Saturday, July 13, 2013

A Father's Passing . . .

Justice C. Anderson

Thirty-seven and a half years ago, I was playing with a basketball in the hall of my dorm at Baylor University when a fellow freshman rounded the corner and, finding the ball rolling in his direction, performed some maneuver with his feet to send it flying straight up behind his back and crashing into the ceiling.

After a moment's surprise, I asked the fellow, "You play soccer?"

"," he said, continuing on his way and up the stairs.

Gradually, Tim Anderson -- as I learned was his name -- became my friend. I discovered that he had grown up in Argentina in a missionary family, thus explaining his proficiency in soccer (he played for Baylor) and his fluency in Spanish (he read Don Quixote in the original). We eventually joined the satirical-minded NoZe Brotherhood around the same time and rented a flat together off campus for a couple of semesters, and even later shared a flat in Fribourg, Switzerland, where he was based as he pursued archaeology and I was visiting as I took a year off from doctoral studies.

In my months there in Fribourg, I met Tim's father, Justice C. Anderson, who stopped by on a trip through Europe. I had actually met him before, briefly, at Baylor, but we had more time to chat in Fribourg. I found him a kindly, genial man, good in conversation, and worth knowing.

I didn't get to know him much better, of course, since our paths never again crossed, but Tim kept me up on his father's career.

I was therefore saddened to learn last January that he had passed on. Now that Baylor Magazine has noted his decease, I can offer more details of his accomplished life than I could have several months ago:
Dr. Justice C. Anderson, BA '50, MA '51, of Fort Worth, died Dec. 29 at age 83. A retired professor of missions at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, he was known as "Uncle Justo" to friends and students worldwide. At Baylor he met and married his wife of 63 years, Mary Ann Elmore Anderson, BA '49. He served for 17 years in Argentina with the International Mission Board before returning to Southwestern in 1974, directing the World Missions Center for 20 years. He authored numerous academic publications and a series of books in Spanish and English. His major contribution was a history of the worldwide Baptist movement. In retirement, Anderson taught at Baylor's Truett Seminary from 2003-10. All four children and a grandson also graduated from Baylor. ("In Memoriam," Baylor Magazine, Spring 2013, Vol. 11, Issue 3)
My condolences again, Tim, on your losing your father, and condolences as well to all who were touched by the man . . .

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