Tuesday, January 15 was graduation day for Dan Anderson! He took his last breath on earth in his Salem, NH home at 4:40 am and in that same moment he passed into the presence of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Whom he loved. “Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” II Corinthians 5:8
After two years of dealing with the many aspects of cancer, Dan had been on hospice care in his home since August. Although his battle with cancer extended for over two years with many peaks and valleys, he also realized a good measure of health much of that time, enabling him the opportunity to enjoy a number of travel vacations and family times. There were a few times over the past couple of years in which he was lying in a hospital bed in critical condition with the prospect that the end would be imminent, but those were mingled with seasons of good health in which he was hiking remote canyons in Death Valley, exploring exotic ports of call in the Caribbean, or kayaking for miles on a rural lake in Maine. Dan outlived 5 out of 6 prognoses he was given. He was thankful for the gift of time and considered cancer to be a “merciful killer,” allowing time to get his earthly concerns in order and say his good-byes. He was confident in God’s sovereignty and recognized his life expectancy was under God’s control. “My times are in your hand” Psalm 31:15a. Dan loved the Lord and, throughout his disease, looked forward to being with Jesus. As his expectation of being with the Lord grew closer and closer, Dan shared some thoughts with family, friends, and caregivers of his confident hope, not simply a wish, of being in Heaven with Jesus. He knew from the Scriptures that he had secured a place in Heaven because he had acknowledged and believed on the sacrifice Christ made on his behalf. II Corinthians 5:21 – “For our sake He [God the Father] made Him [Christ the Son] to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in Him [Christ] we might become the righteousness of God.”
Dan grew up in Burlington, MA, the son of Richard and Patricia (Perrine) Anderson and second born of eight children. He grew up in the jewelry business, working in high school at his father’s jewelry store, Anderson’s Jewelers in Lexington. He graduated from Open Bible Academy and Burlington Bible Institute. His career continued as store manager, working at Anderson’s Jewelers in Wellesley until he moved to California to attend the Gemological Institute in America and graduated with a Graduate Gemologist degree in 1985. He went on to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biblical Studies from The Masters College in San Clarita, CA in 1989. He remained in California for seven years. He was licensed as a pastor in February 1987 and youth pastored at Calvary Baptist Church in Burbank, CA for approximately 6 years, all while attending school and working a nighttime security job. He returned to Massachusetts in 1991 and started his own company, Gemological Services. Dan’s specialty was appraisal work in many fine jewelry stores across New England. A well-respected expert in the jewelry business, Dan was knowledgeable, successful, and a man of integrity. The industry, his customers, and colleagues mourn his loss.
In 1994 he married his sweetheart, Deb and in 1996 they had a son, Tim. Dan was a faithful husband and a wonderful provider. As a supportive dad, he often cheered and coached from the sidelines as Tim played basketball, soccer, or tennis. Some of the best family memories are of their many trips, their favorites being Hawaii and South Africa.
Dan had a heart for God’s Word, for ministry, and for helping people to acknowledge and understand God’s truth. Dan was an active member of Fellowship Bible Church in Methuen, MA for 23 years of which he served as the Director of the Men’s Ministry for over 10 years. In this leadership role he led approximately 20 Men’s Fellowship Dinners and hosted and led 18 Father/Son retreats at a lake retreat in Maine with the able assistance of his son, Tim. Dan loved to study and teach God’s Word. Over the years he taught Awana clubs, youth groups, and Sunday-school classes for ages Jr. High through Adult.
Dan was an avid traveler. He loved to see new places, observe God’s power and creativity in His creation, and visit friends or meet new people. At camp in Maine, the family took many nature boat rides at dawn or at dusk in search of wildlife. Dan didn’t go far without a pair of binoculars. Every spring he coordinated a trip to a leaders’ conference for a group of men from his church. In 2016 he organized a Grand Staircase Tour for a group of about 35 people from area churches. Dan loved the land of Israel and its people. He traveled to Israel on pleasure or business at least 14 times. He was the planner of the family’s many trips and vacations. He was even called upon often to advise friends on their travel plans. He had a knack for finding the best deals! He so loved making plans to share with friends and family all the wonderful things that meant so much to him. One friend commented, “I know he’s at rest now, but somehow I can imagine him already making plans for road trips and tours to take each of us on as soon as we all join him just to show us all the indescribable, incomprehensible wonders he is now experiencing!” Another friend commented, “The Grand Staircase tour was one of the highlights of my life so my active imagination already has me greatly anticipating the “Grand Heaven” tour Dan is already organizing for us!”
Dan will be remembered as a mentor. Over the years he has led a number of men interested in studying the Bible with him. He mentored one young man in gemology from his spark of an interest to becoming a Graduate Gemologist. His advice was sought as expert by many colleagues in the industry.
A favorite memory of his nieces and nephews was Dan’s granting of gemstones. During a morning Bible devotional, he’d ask follow-up questions and reward the kids with little sparkly objects. For birthdays, he would wrap gemstones in foil and put them inside a birthday cake. Everyone knew to eat carefully because there just might be a gemstone in their serving of birthday cake!
One of Dan’s favorite Bible verses was Romans 5:1 – “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Perhaps he shared that verse with you at one time or another. Dan touched so many lives and will be deeply, deeply missed by so many people.
Dan is survived by his wife of 24 years, Deb, and son, Tim, both of Salem, NH; his sisters Beth and her husband, Dana, of Methuen, MA and Polly of Jacksonville, FL; and his brother Jonathan and his wife, Lisa, of Bucksport, ME; aunts, uncles, cousins, and nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held for Dan on Sunday, January 27 at Fellowship Bible Church, One Fellowship Way, Methuen, MA with the following schedule:
2:30 pm – A tribute to Dan on the screen
3:00 pm – Memorial Service, followed by a catered reception. Children are welcome.
For those unable to travel to the memorial service, a livestream of the Memorial Service will be available by following this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPVrQDsAM0Y
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests supporting the following non-profits:
FBC Men’s Ministry, which Dan led for over 10 years
FBC Men's Ministry
1 Fellowship Way
Methuen, MA 01844
Please make checks payable to: FBC with “Dan – Men’s Ministry” in the memo line
CaringBridge, which has served us so well while going through cancer:
Donation Processing Center
PO Box 6032
Albert Lea, MN 56007-6632
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Daniel M. Anderson, please visit our floral store.
PO Box 6032, Albert Lea MN 56007-6632
FBC Men's Ministry
1 Fellowship Way, Methuen MA 01844