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DONALD ANDERSON

Obituary
  • "Don will always hold a special place in our hearts. Jackie..."
  • "So sorry to hear about his passing so soon. He was a great..."
  • "Don's humor, like the Cheshire Cat's grin, will last long..."
  • "Anne, With heartfelt sympathy, The Sustainers of the Junior..."
  • "Draw close to God, James 4:8"


DONALD E. ANDERSON Donald E. Anderson, 85, passed away peacefully on Thursday, May 8, 2014 at Grace Rehabilitation Center of Vero Beach. Don was born in Zelzah, CA (now Northridge) in LA County and has been a resident of Vero Beach for 17 years coming from Summit, NJ. He was the youngest and last surviving child of Pastor Albert and Viola Anderson's 6 children. His Dad and Mom were missionaries at a Lutheran school in China for many years, where most of their children were born and spent early childhood. On returning to the US in 1928, Pastor Anderson established Lutheran mission congregations in the San Fernando Valley and established a dairy to provide work and food for his parishioners during the Depression. In 1940, Pastor Anderson returned to China at the request of the church to check on the school where they had been, and the associated church and seminary. There was concern due to the imminent war. He was caught behind enemy lines and was unable to return to the US until 1945 just in time to ensure that his youngest son got properly enrolled at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. It was there where the family had lived in a mission cottage while he was away in China. Within a year of his return Pastor Anderson died knowing that all his children had had the opportunity to attend college and could become contributing members of society<$>which they did. Following graduation from St. Olaf College, Don went to Luther Seminary. While he graduated, he was never ordained. Rather electing to dedicate himself to immigration and refugee resettlement work in the US and abroad mostly in connection with Lutheran Congregations in the United States, who have very successfully resettled many from Eastern Europe, Hong Kong, East Africa, Latin America and Indochina over the years. As specific refugee movements ebbed and flowed, Don spent interim years as Asst. Director of the Lutheran Student Foundation at the U. of Minnesota and as Alumni Director at St. Olaf College. Don was Director of the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service from 1963 until 1976, when he retired. During this time he provided significant leadership in the intergovernmental agency world, particularly during the Ugandan and Vietnamese Refugee movements. Don was always an active community member and very civic minded. He especially enjoyed providing leadership and support for the many activities in which his sons were involved, particularly managing and programming large swim meets. He is survived by his wife, Anne, of 48 years and his son Albert (Suzanne and the twins, Lindsey and Sumner) and his son Sumner (Renee, Stella and Abigail). A Memorial Service will be held at The Community Church of Vero Beach on Monday, May 19 at 11:00 AM with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to the Rotary Club of Vero Beach P.O. Box 2013 Vero Beach, FL 32961. Arrangements are by Strunk Funeral Home and Crematory, Vero Beach. A guest book is available at www.strunkfuneralhome.com

Published in the TC Palm from May 13 to May 17, 2014
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