Norman R. Andersen, Navy veteran

September 24, 2006

Norman Rensfjeld Andersen, an auto dealer, Navy veteran and Annapolis resident for nearly 50 years, died of pancreatic cancer Monday at his home. He was 79.

He was born in Baltimore, grew up in Northeast Baltimore and attended Polytechnic Institute.

He joined the Navy at the end of World War II and served for two years, said daughter Deborah Andersen Houghton of Annapolis. He remained in the reserves and was called back to active duty during the Korean War, assigned as a flight engineer on a seaplane based at the Naval Air Station in Norfolk, Va.

Mr. Andersen spent the bulk of his career in the automotive business, working as a manager at Buick dealerships in Baltimore, Annapolis, Prince Frederick and Philadelphia.

He and a partner bought and ran Phipps and Andersen Chevrolet-Buick in Prince Frederick from 1981 until 1991, when he retired.

He worked for the U.S. Census Bureau in 1990, traveling the Eastern Shore to have people fill out the census surveys.

His friendly disposition made him a perfect candidate for the work, said another daughter, Kathy Andersen-Smith of Annapolis.

"They loved him at the census," she said. "He really enjoyed people. He was very social."

Mr. Andersen was a member of the Annapolis Navy League and Annapolis Lions Club, through which he helped raise money for several helipads.

He was also a member of the Mariner/Marlin Association, which promotes awareness of Navy seaplanes.

A funeral service was held Thursday at Calvary United Methodist Church in Annapolis, where he was a member.

In addition to his daughters, survivors include his wife of 57 years, Dolores Marie Baumgardner Andersen of Annapolis; another daughter, Linda Susan Andersen of Cape Canaveral, Fla.; two sisters, Helen Elaine Rine of Greenbackville, Va., and Nancy Othelie Bettien of Ocean Pines; and one grandson.

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