Rev. Joseph(Joe) Anderson was a close friend of my dad and mother. I believe Dad came to his saving faith under Joe. This story my mother told me. The Presbyterian minister was the first to welcome them to W. Middlesex when they bought their new house in 1947. An alley stood between them and the church. I'm not sure if the first one was Joe Anderson, but Dad started seeking. Mom couldn't tell me a complete conversion story. I saw a picture once in that alley of my dad before he gave his life to Christ, very hard in a leather jacket, I believe a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. The eyes gave it away. He was not the man I knew growing up. One day Joe was at the house and had run out of cigarettes. Dad reached into his shirt pocket, handing a pack to Joe, "Here, don't go to the store, I won't need these any more."
Dad couldn't remember if he had been baptized as a baby, as by then his parents were both dead. His dad killed in a car accident Sept. 1923 and his mother of cancer in 1941 or 42, before Mom and Dad got married. Mom had met her future mother-in-law, but never was a daughter-in-law in this life. So, when Diane was to be baptized, he wanted to be also, with his new life, and so they had a double baptism.
Mom lamented when Dad passed away that she didn't ask Joe to speak at the funeral.
The Andersons moved to Youngstown, the Brownlee Woods neighborhood and he led that church for quite a few years. In 2001, when in my first months at Senior Independence, I was assigned a patient, Ruth Anderson. I had a feeling, I might know her. I asked if she was Joe Anderson's wife and she was! She was exactly as my mother described her, small, petite and very sweet. She told me stories of the manse which at that time was on the east end of Main St.
I connected to the past before I was born and my mother was thrilled at the time, as well. I had another part of my dad, again.