HILLSBORO - The Rev. H. Gardner "Andy" Andersen, 94, died Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011.
He was born Nov. 1, 1916, in Providence, R.I.
Andy graduated from Massachusetts State College in 1939 with a major in economics. During his undergraduate years, he was a member the U.S Army ROTC (Horse Cavalry), was an accomplished equestrian, as well as a championship swimmer on the college swim team. After graduation, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the 315th Horse Cavalry. He served in the U.S. Army Cavalry Reserves from 1939 to 1942.
In June 1939, Andy married Helen H. Hallas of Newton Center, Mass. Following his marriage, he attended Andover Newton Theological School, from which he graduated in 1942. The Rev. Andersen subsequently received his Master of Sacred Theology in 1944.
During his tenure as an ordained minister, "Reverend Andy" held pastorates in Georgetown, Lawrence and Walpole, Mass., Benton Harbor, Mich., Wallingford, Conn., and Washington.
During the 1950s, he served on the board of directors of the Massachusetts Council of Churches and he was the chaplain for the Walpole State Prison. Andy also was the scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 97. In Michigan, Andy was a member of the board of directors of the United Church of Christ Conference (UCC). He also served as a trustee of Olivet College in Olivet, Mich. In addition, Andy served for six years on the board of directors of the Southern Michigan Boy Scout Council. In Connecticut, he served on the board of directors of the State Conference of the UCC and chaired the department of church growth and management. He served on the town of Wallingford Ethics Board for five years and as chairman for the last two.
For five years before his retirement in 1976, Andy and Helen ran a unique antique shop from their farmstead in Hillsboro, enjoying their work as well as the people they met from around the country.
After retirement, Andy and Helen moved to their beloved farmstead and continued to run their antique shop for another five years. It was their desire to live out their retirement enjoying the peace and natural harmony of the family farmstead known as Knollcroft.
However, once again Reverend Andy was called to serve and, in 1977, he began his final 22-year ministry at the Washington Congregational Church. Andy loved his ministry at that church and worked hard to build the church to remain viable well beyond his life. Following his final retirement in 1999, the Rev. H. Gardner Andersen was honored by the church when it bestowed upon him the title pastor emeritus. During this retirement, Andy continued to serve the church by conducting Sunday services as necessary as well as his Bible study. Reverend Andy preached his last sermon Jan. 2, 2011, and he lead his last Bible study discussion that same week.
Andy's interests included preaching, early American history, especially the Civil War, reading, camping and canoeing, sailing, visiting historic sites, Colonial Williamsburg, model railroading, his German shepherds, engaging anyone in a good conversation, and mowing his fields.
Andy's wife, Helen, predeceased him in 2002.
Andy is survived by his younger brother and spouse, Robert and Sabra Andersen; his two sons and spouses, Harry and Elsa and John and Donna; his daughter, Jean and her husband, Bud Murdough; six grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held May 21 at 2 p.m. at Washington Congregational Church.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Andersen Endowment Fund, which was established for the ongoing ministry of the church.