Joseph Andersen ’77

20 June 2012

Class: 1977

Major: English

Residence: Minneapolis, MN

Deceased: December 2, 2009

Alumni survivors: Mrs. Sara H. Andersen ’77 W77 (Widow/Widower)

Born: April 11, 1956

Passed: December 2, 2009

Joe got his law degree from the University of Chicago before returning to Minneapolis. He then spent the ensuing years in a happy and productive, if occasionally frustrating, career at Dorsey & Whitney, followed by U.S. Bank. Joe was passionate about many things in life. Joe had the unique ability to always be true to himself. That self knowledge served as a foundation throughout both his personal life and professional career. He used his incredible intelligence, impeccable integrity, and personal drive to become an expert in many areas, all with a wry sense of humor and a humble, simple approach to life. Perhaps most importantly, that self knowledge enabled him to accept people for who they are while encouraging them to develop their individual gifts to the fullest. Always a free spirit, Joe never met a haircut he liked (something he passed on to his kids), preferred tee shirts (Grateful Dead or Star Wars, if you please) and hiking boots to a suit and tie, and loved indulging nieces and nephews at the family cabin. Possessing a remarkable drive, Joe outdid even the Post Office. Rain, snow, or freezing cold, he could be counted on to ride his bike everywhere and anywhere. Whether it was riding to/from work, the family cabin, or social events, no place was too far and no weather too bad for Joe. Joe and Sara were able to share that passion, taking multiple biking vacations together in Europe and New Zealand. He was also an outstanding cook of wide ranging tastes. Joe reveled in introducing friends and family to new foods and spices – the more unusual the better – while being a past master of homemade vanilla ice cream for birthday parties. He loved to reverse engineer things like Cincinnati Chili, and would not rest until he could deliver something “edible.” An avid reader, Joe’s command of the English language was legendary and, frankly, a little scary. He was our family’s version of verbal advantage, often sending family and coworkers to the dictionary to look up his latest word of the day. His joy in selecting exactly the right word continued to the very end, as readers of his CaringBridge journal entries can attest. Joe touched many, many, people throughout his life and will be sorely missed.

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