Raoul Randall Andersen

January 5, 1936 to November 22, 2021



Raoul Andersen, aged 85, passed away peacefully on November 22, 2021.  Raoul was born on January 5, 1936 and was raised in Lincoln Park, Chicago, Illinois, the son of Norwegian immigrants.  A lifelong learner, he received his BA from Knox College, MA from Emory and PhD from the University of Missouri, Columbia.  He was always grateful for the support he received from these institutions which made his journey possible. 

The son of a seafarer, carpenter and roofer, Dad was raised in a small two-bedroom apartment, sleeping on a fold out bed next to the stove.  He loved to recount stories of these times.  Life was often hard and money short, especially for a boy born on January 5th; birthdays were sparse so close to Christmas.  Tales of climbing up wooden ladders on church roofs, at age 14, with shingles slung over his shoulder or driving down an alley without a license when he was rescued by his cousin Bud, a Chicago cop, were often recounted.  Dad eventually became a lifeguard on Chicago’s Oak Street beach where, at age 19, he was introduced to the love of his life, our Mom, by his friend John Panagankis.  Dad always believed in helping people and once dove down several times off a pier to rescue a man in about 20 feet of water.  For this he was recognized in the Chicago Tribune.  Around this time he was attending a Community College in Chicago and was encouraged to apply to Knox College by a professor who recognized his potential.  Thus began a journey that eventually led to his first academic position at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, and later the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks in 1964, and The University of Alberta in Edmonton where he worked, while conducting field research. 

Ever curious, he interviewed for a position in St. John’s, Newfoundland and was accepted for a two-year appointment with Memorial University.  Arriving in 1966, he immediately headed out to sea and encountered his first great storm!  Thus began a lifelong interest in the sea and Newfoundland.   As his career progressed he spent a year in Ottawa with Fisheries and Oceans, a year in Washington DC, time in Bermuda and another year in Tromsø, Norway where he rekindled his Norwegian.  He travelled frequently to conferences around the world, which continued well into his retirement from Memorial.   

Over his career (spanning roughly 50 years) he helped guide many others as he himself had been helped along on his journey.  He volunteered with the Newfoundland Writers Guild while continuing his research.  He was a modest man, had a great sense of humour and enjoyed reading and writing.  His interests were wide and he enjoyed listening and talking to everyone.  He published numerous papers and was also an author and co-author of several books, including “Voyage to the Grand Banks”.

Though Dad was an accomplished writer and professor, and friend to many, he was proudest of his role as a father and grandfather.   In this, Dad set an incomparable example of kindness, grace and acceptance of all.

He will be deeply missed by his loving wife of 61 years, Irene (Hennessy); children Raoul (Lorna), Cindy and Derek (Jennifer); grandchildren: Paul, Caroline, Ian, and Leah, Eirik, Alec, Ingrid, Elodie and Danica; as well as many friends and colleagues.  He was predeceased by his father Carl, mother Margaret and sister Joan.  Cremation has taken place.  A celebration of life will held at a later date.  Arrangements entrusted to Carnell’s Funeral Home.  



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Sometimes it takes years to evaluate the positive impact a teacher had on your life. I met Raoul in 1986 when starting a grad student Program @ MUN in Archaeology & Anthropology. He welcomed me into that academic world when others were not so welcoming. He greatly helped me succeed in the Program with his care, his humour and his wisdom.. I was lucky to know him, and am very saddened at his passing. Condolences to all his family. He was a very fine fellow.

Of course I do not have any real words to express the immeasurable loss to the Andersen family, to Newfoundland, and to the world by Raoul’s passing and you all have my truly heartfelt condolences. I just wanted to say that his breadth of knowledge and education went far beyond that which one normally sees. Derek and I were best friends growing up. Raoul always took the time to patiently answer my precocious and probably very annoying questions, and it definitely had an impact on my career and the ability to understand violence and people in this world. I’m sure there are innumerable people out there who would express similar sentiments.

Dear Irene and Family,
Raoul and I first met on June 29, 1983, when he served as external examiner at my PhD oral examination/defence at the University of Toronto. As you know, we continued to keep in touch occasionally through the years. He was an extraordinarily gentle, kind and generous human being. It was a real privilege (in fact an honour) to have known him, as a friend and also as a mentor. His passing – a true sadness for sure. Donna and I extend our heartfelt condolences to all of you.

A great man. Not to be forgotten.

I am very sorry to learn of the passing of your father, Cindy. He was a lovely fella. May he rest in peace.

My thoughts are with you all at this sad time.

