Funeral of Father Vladimir Anderson

Father Vladimir Anderson of Willits, CA fell asleep in the Lord on December 16, 2010 after complications following surgery in October. Fr. Vladimir had served for many years in St. John the Almsgiver Orthodox Church, a small mission church in Willits. He will be sorely missed by his family and loved ones as well as the Orthodox Christian community at large.

Fr. Vladimir was ordained a priest under the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) by Archbishop Anthony at Fr. Seraphim Rose's Funeral Liturgy in 1982. Fr. Vladimir served faithfully for many years at the mission. In addition to ministering to anyone in need, Fr. Vladimir was the man behind Eastern Orthodox Books in Willits. Over the years, the small press produced a steady stream of reprints of Orthodox Christian books to the ever-growing Orthodox community in California and worldwide.

During his final months at a convalescent hospital in Santa Rosa, CA, Fr Vladimir remained quite lucid and clear-headed until shortly before his repose. He requested Confession and Communion frequently, receiving the Sacraments from clergy of Protection of the Holy Virgin Mary Parish - St Seraphim of Sarov Orthodox Church (OCA) in Santa Rosa.

On the evening of December 20, the Funeral Vigil was held at the St Seraphim Church. Among the clergy and monastics from throughout Northern California serving were  Archpriest Michael Margitich, Archpriest Lawrence Margitich, Priest John Schettig and Priest Andrew Cuneo (Protection of the Holy Virgin Mary Parish), Archpriest Alexander Krassovsky (Sts. Peter and Paul Parish, Santa Rosa), Archpriest Joakim Provatakis (St Simeon Russian Orthodox Church, Calistoga), Archpriest Michael Oyer, Archpriest David Skop and Archpriest Philip Tolbert (Holy Dormition Parish, Santa Rosa), and Hieromonk Damascene (St. Herman of Alaska Monastery, Platina), together with Archdeacon Kirill Sokolov and Deacon Brendan Doss (Holy Trinity Cathedral, San Francisco), Deacon Nicholas Carr (Protection of the Holy Virgin Mary Parish), Deacon James Hughes (Holy Dormition Parish, Santa Rosa).

The Sisters of both area monasteries (Holy Assumption Monastery, Calistoga and Kazan Skete, Santa Rosa) were present as well.

At the Memorial Divine Liturgy on Tuesday morning, also serving were Archpriest Peter Perekrestov (Holy Virgin Cathedral – Joy of All Who Sorrow, San Francisco) and Archpriest Stephan Pavlenko (Church of All Russian Saints, Burlingame).

Father Damascene preached after the Gospel, and Father Alexander preached at the end of the Service. The funeral liturgy was attended by many people whose lives had been touched by Fr Vladimir – directly or indirectly.

Eulogies at the memorial luncheon afterwards were frank and heartfelt.

Throughout the services and the memorial luncheon, many noticed the spiritual intensity and joyous reverence of the occasion. Sharing the same Holy Table were clergy and laity of various ecclesial jurisdictions – once estranged but now united in their common Orthodox Faith and their love for their departed brother and father in the faith.

Fr. Vladimir is survived by his wife of 53 years, Matushka Sylvia Anderson; six children: Elizabeth Anderson, Thomas Anderson, Cecilia Soloviev, Maurin Haefner, Serge Anderson and Alexander Anderson; and twelve grandchildren. His daughter Margaret Anderson and son Basil (Robert) Anderson both preceded Fr. Vladimir in death.

Memory Eternal, Fr. Vladimir!