Scholarship named after ‘Hank’ Anderson
The New Milford-based law firm will award two scholarships of $500 each to graduating New Milford High School students.
The process requires students to submit a scholarship application and copy of their transcript, and write an essay on the topic: “Describe areas in your life where you demonstrated leadership attributes to overcome one or more obstacles experienced in school, the community or family life.”
“We’re gratified to honor Hank Anderson and his legacy as a leader in the legal profession in Connecticut and beyond by creating scholarships that will assist New Milford High School students in their journey toward success,” said Attorney Weinshank, senior partner of the firm’s Estate, Trust, Elder Law and Probate Administration Department.
“It’s very fitting to celebrate through these scholarships Hank Anderson’s role as a wonderful mentor,” said Attorney DiBella, a leader in Connecticut Municipal Law who has been New Milford’s town attorney for nearly 17 years.
Attorney DiBella was honored with a statewide Best Mentors award as part of the Connecticut Law Tribune’s 2018 Professional Excellence Awards.
Attorney Weinshank was joined by Attorney DiBella in speaking at a memorial service for Anderson in September 2019 at the First Congregational Church of New Milford, where both described being inspired by his professionalism, devotion to the law, polymathic range of interests, and heroism in World War II.
Hank Anderson died at age 101 on June 22, 2019, at home in Brewster, Mass., where he lived with his wife.
A graduate of Wesleyan University and the University of Connecticut School of Law, he was a decorated Navy veteran who survived kamikaze attacks on two ships during World War II.
The first was an attack by two kamikaze pilots on the USS Bunker Hill on May 11, 1945, as it supported the attack on Okinawa. Nearly 400 sailors were killed.
The second came only days later, when the USS Enterprise was attacked by a kamikaze pilot, killing 14.
Following the war, and after finishing his master’s and law degrees—graduating from Wesleyan and UConn on the same day—Anderson came to western Connecticut to live and work, joining the firm of Attorney Harry Bradbury before partnering with Attorney Francis S. Ferriss to form the firm Ferriss and Anderson.
After Attorney Ferriss died in 1957, Anderson and his friend Attorney Paul B. Altermatt formed Anderson and Altermatt.
In 1962, they joined their firm with Cramer, Blick, Fitzgerald & Hume to create Cramer & Anderson, which was originally based in New Milford and Litchfield and has grown to include six offices in western Connecticut.
Among his many state and national roles, Anderson served as president of the Litchfield County Bar Association, and was a Fellow of the Connecticut Bar Association and American Bar Association. In addition to guiding Cramer & Anderson, he helped to shape the practice of law in Connecticut and beyond.
“Anderson was the recipient of numerous distinguished legal awards,” a UConn Law story recounted. “In 1989 he was voted Citizen of the Year by the State of Connecticut Courts of Probate. In 1990, The Connecticut Bar Association awarded him the John Eldred Shields Award for his professional services to the community at large — over 900 hours of pro bono services. He was also voted Probate Attorney of the Year by the Connecticut Probate Assembly.”
In 2018, the Connecticut Law Tribune honored Anderson with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
“The passing of Hank Anderson was the end of an era, not only for Cramer & Anderson but for the Bar here in Connecticut,” Attorney Weinshank said at the time of Anderson’s death. “His personal accomplishments and prominence gave such stature to the firm and made us more than a local Litchfield County law firm.”