Arthur W. Anderson
Arthur W. Anderson
April 17, 1920 — September 28, 2013
Rev. Arthur W. Anderson died Saturday morning at the John Knox Care Village in Lee’s Summit, Missouri where he had resided for the past three months. Art’s is a very ecumenical spirit so it was okay that he was living in a Presbyterian residence when he died.
Art was born in Lake Nebagamon, Wisconsin, to Alma E. and John V. Anderson. The family moved to Mahtowa, Minnesota when he was ten.
Arthur Anderson was beloved. Few people could listen the way Art could listen. His watchword was “Openness.” He was open. Believe me. He loved to wrestle with doubts and concerns. His theological quest never ended nor did it flag along the way.
His columns in Pietisten were nuggets of reflection on everyday events. His book on prayer, Wild Beasts and Angels, was rooted in the pilgrimage of his everyday life and in the pilgrimages of those he loved and served. People knew they were safe with Art.
In 1950, Art became the fourth President of Minnehaha Academy. He began his presidency as a very eligible bachelor but Bernice Anderson of Duluth soon ended his eligibility for good.
In the Fall of 1959, after a decade of distinguished leadership of Minnehaha Academy, Rev. Anderson became Chaplain at North Park College in Chicago. In 1964, he responded to the pastoral call from Bethlehem Covenant Church in Minneapolis.
Art chose to be a parish Pastor the remainder of his career. That was his calling. Exclusiveness was anathema to him. He sought a church for sinners only. He loved to tell of the church in Ohio he had attended one Sunday evening. When it came time for the offering, the pastor said, as the plate was passed, “Those of you who are able to give, give, and those who need, take.” “I like that,” said Art.
In 1969 Art and Bernice, with Sonja, Kirk, and baby Ingrid, loaded their car and set out for New York City taking Sandy Johnson with them for moral support.
After an adventurous move into the parsonage on Long Island, Art took up his call as pastor of Bethesda Covenant Church in New York. The congregation worshipped in the United Nations Chapel. Pastor Anderson relished contacts with persons from around the world that his presence at the UN allowed and Kirk became an outstanding young baseball player.
Next came the call to First Covenant Church in Youngstown, Ohio. Art preached and pastored in Youngstown until he retired in 1988. After retirement, Art and Bernice engaged in delightful Interim pastorates including Coral Springs, Florida, Indianapolis, Indiana, Bedford, New Hampshire, and First Covenant Church in Omaha, Nebraska. He especially enjoyed four years as Visitation Pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church, Boardman, Ohio.
While at Bethlehem Covenant in Minneapolis, Art (known to some as Andy), engaged in theological studies at the University of Chicago. Art loved to read and study, he loved conversations with professors, students, colleagues, and friends. It is true to say that he loved conversations with everybody.
Art and Bernice settled in Ohio and became members of Federated United Church of Christ in Chagrin Falls. There followed many years filled with family life, reading and writing, and friends. Art and Bernice and daughter Sonja’s family loved Federated Church.
The recent death of Ingrid’s husband, Mike, led to Bernice and Art moving to Lee’s Summit, Missouri. It became necessary for Art to move to the John Knox Care Village. He soon became beloved there, too. He died peacefully, Saturday morning, September 28. Perhaps somewhere in his mind was the memory of the winning touchdown pass he caught the night the “Bombers” of Barnum High near Duluth won the league championship.
Art is survived by his wife, Bernice, two daughters, linguist Sonja Solar and engineer Ingrid Potts and their families, one son, architect Kirk Anderson and his family, five grandchildren, two great granddaughters, and his brother, Rev. Gilbert L. Anderson. Art was preceded in death by his brother, Rev. Bert Anderson.
At Pietisten.org, you can find 25 of Art’s columns. Every one of them is a treat.
Arthur W. Anderson may you rest in peace. You will continue to be beloved.
There will be a Memorial Service, October 8, at 4:00 p.m. at the Federated Church, Chagrin, Ohio. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to North Park Theological Seminary, 3225 West Foster Avenue, Chicago, Illinois, 60625.