Brian Anderson, who for 33 years edited Mpls.St.Paul magazine, died of leukemia at his downtown Minneapolis home Tuesday afternoon, according to MSP Communications President Gary Johnson.
“I saw him last night, and I’m so thankful we were able to exchange the affections that friends do,” Johnson says. “He seemed so tired, but we talked for 40 minutes. We were telling stories about Jim Roberts, who hired both of us way back in the day at the old MPLS Magazine.”
Johnson is thankful Anderson, who entered home hospice care in January, was able to end his days at his riverfront condo. “The thing about Brian is, he so loved where he lived; he was one of first ones who moved in down there. He so loved being a part of everything, the community, making it better,” Johnson says. “That was our mission — trying to make things better here — and that’s what he did. He was always on that side of fence, the side of light. Gosh, I have so much respect for guy who never got cynical, never got jaded. And the point is, he did it for 33 years. I don’t know what’s better than that, frankly.”
In a typically wry — and urban-focused — blog entry last week, Anderson wrote, “I bet I’m one of the few people last month to buy lakefront property. Of course, in my case it’s only the length and width of a casket, but it does overlook a lake in Lakewood Cemetery. Years ago my parents had bought some family plots in a suburban cemetery, but I’m an urban guy, and I’m insisting on a burial in the middle of ‘my’ Minneapolis, with Lake Calhoun just within sight. I know it hasn’t been easy for Kari to be part of this decisionmaking, but I love having her with me. She understands, above all others, why I can get excited over these difficult decisions.”
Anderson’s last public appearance was Feb. 26, when the mayors of Minneapolis and St. Paul declared it “Brian Anderson Day” and he was honored at the Crowne Plaza by the City and Regional Magazine Association. Johnson says Anderson was 65; you can find his final blog entries, and a guestbook, at his CaringBridge site.