What a prince of man Raoul was.! Such a warm and gentle soul and such a dedicated and generous teacher and scholar. He had a twinkle in his eye, a terrific sense of humour, and an easy, disarming smile, that rubbed off on those around him.. We feel very fortunate to have known him and send our deepest sympathies to his family and loved ones.

To Irene and family: So sorry to hear of Raoul’s passing. I was hoping you two would have many more
carefree years together. He was a wonderful person. and will be greatly missed.

Irene and kids, I am so sorry to hear of Raoul’s passing. He was one of the good ones. I smile when I think of him, he was always so calm, unlike many of us humans. There is a quote, I do not know by whom, that reads “a life that touches others, lives on forever.” Raoul was one of those rear people.

Irene and all the Andersen family. We are so sorry to hear of Raoul’s passing. We treasured your friendship and particularly remember the kindness of both Irene and Raoul when our third child was born.
Catherine and Niall

Raoul’s catholic interests and abilities as a calm and diligent listener have touched many.
He was for me one of the pillars of friendship and colleagueship unbroken by recent transatlantic distancing.. Irene: Janet and I will always hold you and Raoul among those treasured moments that sustain us.

Sabrina, Marc and I are saddened to learn of Raoul’s passing.
Such a gentle man whom Gerry admired,greatly as did the rest of our family.. He always had a smile and a wave when out and about on Tobin Crecent..

We have you, Irene , Randy, Derek, Cindy and your dear families in our thoughts.

Sabrina, Marc and I are saddened to learn of Raoul’s passing.
Such a gentle man whom Gerry admired,greatly as did the rest of our family.. He always had a smile and a wave when out and about on Tobin Crecent..

We have you, Irene , Raoul, Derek, Cindy and your dear families in our thoughts.

To the family of Professor Raoul Andersen

Very sorry to learn of Raoul’s passing. I got to know him prior to the cod moratorium in 1992 when he was doing articles on the fishery in NL. He did some interviews with me.

His book Voyage to the Grand Banks was a tremendous book and told the truth of what happened to the fishery in this province.

I appeared on the CBC program with host Rex Murphy called Cross Country Checkup. A cross Canada program in which I referred to the book Raoul as telling the story of the failure of our fish stocks and I advised all readers across Canada should buy this book.

My thought and prayers are with you as you pay tribute to a wonderful man.

Ret. Capt. Wilfred Bartlett

I am sure I was one of many, but Dr. Andersen was my senior seminar professor and honours thesis supervisor in 1997. He almost had me convinced to go to grad school, but circumstances led me away from Anthropology. He was an excellent teacher and mentor and I really valued the opportunity I was given to learn from him. My sincerest condolences to your family.

My condolences to Raoul’s family and friends. It’s hard to put into words the respect the Writers Guild.had for him. I had many a good chat with Raoul. He used to let me know that I had a wonderful sense of humour. For sure the Guild will miss such a kind and gentle person. I know I will miss him. He was an awesome person.

Deepest condolences. I knew your dad through the Newfoundland writers guild and had interesting discussions with him on several occassions. He was a man who treated everyone with equal respect. I will remember him..

To; Irene and family.
We are very sorry to hear of the passing of your beloved Raoul. Please accept our condolences. He was a gentleman- -scholar, kind and erudite. And a wonderful neighbour. He will be missed by us , his colleagues and the hundreds of thankful students that he taught and, mentored. These words of William Wordsworth summarize our feelings about Raoul: ” O Joy! that in our embers is something that doth live.” Rest in peace.

I remember Raoul at family gatherings when I was kid. Raoul seemed to be everything a good man should be – kind, patient, a listener, and someone who treated others with respect. He was curious and had a good sense of humour. I remember Dad (Barry Mackay) and Raoul trying to outdo each other with funny teaching stories. Condolences to the family., a sad loss.

i met Raoul when he was a Friend of Pippy Park. He was a very helpful member and a kind person. My sympathy to his family at this sad time.

Last year, on the passing of someone very dear to me, a friend sent me a Dr. Seuss quote and I think Raoul would appreciate the reference because the sentiment is so fitting…”Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened” He was a true champion at the beginning of my career and continued to be the gentle soul I had come to know. My sincere condolences to Irene and family. I couldn’t have asked for a better friend in the Department or in my life..

I interacted with Raoul — as a colleague at MUN — ,only a few times years ago. Yet I am still left with a vivid image of a wonderful and gentle person, the kind of person I am sad not to have known better.

