The Peaceful Passing of Hank W. Andersen

Early yesterday morning, my husband Tom’s beloved, inimitable 87-year-old father, Hank Andersen, died peacefully at home surrounded by Mary Ester, his wife of 65 years, and their children and grandchildren. For forty years, Hank served as the deeply loved minister of Midwestern Presbyterian churches that, under his guidance, fully expressed the heart-forward teachings of authentic Christianity, boldly calling for social justice at every turn. He is, of course, the star of “The Christmas Soldier” chapter in Roll Around Heaven, whose story was immortalized on the PBS News Hour last December   Clobbered into enlightenment during WWII, Hank’s illumined spirit lit up everything he said and did.  It was grace that gave me a decade of being Hank’s daughter-in-law, or “daughter-in-love,” as a friend put it, and it was grace that, as Hank would say, saw him out.  He was, I believe, one of God’s most complete thoughts, and a spiritual model for us all.  Thank you, Hank.       — Jessica Maxwell-Andersen       Photo by Richard A. Herman

Hank at First Presbyterian, Abraham Lincoln’s church in Springfield, Illinois
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