Douglas Andrew Anderson

Jul 27, 1939 – May 5, 2017

Douglas Andrew Anderson obituary image 1



Douglas A. Anderson was born July 27, 1939 in Yakima, Washington to his parents Bernard and Vickie Anderson.  He joined brother, Kenneth, and was later joined by his sister Bernadine.  The family moved to Soap Lake, Washington when Doug was  in junior high school and he graduated from Ephrata High School.

In 1957 he started college at what was then Pacific Lutheran College in Tacoma.  In the fall of 1959 he met the love of his life, Joan Patterson.  After graduating from college, he went to Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota.  He and Joan were married in June 1963, enjoying almost 54 years of marriage.  They moved frequently the first ten years of their marriage.  Their first son, Duane, was born in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1965, and their second son, Mark was born near Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada where Doug was serving in his first parish.


In 1969, Doug felt a calling to be able to work more intensely with families, and the family drove east with the boys playing in the back seat and pulling a trailer to Boston where Doug studied at Boston University in pastoral psychotherapy and earned his Ph.D. in 1973.  While there he served as pastor in a Quaker church in Rhode Island.


The family then returned to the northwest, and Doug started working at Presbyterian Counseling Service and also taught a few classes at Pacific Lutheran University.  Eventually Doug, along with Joan, who had completed counseling training helped establish a counseling program as part of Lutheran Family and Child Services.  Later the group of counselors there started Lutheran Counseling Network.  Doug spent most of his career there except for nine-years at Presbyterian Counseling Service (PCS) where he served as executive director.  During the time he was at PCS he helped start a marriage and family training program.  He also taught at Seattle Pacific and Seattle Universities in both marriage and family therapy and pastoral counseling.


Doug enjoyed his career immensely, working almost up to the end.  He even had a supervision group come to his hospital room the first week of his hospitalization!  He loved and was loved by his many students, clients, and supervisees/mentees.  He was a prolific reader of books and enjoyed writing and sharing summaries of many of them and sharing the ideas with many people.  He belonged to American Association of Pastoral Counselors and American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.


He and Joan enjoyed traveling to many places.  Doug especially enjoyed visiting family in Norway and visiting places where both his grandfather and Joan’s grandparents had lived.


Doug was a great lover of beauty, especially of beauty in nature.  His favorite place to visit was Lake Louise in Alberta where he and Joan visited many times and enjoyed great hikes there.  His other favorite places to enjoy nature were Mt. Rainier and the Oregon coast.


He and Joan belonged to Grace Lutheran Church in Des Moines for over 40 years and had a wonderful support network of friends who continue to support Joan.  Doug told us he wasn’t afraid to die but did not want to leave Joan.  We all have confidence that he has been welcomed to his heavenly home and are glad that he has gone to his eternal home.


He was preceded in death by his parents and brother.  He is survived by his wife Joan, sons Duane of Deer Park, WA and Mark (Kristina) of Mead WA, five grandchildren: Zac (Kialey) Courtney (Justin), Kira, Maria and Grace Anderson and four great grandchildren:  Violet and Lukas Anderson, and Jade and Declan Taub.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests remembrances to Lutheran Counseling Network (2415 S. 320th St., Federal Way, WA 98003), Grace Lutheran Church, Des Moines, WA, or a charity of your choice.


John C Carr
Edmonton, AB
Jun 21, 2017

So sad to learn of Doug's death. One of the favourite books in my library carries his autograph - a gift on the occasion of a certification review. And I have used one of Doug's books in my courses for nearly two decades.

Warmest best wishes and care for the family.

Phil Abrego
Seattle, WA
Jun 12, 2017

Doug was inspirational in my life and career. He integrated faith and therapy, was a lifelong learner, and was a great encourager. I originally met Doug as a client and subsequently worked with him at the Lutheran Counseling Network. I greatly benefited from his skill, compassion, understanding, and acceptance. Psychotherapy was truly a ministry for Doug and we offer Doug tremendous thanks for his work in the field and for his personal encouragement.

George Stavros
Boston, MA
May 24, 2017

Our warmest condolences to the Anderson family, from the staff of the Danielsen Institute at Boston University.

Fred Wegener
Tacoma, WA
May 20, 2017

Love to you as you walk this path of loss and of celebration of Doug.

