Richard Andersen, 83

Aug 1, 2023

Commander Richard E. Andersen, USN Retired, of Onset, Massachusetts, passed unexpectedly at his home in Bluffton, South Carolina, on July 1, 2023 in preparation for one of his favorite holidays, the 4th of July. 

Richard was born June 6, 1940 to parents Henry and Mary Andersen in Taunton, Massachusetts and raised in Onset, Massachusetts.  

After graduating from Wareham High School in 1958, he began his illustrious 36 year career in the United States Navy at NTC Great Lakes, IL in 1959. He moved on to NATCC Memphis in 1959, NAVCICSCOL in 1960, and VX-6 NAS Quonset Pt. Rhode Island in 1961. This led to VX-6 DET ALFA in 1962, Antarctica. He was tasked with aerial mapping remote areas and supplying scientists with this information. It also led to the naming of The Anderson Nunataks, which rise to 5,364 feet above sea level at the eastern end of the Sweeney Mountains on the Orville Coast of Palmer Land in the British Antarctic Territory. Following surveys by the United States Geological Survey in 1961-62, and by the University of Wisconsin in 1965-66, these nunataks were named after Richard E. Anderson, aviation electronics technician of the US Navy, on R4D aircraft flights from Byrd Station in Marie Byrd Land, in 1961. Onward to NAS Quonset Pt. Rhode Island, VX-6 Quonset Pt. Rhode Island, VR 24, VRC 40, NAVSTA Rota, Spain, USS Eisenhower CVN-69, NAF Atsugi, Japan, NSFA DET Christchurch, New Zealand, USS Roosevelt CVN-71, COMNAVAIRLANT, COMTACWINGSLANT, and finally USN WASP LHD-1. He retired in Virginia and indulged his love of boating, golf, and travel with wife, Diane, after many years traveling away from her in service to his country.

He met his beloved wife Diane while on layover in Invercargill, New Zealand from Antarctica and shared the next 61 years of his life with her. He is survived by Diane and their two children, Derek and wife Sandy Andersen, of Nebraska, and daughter, Tanya, of Virginia. Grandson, Robert and wife Heather Andersen, and great granddaughter, Evangeline of Maryland. Grandson, Robert Krochmal and great granddaughter, Aela of North Carolina.  Elder brother, Howard Andersen of South Dennis, Massachusetts and several cousins and extended family worldwide.

Richard was a kind and generous man, proud and hardworking. Absolute truth WAS his truth and he counted truth as the most valuable asset in anyone. He will be remembered for his wit and willingness to help anyone at any time. He lived his life in service to his country, his family, the community, the church and others.

Richard was cremated and a memorial mass will be held at St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church in Bluffton, South Carolina (31 St Gregory Dr, Bluffton, SC 29909) on Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2023 at 10:30 a.m.  Military honors will be present at his service.

In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society.