Letter: Pellegrini: it was a 'privilege' to have known 'Hank' Anderson

To the Editor:

Henry “Hank” Anderson, also known as “HBA,” recently passed away at 101.

He was one of the last of the greatest generation.

He was a lieutenant commander on a ship in a carrier group in the Pacific near the end of World War II. He witnessed the effects of Kamakaze attacks.

He returned from the war and attended law school, eventually landing in New Milford.

He hired a local boy as his associate, who eventually became his partner and friend, Paul Altermatt.

Their firm, Anderson & Altermatt, had its offices on second floor of the United Bank Building on Main Street for many years.

Eventually Anderson and Altermatt merged with a Litchfield firm, Cramer, Blick Fitzgerald & Hume.

The resulting firm, Cramer & Anderson, has been a fixture in the Litchfield County legal world for the better part of 70 years.

The genesis of the merger was that Dave Cramer was the counsel to the Litchfield Savings Bank and Hank was counsel to the New Milford Savings Bank.

This was at a time when, if a town had a locally chartered bank, no outside bank could open up in town. As a result, if you got a loan or mortgage from either bank, you had no choice, you were represented by C&A.

Hank, a longtime resident of the town of Sherman, along with his good friend Ken Grant, its first selectman, and other local politicos were a power force in the community for many years. During this time, Hank was also the town attorney.

When I arrived in 1969, C&A was already the largest firm in the county.

After practicing for several years alone, I joined my friend and longtime partner Roland “Lon“ Moots as a partner in C&A.

For the next 12 years, I had the privilege pf practicing with Hank as his partner.

His areas of expertise were in estate planning and real estate, and he was always willing to share his knowledge.

Hank was also the longtime counsel to the New Milford Board of Realtors. I was lucky to become his successor.

Hank was a statewide influencer. For many years he was a prominent member of the Real Estate Committee of the Connecticut Bar Association. Also, he was an original founder and longtime board member of the Connecticut Attorneys Title Insurance Company.

In addition, he was a frequent lecturer on estate planning and real estate matters.

Hank was a wealth of knowledge. He told me once that you convey property “by deed, not map.” I never forgot it. It’s something that I have continually reminded surveyors and engineers of.

Hank was not only an attorney, but also a skier, card shark, bon vivant, world traveler and avid gardener.

He once traveled throughout Italy taking pictures of Palladian Windows — the offices of C&A in New Milford has a Palladian window facing the Green — unfortunately, upon his return, we were all forced to watch his slide show.

It was a personal privilege for me to have known, been a partner of, colleague of and friend of Hank.

His was a life well lived.

Terry Pellegrini

New Milford