguerite won her age group in the 15 km Tulsa Run, and she also competed in several Blue Angel Marathons in Pensacola, FL. She and Tom completed the Pike's Peak Ascent to 14,110 feet near Colorado Springs in 2001.

Marguerite’s friends and family will remember her for her keen intellect, sharp wit, devious smile, and rebellious nature. She was a devoted spouse and selfless parent. She was preceded in death by her parents, Ray and Millicent France; her daughter, Cynthia Ray Terzian; her sister, Vernice Van Duzer; and her brother-in-law, Bill Van Duzer.  She is survived by her son, Chris Andersen and his wife Anne Meyer Andersen of Tulsa, OK; her grandchildren, Dean Reynolds Stanton, Renee Michelle Flood, and Morgan Chalma Pilkington; her great grandchildren, Paul Thomas Flood, Frances Kathryn Flood, and Nathaniel Richard Pilkington;  sons-in-law Charles Terzian and Thomas Stanton; brother-in-law, Paul Andersen; and niece, Martha (Steele) Edward.