Photography

George L Andersen

October 30, 2022

Obituary

George L. Andersen, 93, died peacefully on October 30, 2022, at RiverMead Lifecare Community, Peterborough NH.  He was welcomed into Heaven by his beloved wife of 47 years, Joan (nee Motter) and by the beloved Patricia (nee Leighton) to whom he was married for almost five years. He is survived by his loving daughter Judi, son Eric, daughter-in-law Sarah and grandchildren Will and Laura. Also survived by brothers Charles “Andy” (Sandy) and David (Diana), he was predeceased by his brother Roy (Nancy).

 Born November 13, 1928 in Philadelphia PA to the late Lorang and Florence (nee Hansen) Andersen, George graduated from Frankford High School.   After 2 years in the US Navy he received a B.S. in Mathematics from Widener College in Chester PA and an M.A. in Sociology from Haverford College in Haverford PA.  It was there he met Joan, his true soul mate. They were married September 10, 1954 and settled in Detroit MI, where George worked as an engineer for the Ford Motor Company before founding his own company, Production Cold Forming (PCF), in Madison Heights MI.  After selling PCF, George worked for companies in Lansing MI and Columbus and Mentor OH.  While serving in positions such as Director of Engineering or Director of Research and Development, he was a pioneer of the cold forming process of manufacturing metal parts for the automotive and fastener industries.  In 1980, he began consulting full time, with Joan as his office manager and bookkeeper.  They moved to Newtown Square PA, where they lived until he retired in 1990, at which point they moved to Wilton, NH.

Despite long and challenging workdays and many outside commitments he was a very involved father, always finding time to roughhouse with and read to the kids, and on weekends teaching them everything from gardening to rebuilding a classic Packard engine, to making model airplanes. He even built a wood and rope swing set complete with a very intricate teeter totter for the backyard.  In their various homes he designed and created countless built-ins and projects, developing his skills as a woodworker and craftsman.  He was also a modeler, building superdetailed railroad cars, and boats ranging from an accurately constructed plank-on-frame boat an inch long to a four-foot museum quality 1812 sailing vessel.

George loved music and was a gifted singer. In addition to church choirs, he performed in the Philadelphia Bach Chorale, Orpheus Male Chorus, Pro-Arte Chorale, and Footlighter’s Theatre.  After retirement he sang with the Souhegan Valley Chorus, and the Monadnock Chorus and its Chamber Choir.

George and Joan both believed strongly in community service, and early on were managers for the American Friends Service Committee on projects in the Detroit area.  In Columbus he was VP of PR for the Ohio Professional Engineering Society, and a founder and board member of the Central Ohio Bio-medical Engineering Council.  After his retirement he and Joan volunteered extensively in the Wilton area.   He served in a variety of capacities with Wilton’s Business Association, Wilton Main Street, The NH Guild of Woodworkers, and his beloved Monadnock Music and Monadnock Chorus.

He also continued to hone his woodworking skills and created many wonderful small furnishings, puzzles, and the like.  Among community projects he built a reference table for the Wilton Library and a tree-inspired information kiosk for the Sheldrick Forest Preserve, as well as restoring a wooden pipe organ for the Wilton Center Unitarian Church.  During those years, George wrote and self-published a book titled “Looking Up at the Great Depression.” It chronicles his life growing up in Depression Era Philadelphia, and beyond, with a focus on looking for the positives in life and making the most with what you have.

When Joan was diagnosed with ALS in 2002, they bought land in Temple NH to build a house that would accommodate her changing needs. Sadly, Joan passed away before the house was completed. George finished the project as a monument to her, creating all of the crown molding and exquisite interior details by himself. 

He moved to RiverMead in 2006 as he and Joan had intended to do eventually. There he reconnected with their friend Pat over a common love of playing Bridge.  He and Pat were married from August 4, 2007 until her death in April 2012.  At RiverMead, true to form, he started a Monday evening sing along for anyone who wanted to participate, served on the Residents Council, and volunteered at Monadnock Community hospital.

In his last months, George was working on a manuscript chronicling Joan’s many causes and activities. He summed up his own life recently as “a wonderful life with a wonderful wife.”

 George often referenced advice given to him by his father on pride: One can only be proud of actions that helped others, were difficult to do, and were done well. Anything else is false pride. George took that advice to heart and lived his life as true to that maxim as he could.

Service Update: A celebration of George’s life will be held Saturday, November 12, 2022 at 2:00PM at the United Parish of Auburndale, 64 Hancock Street, Newton MA 02466.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his and Joan’s memories to the ALS Association online at www.als.org or by mail to: The ALS Association, PO Box 37022 Boone, IA 50037.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of George L Andersen, please visit our floral store.


Services

Celebration of Life
Saturday
November 12, 2022

2:00 PM
United Parish of Auburndale
64 Hancock Street
Newton, MA 02466

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