Robert Edward Anderson was born on October 4, 1943 in Gilmer, Texas, the only child of Robert Edward Anderson and Marian Benson Anderson. He died at Lawrence Memorial Hospital on February 5, 2015, of pneumonia. He is survived by his former spouse, Corinne; his son Christopher and grandson Amane; and his son Matthew, son-in-law John, and granddaughter Nora.
Bob attended Williams College, graduating in 1965 with a B.A. in French language and literature. He earned a PhD in French literature from the University of Wisconsin in 1973. He travelled to France as a Fulbright Scholar, spending a year in Paris studying 17th and 18th century theater. During his time there, he immersed himself in the theatrical world of Paris. When he returned to Wisconsin, he was awarded a University Graduate Research Fellowship to complete his doctoral work.
Bob moved to Lawrence in 1970 and became an Assistant Professor in the Department of French and Italian at the University of Kansas, where he enjoyed a 28 year-long career. He also took great pleasure in working with students as a lecturer in the Department of Western Civilization. In 1976, he was promoted to the position of Associate Professor of French. His knowledge, enthusiasm, warmth, and humor were widely recognized by both his students and his peers. He was honored with the Mortar Board Excellence in Teaching Award and the Cramer Teaching Award for outstanding teaching in French. As director of the KU Study Abroad program in Paris, Bob shared his love of the city and its culture with many groups of students.
Bob loved to travel, loved cosmopolitan cities, and imparted that love to his family and friends. His heart truly belonged to Paris. Bob was a fine musician, and his home was filled with song and joyful music. Many an evening was spent with friends gathered around the piano and organ to sing hymns and musical theater songs. Bob was an experienced actor and stage director and took part in productions at the university and in the community. He was also an avid bridge player. A Master-level player at age 15, he would never miss an opportunity to play the game.
His family will remember him as a loving, sensitive, goofy man. He was well loved by family and friends and will be sorely missed.
Memorials in his name to Unbound (Christian Foundation for Children) or the Williams College Department of Romance Languages may be addressed to Warren-McElwain….
A memorial mass will be held at 10 am on Monday, February 9th at Saint Lawrence Catholic Center on the KU campus. Private inurnment will follow at Pioneer Cemetery. A celebration of life is planned for the spring and will be announced at a later date.