The Very Reverend Archpriest Dr. John Wallace Anderson fell asleep in the Lord peacefully in his sleep at his residence here, on February 11, 2020, at the age of 95. He was soon to celebrate his 40th Anniversary to the Holy Priesthood. Born in Red Wing, MN, on April 8, 1924, and raised as a Lutheran in the southern Minnesota Scandinavian farming community of Spring Garden, he served as a US Naval officer (Ensign) on the USS Cabot carrier during World War II.
After the war at Temple University he met the love of his life, the late Matushka Isabel Anne Scott Anderson. Wed on November 26, 1947, and raising a family of eight, they served together as Lutheran missionaries in Liberia and Sierra Leone, West Africa, promoting Bible Translation and literacy in the villages. At home in the States in 1977 they converted to the Eastern Orthodox Church, joining St. Innocent Parish in Tarzana, CA. In 1980, Father John was ordained to the Holy Priesthood and assigned to start a mission in Orange County, CA.
After operating a storefront mission and Orthodox day school in La Habra (1980-1989), Father John and Matushka Isabel served as instructors at St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (1989-1993). After serving at Makarios III Seminary in Nairobi, Kenya, in 1995, Father John and Matushka Isabel lived in retirement near children and grandchildren in Billings, MT.
Attached to St. Nicholas of South Canaan Church, they enjoyed many years of interaction with the parish. Since Matushka Isabel’s death in 2004, Father John continued to stay active by authoring several books, all of which are available at the usual big online bookstores. Father John leaves behind a loving family which includes 18 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren.
A Panikhida will be served on Sunday, February 16 at 5:30pm at St. Nicholas of South Canaan Orthodox Church, Billings, MT. The Divine Liturgy and the Funeral for a Priest will be served by His Eminence Archbishop Benjamin on Monday, February 17 at 8:00am at St. Nicholas Church.
May Father John’s memory be eternal!