Annar Avlesen
Alvdal, No
May 20, 2017

We are sorry to learn of Doug`s passing. Our condolances to Joan and the family.

We have been two times to Federal Way. He took us to his favorite places: Mt Rainer, Lake Louise and Vancouver Island. It is easy to understand his love for those places and (together with Joan) he gave us memories for life.

He (they) visited us in Alvdal twice and he loved the mountains and the fjords. The picture was taken on a boat trip from Flåm to Gudvangen on Sognefjorden and Nærøyfjorden August 2009. We miss him! God bless!

Annar & Hilde

Sharon (Smith) Damkaer
Monroe, WA
May 14, 2017

I was a fellow member with Doug of the Class of 1957 at Ephrata High School. I remember Doug as a friendly and likeable person who demonstrated high intelligence and concern for others. I enjoyed reading his impressive biography. It is obvious Doug leaves a fine legacy.

Laura Wall
Bellevue, WA
May 13, 2017

I only met Doug a handful of times but he was one of the most Christ-like people I have ever encountered. I don't know how to put it any other way. He was gentle, loving, kind, encouraging, insightful, peaceful, humble, and just filled with grace. It flowed through him and into those around him. He advised me on my path, on counseling, on the church, and so many things -- just in the few hours that we shared. I am grateful to have met him and am holding his family and friends in prayer during this time of transition. I know he is even now encouraging us to share the milk of human kindness and simple acts of communion. I can see his loving smile. God bless.

Bill Carr, D. Min.
Vashon, WA
May 13, 2017

Doug was a leader and inspiration in the ministry of pastoral care and counseling. May he rest in the loving arms of our Lord.

Condolences to his wife, family, and many students and friends.

Douglas L Johnson (AKA: Big Doug)
Olympia, WA
May 12, 2017

I'm so sorry to learn of Doug's passing. Condolences to Joan and their family.

"Little Doug" and I were PLC (now PLU) roommates in our freshman (1957) and sophomore years. Hard to comprehend 60 years; while we individually both wandered far and wide, we did manage to keep in contact. Such fun adventures we had those 4 years at PLC...we were the first graduating class from PLU. Part of that group fun was visiting each of our homes...from Port Angeles, to Soap Lake, and a wild weekend to my farm in Goldstone, Montana. We both attended our 40th and 50th PLU reunions marveling that suddenly we were those "old guys" wandering through the dormitory reminiscing.

John Mitchell
Seattle, WA
May 11, 2017

Doug and I were classmates at Ephrata High School. I know that all of his classmates will miss Doug. My wife Marie Anderson, his cousin, and I will miss him. He was a wonderful person for all the time that I was privileged to know him. Good Bless him. I know he is at peace in God's hands.

John Mitchell

Sheila Spain (Goodwin)
Beaverton, OR
May 11, 2017

It was an honor to know Doug. And when you knew Doug you were felt you were known by him as well. He was my supervisor. I have learned much from him spiritually and professionally throughout the years. I value his life crossing mine.

Sister Marya Grathwohl, OSF
Billings, MT
May 10, 2017

All you who loved and prayed for Doug are in my prayer at this time, especially Joan and their family.

I am inspired by his beautiful life, his marriage and family, and his years of ministry in service of so many.

Carol Stanley
Davidson, NC
May 10, 2017

I am sorry to hear of Doug's passing. He was a top notch leader in the world of family therapy. I have worked with Doug since 1991 0r 1992 and I have learned a lot from him. Since re locating to NC I have only talked with him one time. He called me last Fall (2016) to discuss the Continuing Education I had experienced through AAMFT that previous summer. He was always thinking of the good of our profession and the human family. My prayers go to Joan and his family.

Paul A. Anderson
Bothell, WA
May 9, 2017

Like your obituary states I've appreciated knowing you for the entirety of my professional career 35+ years as a supervisee, colleague-peer and friend, besides the fact that we share the same last name. I have so appreciated, and will miss, your love of learning, your calm, wise, impish, yet humble demeanor and not to mention how you've led our profession of individual, marriage and family therapy in the Pacific Northwest and with such grace and dignity. I will miss you and always remember you. Thank You, Doug.

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