Robert LeRoy Anderson born February 7, 1930, in Marshalltown, Iowa, son of Harold W. and Edith M. Hopkins Anderson went to his Heavenly home with his Savior, Jesus Christ on October 22, 2021. He was married to Barbara Osmond Beck of University Park, Maryland, and together brought three children into the world: Daughter Amy (Don), and sons Robert Jr. (Heidi) and Daniel (Sara). His grandchildren are Lindsey, Chase, Cash, Waverly, and Cassidy.
Bob spent his formative years in Marshalltown, Iowa. Growing up he was an accomplished Boy Scout, dog lover, trumpeter in his high school marching band, and enjoyed contributing to the family sign business with his father and father in-law. He went on to receive a degree in Art Advertising from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, after which he worked as a photographer at his own studio under the trade name Robairto in Minneapolis. As a child he was gifted with a vision impairment, which helped catapult him from Minneapolis to Georgetown University in Washington D.C. to earn a B.S. in Russian Language and Literature, including an extended and immersive residency in the Soviet Union to better absorb the nuances of Russian culture firsthand. Shortly after he was selectively recruited by a U.S. Gov’t Agency for a specialized program that leveraged his unique perspective and linguistic expertise in assisting his country in the cold war effort as an intelligence translator. He went on to teach English language to newly emigrated citizens at a language school in Northern Virginia. From teaching, he became an owner and operator with Business Opportunities for the Blind, of multiple snack bars in Government facilities, progressing from a small location by himself, to larger spaces with multiple employees.
Bob resided in Arlington, VA, from the mid 90’s to the mid 00’s. His residence was directly behind the Pentagon and faced the side that was damaged during the terrorist attacks of 9/11. To be closer to his children, he moved to Reston, VA, and resided there for 20 years. He was an active member and personality at Reston Presbyterian Church. He spent a lot of time with the RPC youth group, attended weekly pancake breakfasts (he loved to eat), went on mission trips to different continents, and was always a smiling face. He was such a staple and character there, some of the kids in the youth group made a Bob Anderson Facebook fan club page so the congregation could share stories and photos of their experiences with him.
Bob spent his final years in Ormond Beach, FL, to be close to Amy, who lovingly cared for him, leading up to and during his last illness. While in Florida, he was a partner at Tomoka Christian Church, actively supporting their ministry, even going on a mission trip to Scotland.
Bob was a wealth of knowledge and had a passion for living life. One of his employees, whom he held in high regard, emigrated from Cambodia and invited him to travel to Cambodia to visit her family annually, and he would stay there for two to three months at a time. He loved meeting all the local Cambodians, immersing himself in their culture, and learning as much about them and their country as possible. When he came home, all he would talk about for weeks were the details and curiosities of what he learned while traveling. For his 70th birthday, he asked his sons if he could have one of those “keg parties” he kept hearing about. He could tie a picture-perfect full Windsor knot by touch, fall asleep standing up, and wear Lederhosen on a Saturday for no reason.
He raised his children to get up and go do it, whatever it is. Using the word “can’t” in the household was more frowned upon than using foul language. He lived a full life and genuinely enjoyed having conversations with everyone he came across, from a homeless person on the street to a senator and whomever he had conversations with always remarked about how much they enjoyed meeting, talking, and exchanging a discussion with him. He will be missed.
A celebration of his life will take place in Ormond Beach, FL at Tomoka Christian Church on Wednesday November 3rd at 1 pm. He will have a natural interment at Prairie Creek Conservation Cemetery in Gainesville, FL on Thursday, November 4th at 1 pm. All are welcome to join.