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Henry W. 'Hank' Andersen

POSTED: September 18, 2012 7:00 a.m.

Henry W. ‘Hank’ Andersen

Former Ellsworth minister, Henry W. “Hank” Andersen, died Sept. 3 in Portland, Ore. He served as pastor of First Presbyterian Church, 1951-56.
Hank was born Jan. 16, 1925, in Omaha, Neb. to Henry and Mildred Andersen. He was preceded in death by his parents and two sisters, Patty Benson and Barbara Bradley.
His studies at the University of Nebraska were interrupted by WWII. The direction of his life from law to the ordained ministry was brought about due to his experiences as an infantry squad leader and his survival of the Christmas Eve, 1944, sinking of his troopship in the English Channel. He was the recipient of a Purple Heart and other citations.
After the war, he resumed studies at N.U. where he met and, on Aug. 30, 1947, married Mary Esther Dunkin.  She survives.
Together they had four children, Jennifer Andersen (husband Rhys Popp), Vancouver, B.C.; H. Thomas Andersen (wife Jessica), Salem, Ore.; Timothy Hart-Andersen (wife Beth), Minneapolis, Minn.; and Barbara Chandler (husband John), San Antonio, Texas.
Nine grandchildren are Jude Popp (wife Tavis) and Bronwyn Simikich (husband Stefen); Ben Andersen (wife Celia) and Eli Andersen; Madeline, Nate and Isabell Hart-Andersen; Sarah Chandler Sheridan (husband Gerry) and Kenton Chandler. Three great-grandchildren are Louisa Andersen; Rory and Toby Sheridan.
Hank graduated with honors in Theology from McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago, which has established two annual Henry W. Andersen Awards in Pastoral Ministry and in Preaching. He did post-graduate study at Yale Divinity School and Mansfield College, Oxford, England. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree by Buena Vista College. He received the University of Nebraska and McCormick Seminary Distinguished Alumnus awards. He wrote many articles for religious journals and wrote and spoke on the German theologian and WWII martyr, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a personal hero.
Over 40 years, he served four Presbyterian churches as pastor and head of staff.  In addition to Ellsworth they were in Wichita, LaGrange, Ill., and Cleveland Heights, Ohio. In every church he advocated for racial, economic and social justice. He believed that love and justice were inseparable, that love of God and love of one’s neighbor were necessary to establish a just world, and was committed to working for social change to create a world in which the poor would have justice, not mere charity.
From 1982 until 1991, he served on the Nestlé Infant Formula Commission, chaired by former Senator and Secretary of State Edmund Muskie. In service to this Commission, he engaged in on-site inspections of Nestlé’s practices in Tanzania, Kenya, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brazil, and Argentina. The Commission’s work led to a change in Nestlé’s practices and an end to the boycott of infant formula.
In retirement, Hank and Mary lived on Vashon Island, Wash., in Minneapolis, and Holladay Park Plaza in Portland.
A memorial worship service was held at Westminster Presbyterian Church, Portland, Sept.15. Memorial services will also be held at Westminster Presbyterian Church, Minneapolis, Oct. 13; and Fairmount Blvd. Presbyterian Church, Cleveland Heights, Oct. 20.
Donations may be sent to the Henry W. and Mary E. Andersen Global Awareness Fund at McCormick Theological Seminary, 5460 S. University Ave., Chicago, Ill., 60615 or to a charity of one’s choice.
Condolences may be sent to Mary E. Andersen, 1300 NE 16th Ave., Apt. 439, Portland, Ore. 97232-1480.

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