Sending my condolences to everyone in Raoul’s family. Raoul was one of my anthropology professors when I was an undergraduate and then, when I returned to Memorial after finishing my own PhD, a valued retired colleague.

It always made me happy to see Raoul in the department – he was unfailingly friendly and kind, and it was so clear that his work was motivated by real curiosity. We are all lucky that he made Memorial and Newfoundland and Labrador his home.

Irene and family, We were very sad to hear of Raoul’s death. He will be missed by so many. To both of us he was a wonderful teacher and mentor, but most of all a great friend and human being. Robert always remembers his support during his MA research and thesis and beyond. Although we haven’t seen him since we left Newfoundland we remember fondly some great times we shared together. You are in our thoughts.

Please accept my condolences on the loss of Raoul and thank you for this lovely obituary. I worked with Raoul and learned from him. I have used his work to inform my own. In recent years, I have missed seeing him in the hallways; missed his laugh, gentle smile and insightful comments. I have wondered often where his journey had taken him and am glad to know his passing was peaceful.

Raul was a magnificent charming, kind and engaging colleague. He intrigued and fascinated me as the renaissance scholar that he was. Generous, considerate and genuine to the core.
With condolences and to family and friends.
Bill Monevecchi

I have many fond memories of this kind and gentle scholar, who defended working people all his life. May his memory and humanity inspire you in this difficult time.

Dear Randy,
I am truly sorry for your loss. I am also sorry not to have knowi this wonderful man. I have now read the obituary and studied the pics. It is impossible for me to read without being reminded of my dad who likewise passed away at age 85. I am glad to see that the grandchildren had exposure to him for their most impressionable years. Take care and God bless your family.

Raoul was such an outstandingly GOOD human being, aware of others, kind. In the too often scrappiness of university life he always seemed to stand above it all, relaxed, amused, outgoing,…a BIG man, unsnared by pettiness. To call his face to mind is to call to mind relaxed, amused, kindly interest in others, in Life. i am sorry to learn of his passing.

My sincere condolences to the family of Raoul Andersen. I was a colleague of Raoul at MUN and shared a common interest in Newfoundland and Labrador history and culture. I enjoyed my conversations with him and was always touched by his humour and human warmth. Rest in peace, dear friend!

To the Andersen Family
So sorry hear of Raoul’s passing. He was a wonderful man and did a great job of capturing people like Capt Thornhill and the Newfoundland Fishery in his book “Voyage to the Grand Banks”.
He will be missed by everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him.
Glenn Blackwood

I got to know Raoul through The Newfoundland Writer’s Guild..A very caring and generous person..He will be missed by all of us and especially Irene and his family..
Michael Boyle.

Randy, So sorry to read of your Dad’s passing. Keep all the good memories alive. May he RIP.

Please accept my sincere condolences for the loss of Raoul.

I met Raoul through the Writers Guild. He kindly gave me a ride to the Guild’s retreat in Eastport. Raoul seemed youthful, generous and filled with goodwill. We had a great conversation as we drove through the peaceful hills. I appreciated his kindness and enthusiastic presence. .

Randy, Lorna & family,
Thinking of you and sending condolences on the passing of your dad. Whenever I was in his line of sight he would always make an effort to speak with me. His soft spoke voice and his kindness towards others made him one of a kind.
Sandy (Sue’s sister)

Our heartfelt condolences to Irene and family. In the Anthropology Department, Raoul shared his gentleness, warmth, and humour with students, staff, and colleagues every day. He was a patient listener and a wonderful storyteller, filled with joy, curiosity, and compassion. To us, his retirement seemed to arrive too soon but he continued to come around the department for many years afterward. He will be much missed. We hope that your memories of him bring you comfort at this difficult time. Sharon Roseman & Wayne Fife

Our thoughts and prayers are with you Derek, Jennifer, Ingrid, Elodie, Danica and all the other members of your family! So very sad to hear of your Dad and Grandfather’s passing. Take comfort in your beautiful memories during this very difficult and sad time. “It is because we loved, there will be tears. Because we laughed, there will be memories. Because they lived, there is still joy. ” Our deepest condolences. Hugs to you all.

So sorry to hear of Raoul’s passing. He was a great teacher, scholar, and mentor to people like me. Always the great friendly bear who could be trusted to have a sunny attitude no matter what the weather. He will be greatly missed. Condolences to Irene, Randy, Cindy, and Derek.

