For Kyle Christian Andersen, age 48, death came much too soon, and took from us a husband, a father, a son, a brother, and a friend. He will be grievously missed by his loving family and friends.
Kyle was born on August 10, 1974, as the fifth generation of a proud ranching family in Dillon, Montana. The beauty of Montana was in his heart and soul, and he always considered it to be his home. He died on April 3, 2023, after a courageous fight against pancreatic cancer. He was surrounded by many family and friends, and held up in prayer by many more.
Although his years were far too few, Kyle lived more fully than many could even imagine. They say that a man's life can be measured by the legacy he leaves behind. By that measure, Kyle's life was enormous, and his mark on the world will be known for generations.
Kyle's business successes would be enough to show a worldly measure of his legacy. He was awarded an internship position with a Salt Lake City financier when he was still in college. Recognizing Kyle's quick mind, his mentor taught Kyle everything he knew. When Kyle joined Edward Jones after college, he was reportedly the youngest financial planner ever hired by the corporation. Kyle would remain loyal to this one and only firm for the sum total of his career. He quickly rose through the ranks and enjoyed success as a partner in the firm for many years. Kyle was respected by his co-workers and threw himself into his work with characteristic energy.
All work and no play would be a sad legacy, though, so Kyle made sure to play with equal zeal. He travelled extensively to literally dozens of countries and all fifty states. He didn't just play tourist though. Kyle golfed the great courses in Scotland, and celebrated Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. He fished the rivers of Alaska and the lakes of Canada. He watched the final four basketball games in person, and attended many NFL and Cardinal baseball games. Kyle was a pilot, but also jumped from planes, skied hard, and sailed through French Polynesia. He was truly a man of the world.
All of these things would be an empty legacy, though, if a man had no friends. Kyle could count his best friends by the dozen. He had an infectious personality, and made friends with nearly every one he met. This is attested to by the dozens of friends who stood by his side during his battle with cancer. His friends traveled from all over the US to be able to sit by his side and support him during his illness.
Even in the midst of this horrible diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, Kyle had yet another legacy to leave on this world. At a time when hope for survival seemed small, Kyle became the first to try a novel pancreatic cancer chemotherapy regimen. His brilliant doctor, Kian-Huat Lim, at Siteman Cancer Center, in St. Louis, Missourl had developed a new protocol for treating the disease in mice, and Kyle became the first human recipient of this treatment. This regimen gave Kyle 17 months to live, including many more joys, family gatherings, trips, football games, and even a Disney vacation with his children. Kyle's courage in being first has resulted in a clinical trial, extending the treatment to other cancer patients, and we hope that this will give hope and time to many other families.
Kyle would not judge these things to be his most important legacy, though. Kyle would tell you that his family was his true mark on the world. Just when we had all about given up hope for him to find a family of his own, he met his own love and began a beautiful family of his own. He said that it took him 41 years, traveling through many countries and all 50 states for him to meet "his queen." So, at the age of 41, he proposed to Kira Rose Knickrehm at the corner of King, Queen, Meeting and Church Streets, in Charleston, South Carolina. He often said that the King and had met his Queen, and requested to take her to the Church to wed. Charleston would be a very special place for Kira and Kyle, and they would return there often. They married in a fairy tale wedding at Big Sky, Montana in September of 2014.
Exactly nine months later, Kyle's enduring legacy would begin. Cora Rose Andersen was born, followed quickly by a second daughter, Leah Nicole. His son, Dane Hans Christian Andersen would complete the family a short time later. Kyle loved his family! He was so proud of his children! He delighted in their accomplishments and wondered at the blossoming of their young minds. He was overjoyed to hear them sing and loved to hear their nightly prayers. Fatherhood was a legacy Kyle deeply cherished. His wife and children were his first thought in the mornings and his last prayer at night.
Kyle had great faith in Jesus, and he loved to know that his children were growing closer to the Lord. He would sing hymns with the kids at bedtime. It is Kyle's faith which allowed him to go peacefully from this earth. We, who survive him, will wait expectantly for the day we are reunited with him. Survivors include his wife, Kira; parents, Keith and Verla Andersen; daughters, Cora Rose and Leah Nicole Andersen; son Dane Hans Christian Andersen; sisters, Julie Evans (Rich) and Christy Mitchell (Will); brother, Scott Andersen (Nicole); nieces, Sarah Hatch (Dallas); Holly Finch (Kyle); Hannah Evans; and Clara Mitchell; nephews, Jacob Evans (Becky); Josh Evans, Troy Andersen; Will and Gabe Mitchell; Uncle, Charles "Mick" Andersen; Aunt, Sally Kreis; grand niece, Jane Evans. Kyle is also survived by his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Craig and Kathy Knickrehm; his step-father-in-law, Jerry Laughlin; his brother-in-law, Doug Knickrehm (Kally) and their children, Iris and and Lois; and his sister-in-law, Mary Kumar, (Arnav). Kyle was preceded in death by his loving grandparents, Hans and Georgiana Andersen, and Veva Crisp Copeland and Reynolds Bishop Thompson.
Services will be held on Saturday, April 15, at 11 am, at the Frontier Event Center, 102 E. Helena Street, Dillon, Montana. Private family graveside service to follow.