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Freethought Today · Jan/Feb 2013

Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.

In Memoriam: Michael Deanhardt, 1936–2012

Michael Christopher Deanhardt, 76, Anderson, S.C., died Dec. 19, 2012, at the Rainey Hospice House.

He was born Oct. 7, 1936 in Anderson to Melvin and Ellen (Wilson) Deanhardt and worked as a self-employed mason.

Deanhardt, a longtime FFRF member and man of good humor, was for years called “the most prayed for man in Anderson” due to his ongoing campaign to get local government boards to stop praying at their meetings. He was also a committed activist on behalf of civil rights, abortion rights, labor rights and separation of state and church.

The Anderson Independent Mail in a profile mentioned “the faded bumper sticker on his pickup read: ‘When the rapture comes, can I have your truck?’ ”

In a 2008 column in that paper, Deanhardt wrote: “We are not willing to cede the moral high ground to the fundamentalists of the religious and political right who are using the language of faith, religion and politics to advance a narrow-minded, mean-spirited agenda, which is built on what we consider to be immoral values of intolerance, exclusion, division, discrimination and repression.” 

He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Anita Story Deanhardt, five children, nine grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, two brothers and two sisters.

FFRF offers its sincerest condolences to Michael’s family.

FFRF is a non-profit, educational organization. All dues and donations are deductible for income-tax purposes.

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