Miss Anna Kristine Salkjelsvik was born in Saltkjelsvik, Skodje, Romsdal County, Norway on 30 October 1890 as Anna Kristine Johansen.1 She was christened 23 November the same year in the Church of Norway tradition.
She was the daughter of Ole Iver Johansen Grodås (b. 1850), a carpenter, and Anne Marie Brigitte (née Karlsdatter, 1857-1906) who had married 13 January 1881 in Skodje, More og Romsdal.
Her known siblings were Ole Andreas, b. 17 January 1883, Karen Marie, b. 30 August 1885, Olivia Karoline, b. 28 March 1888, Karl Johan, b. 8 February 1893, Johan Olaf, b. 28 March 1894,
Her sister Olivia had emigrated in the summer of 1910, arriving in Québec aboard the Laurentic before travelling to and settling in Proctor, Duluth, Minnesota. She later saved enough money to send back home for Anna to join her.
Anna boarded the Titanic at Southampton on 10 April 1912 as a third class passenger (ticket number 343120 which cost £7, 13s) having travelled from Ålesund to Newcastle via Bergen. Travelling with her was a family friend, Adolf Humblen, and she also became acquainted with several other Norwegian passengers, including: Karen Marie Abelseth and Olaus Abelseth and his brother-in-law Sigurd Moen, and the latter's cousin Peter Søholt. Anna and Karen Abelseth shared a cabin with some Swedish girls.
On the night of the sinking Anna had been asleep and had noticed nothing out of the ordinary. The men in her travelling group were aware of a problem, being berthed at the bow of the ship, and they travelled aft to the stern to warn their female friends. The group made their way to the aft well deck where they awaited instructions. A steward later asked for women and children to follow him and Anna and Karen complied but had to leave their male companions behind. Whilst en route to the boat deck Anna and Karen became separated: Karen ended up leaving the ship in lifeboat 16 but Anna wandered to the bow end of the boat deck where she left in collapsible C.
Anna eventually arrived in Minnesota and was reunited with her sister in Proctor. Here she met a fellow Norwegian, William Larsen (b. 4 May 1884) who had arrived in the USA on 9 July 1909 aboard the Saxonia, landing at Boston. He worked as a machinist in the car shop of the Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range Railway where he would work until retirement in 1954.
The couple were married on 7 September 1912 at Our Saviou's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Duluth, Minnesota (she was listed Anna Olson at the time of her marriage). They went on to have four children: Margaret L. (27 May 1913-1994, later Mrs Fred Nelson), Astor Melvin (20 June 1915-1991), Ernest (b. 1917/1918) and Vivian Janet (9 August 1919-1999, later Mrs Gordon Sandeno and later again Mrs Harry G. Olafson). The family lived in Midway, St Louis, Minnesota and their address in later years was 420 Ugstad Road and they were members of the Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Proctor. Anna was widowed on 11 September 1965 and she herself spent her last years in a care home. She never cared to discuss the Titanic disaster to any great length but did grant the very occasional newspaper or television interview.
Anna died following a stroke on 21 February 1977 aged 86.