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Richard Andersen

Born: Sun., Aug. 23, 1931
Died: Sun., Apr. 16, 2017


Memorial Service

11:00 AM Fri., May 19, 2017
Location: Sierra Evangelical Lutheran Church


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Richard Andersen, 85, departed this world Easter Sunday, April 16, 2017. Richard “Dick” Andersen, together with twin Robert, was born on Aug. 23, 1931 in Kansas City, Kansas, although raised and educated on the Missouri side of the metropolitan area. His parents, Ellen and Marius T. “Jack” Andersen, were Danish immigrants from the Jutland Peninsula, who adapted readily to the American way of life, despite coming here just prior to the start of the Great Depression.

Dick and Bob were baptized and confirmed in Our Saviour’s, the Danish Lutheran Church on the Kansas side, where their parents were married. Later, Dick was ordained by the same congregation, though now moved to Johnson County, Kansas, and renamed Westwood. After a year off following high school to earn funds for college, Dick matriculated to Dana College, a school in Blair, Nebraska, founded by Danish Lutherans. He had a double major in English and history. A year off after graduation, this led Dick to be drafted, where he spent two years in the wilds of Arkansas, prior to entering Trinity Theological Seminary on the campus of Wartburg Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa. He graduated in 1960 and by 1973 he had earned his Ph.D. at California Graduate School of Theology in Glendale, California. Dick served parishes in North Hollywood, Ojai, Rancho Cordova, La Habra, Long Beach and San Jose, California. In the ‘70s, he was the founding pastor of Community Church of Joy in Glendale, Arizona. He also founded the Lutheran Church of the Holy Cross in Ojai, and before retiring spent six years as pastor of the International Church of Copenhagen, an English-speaking ecumenical ministry of the ELCA. Vartov Church was the parish of N.F.S. Grundtvig, Denmark’s greatest hymn-writer. Several of his hymns are to be sung at the service.

The author of numerous magazine and newspaper articles throughout his ministry, Dick also had over 10 titles published by Augsburg, Concordia and C.S.S., including several collections of dramatic monologues, while having sermons published in numerous homiletical journals, plus hardbound collections in Augsburg Sermons and Concordia Pulpit, and his sermons were also included a number of times in Concordia Pulpit Resources, Pulpit Digest, Abingdon Preaching Annual, The Minister’s Annual Manual plus a variety of others. He had a sermon included in Best Sermons and was the principal speaker at the 1985 Hollywood Bowl Easter Sunrise service telecast nationally by CBS. He wrote monthly columns for Church Management magazine, and Den Danske Pioneer, the bi-language publication for Danish Americans.

He wrote weekly religion stories for the Sierra Vista Herald/Review for a dozen years or so, as well as articles that appeared in other sections of the local daily. Dick was general manager of the Sierra Vista Symphony Association for several years and served on the SVSA’s board for nearly 10 years. He received honors from the Daughters of the American Revolution for his work on behalf of Raoul Wallenberg and Southeast Asians, and the Distinguished Merit Citation from the Los Angeles/Long Beach chapters of the National Conference of Christian and Jews both in 1985.

He served on various district boards, as well as the Dana College Board of Regents, and the American Lutheran Church’s Board for Communications and Mission Support. He led a number of Christian Heritage tours to the Bible Lands and Lutheran nations.

Dick married Lois Jeanette Petersen in Exira Lutheran Church on June 9, 1957, after having conducted services in Exira and Hamlin in the morning. They have three grown children: Kristyn Bova (Gregory), Deryk Andersen (Kim), and Jennifer Duran (Danny) with seven living grandchildren: Michael, Erin and Lauren Bova; Hannah, Kierstina and Hilary Andersen; and Daniel A. Duran. A pair of twins born three months premature did not survive, but their grandfather was able to baptize them in their incubators as well as preside at their burial service.

He is survived by his added “brother,” brother-in-law Bob Krogh and his wife, Lois’ sister, Joan, in addition to Lynn Cole Edwards (Bob) a personally adopted “sister” as well as adopted son and daughter Frederick and Sherrie Korfage. His parents and twin brother Bob preceded him in death, as well as grandparents and “second parents” Val and Jack Cole, and nephew Paul Krogh, but they await his arrival in the heavenly home granted to them by the Risen Lord.

Richard Andersen died, after a brief illness, surrounded by his friends and family.

A Memorial is planned on Friday, May 19, 2017 at 11 a.m. at Sierra Evangelical Lutheran Church, 101 N. Lenzner Road, Solo Deo Gloria.

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