Robert "Bob" George Anderson, 80, of Kalamazoo passed away at his home June 10, 2019. He was born March 19, 1939 in Chicago, Illinois to the late George S. and Marie (Maher) Anderson.
Bob graduated from Lawrence High School in 1957. The day after, he was called up to proudly serve his country in the United States Navy, where he served 3 cruises on the USS Intrepid, an aircraft carrier. When he arrived home from service, he married the love of his life, Clara Jean "Sue" Herriman, on June 16, 1962.
Using the GI Bill, Bob went to Kalamazoo Valley and then to Nazareth College where he earned a Bachelor's in Business Administration. During those college years he was also working full time, starting a family, as well as building on to his and Sue's two-bedroom home. Bob's career always centered around the plastics industry where he worked his way up to management. In 1976 he started the vocational education plastics program at the newly created Van Buren Skills Center at the Van Buren Intermediate School District. Bob taught for several years and remained committed to the school the rest of his life. In 1978, he started his own plastic manufacturing company, North Star Molding in Oshtemo. As well as building up the company, including two expansions, Bob remained committed to education. He served on numerous vocational education advisory boards and was a board member of the Van Buren Intermediate School District on which he served over 20 years. Bob eventually sold his company began the last leg of his career at Engineered Plastic Components (EPC)/Alcoa. Retiring in 2006.
Bob enjoyed traveling, which included many trips around the world with his wife Sue. Even in his last months would tell Sue, "Let's go for a drive and go somewhere." His annual trips to the Daytona 500 with friend Ron were legendary. In the 1980's heading to Florida for Christmas was a given. And the grandkids all thought that trips to Mackinac Island with Grandma and Grandpa were the best.
Bob was a man of honor and service, devoting his life to family, state, and community. He was a member of many state and national school board organizations, vocational educational advisory boards, as well as local community organizations. These included Kalamazoo Antique Auto Restorer's Club, SW Michigan Gun Club, Society of Plastic Engineers, Oshtemo Township Board, Goodwill Industries Board, St. John Bosco Parish Council, and Rotary Club in Oshtemo. The "famous" Saturday breakfasts with the guys he knew in plastics and education ran for over 40 years. Bob knew someone everywhere he went.
He was an incredible husband, father, and grandfather. He encouraged their interest whatever the flavor, like horseback riding, flying planes, music, motorcycles, antique cars and reading. He was famous for reading aloud to grandkids. And he especially enjoyed passing along his knowledge of cars and fixing things.
He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Sue Anderson. Together they raised five children, Karen Anderson, David (Carol Sue) Anderson, Sherry (Joe) Bennett, Bobby (Shannon) Anderson, and Mitch (Terra) Anderson-Terry. Also surviving are his grandchildren, Mitch (Terra), Eric, Juliet, Cecelia, Joe, Matt, Dan, Marie, Hailey, and Cameron.
Family will receive friends Thursday, June 13 from 5-7:00 PM at Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services, 3926 S 9th St, Kalamazoo, MI 49009. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Friday, June 14 at 11:00 AM at St. John Bosco Catholic Church, 23830 Front St, Mattawan, MI 49071 with Rev. Fr. Alan Jorgensen, celebrant. Please visit Bob's personalized online guestbook at https://www.langelands.com.
contributions may be made to the West Michigan Cancer Center, 200 North Park St, Kalamazoo, MI 49007.
Donations may be made to:
West Michigan Cancer Center
200 North Park Street, Kalamazoo MI 49007