A sad day. Raoul was a fine and thoughtful man. I took a course with him in the late 1980s. In part due to him, I went on to a PhD myself. I also remember well as a struggling “older” undergrad, bumping into Raoul in the Anthro dept. He saw my struggle that day and offered me coffee and a chat. I heard wonderful and funny stories of research gaffs and bumps, which cheered me immensely! Every time I saw him, Raoul was gracious, kind and up for a chat. My deepest condolences to family and friends.

Condolences to the family. A grounded man and a born storyteller.

To Irene and family – what sad news. Raoul was a smart, hard-working man, a mentor to students and colleagues alike. We were next door neighbours on Tobin Crescent, and raised our families together. We remember fondly the wonderful man he was and his booming laugh. At the university we were academic colleagues, he was hard-working and productive. His book “Voyage to the Grand Banks” is a fine piece of work, which still sits in my shelf, and I dip into it every now and then. Elizabeth and I send our sincere sympathy and condolences to you and the family.

Ross and Elizabeth Peters

I first met Dr. Andersen in 1969 as a student at Memorial University. I remember him as a good anthropologist with a great empathy for the human condition, and I remember him as a friend.

Certainly a beloved prof, he knew how to put students first, very articulate and a great communicator. Condolences to family and friends. I feel blessed to have known you. Rest in Peace.

Beloved prof and amazing person and great contributor in so many areas. Rest In Peace you wonderful person and condolences to your family and friends – you affected so many people positively through your inclusive attitude, listening to others and sharing.

Sincere condolences to Irene and the family from an old neighbour. Remembering the children growing up together and stories they told of great visits with you and Raoul. Very sorry for your loss.

His laugh, his wit, his love of life – he was a presence. Light and love to all who will miss him.

I will miss his deep laugh, sense of humor and his enticing stories. Deepest condolences to his family and friends.

Sorry to hear about Raoul. He was a valued colleague of mine back in the late 1960s when sociology and anthropology were a combined department. Being eight years older, he was a bit of a mentor to me, and a friend as well as a colleague.
Condolences to Irene and the rest of the family.

A sad sad day. I knew Raoul and Irene during his Newfoundland Writers’ Guild days when he contributed work which let us into that rich early life. He was a friend to people going through though times. .

Randy ,so sorry to read of your dads passing ,he was a wonderful man, that I had the absolute pleasure to meet when I won his book Voyage To the Grand Banks. Your dad left a lasting impression on me and your loss is great. I shall treasure that book for the rest of my life. God bless you and your family.

A wonderful obituary for a wonderful person. He packed so much into his years, and always gave more than he was given. Forever a man to leave an impression and always eager to learn more about the people that he met. We are all much better for the time we shared with him.
My very best to his family. He and Irene built an exceptional family and raised them well.
The best of him shines through each of you and you will always see that in each other.
Remember him well and often.

Dear Irene,
We are so sorry to learn this sad news.
Rasul joins me in sending you and your family our sincere condolences . Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.
Barbara Khan

I have fond memories of our family gatherings as kids. He had a great laugh! Very sorry for your loss.

Thinking of you at this difficult time.
Diane Chafe

Condolences to a wonderful family. I did not meet him too often but I remember him as a soft-spoken, kind man. NL, like the world, was lucky to have his presence.

Derek, Randy, Cindy, and Mrs. Andersen,
Our deepest sympathies are extended to all of you. He was a big man with an even bigger heart. We have so many fond memories of your Dad.

Love, Chris and Deanne Snow

Irene and family
My deepest sympathy to you all on the passing of Raoul
I enjoyed meeting Raoul and Irene at Lanes. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Irene I enjoyed talking to you
at Lanes. II hope we will keep in touch. TAKE CARE.

Derek Jennifer and Andersen familily…so very sorry for the loss of your father. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Take care.

Madonna and Randy Walsh

To Randy & Cindy: condolences to you both and to your wonderful mother. Fond memories here on Tobin Crescent. A wonderful man, he was. Bill & Buck Taylor, Tobin Crescent.

I was a colleague of Raoul’s at Memorial from 1968-71.
I remember him as a kind and gentle person with good willl for all. RIP


So sorry to hear of your father’s passing. May you find some comfort in your memories and in the knowledge that you are in the prayers of many. God bless you all at this difficult time.

Having lived in St. John’s and teaching at Memorial only a year before the Andersens arrived, Jane and I quickly made friends with Raoul and Irene. This friendship lasted over all these years, and extended down through the next two generations of Mackays and Andersens. I am very proud of being a friend of the Andersens, and I am so sorry to lose such a big part of our earlier life. His storytelling and laughter was so engaging.
Goodbye, old friend.

Randy and family
So sorry to hear of the passing of your father, may he rest in peace