Robert A. Anderson

Anderson, Robert A. Oct 7, 1937 – Oct 20, 2013 Robert (Bob) Arthur Anderson peacefully passed from this life on Sunday, the 20th of October 2013 with wife Phyllis, daughter Marcia, and son Kyle at his bedside. A Cold War warrior, a Good Samaritan, a spirit and life force; Bob fully embraced and was passionate about life, obsessed over his family, and proudly paid his taxes. Bob was dutiful, responsible, on-time/on-budget, mischievous, stubborn, humble and loyal. Bob never met a stranger, was leader, mentor and inspiration to many, was expert at the chuckle, the cajole, the nudge; was artful in the tact of bending people and events his way. Bob was a staunch Kansan who became a proud Nebraskan; born in 1937 to Russell and Sylvia Anderson, younger brother to Richard (Dick) Anderson; formative years were shaped by the Kansas City, KS school system, culminating with a 1955 Wyandotte High School diploma. Bob’s education was further enhanced by his tight circle of friends, the night shift at the Kansas City Star newspaper, rolling dice / making money, hanging with his older and worldly brother. As a boy, Bob was gripped by WWII and had a preoccupation with war games whereby he would always have the upper hand against the Axis powers; foretelling his future professional career. From 1959-1961, Bob served in the United States Army. Bob Anderson pursued and married Kansas City, KS alum, Phyllis McCampbell in 1960; two children soon followed. In 1966, Bob and Phyllis migrated to Omaha, NE, as Bob accepted a position with the Department of Defense (DoD) at Offutt Air Force Base; unbeknownst that he would enter his long tenure with the Department of Defense as a mainframe computer operator and go on to be known as “the father of nuclear war planning modernization”. Over time and given momentum, Bob and Phyllis realized that a return to Kansas City would not be on the immediate horizon; settled into the idea, the life and a Bellevue, NE household that sustained and nourished a family for forty-plus years; continuing to this day. Bob emphasized and guided his clan toward travel, adventure, food, drink, music, to never panic, to problem-solve, to conservatively bet on the ponies, have fun and to truly enjoy life. “Go Big Red” eventually stood alongside “Rock-Chalk, Jayhawk”; husker football trips with the “boys” became a rite and has been properly passed down. The Cold War era and context of the times; the fortuitous path to the DoD, allowed Bob to concentrate and focus his innate analytical, and complex thinking abilities on the definition to modernize and evolve the program for the nation’s nuclear war plan to support the U.S. national security policy. By the 1970’s, Bob had made his way from the computer operations machine room to having direct influence on the War Planning Systems Directorate where he made an everlasting mark on the evolution of the AIS (automated information system) that become known as the Strategic War Planning System (SWPS). From the 1970’s, and throughout the intervening decades, and up to close to his death, Bob poured his heart, soul, creativity, passion, and energy into directing, molding, leading, budgeting, evolving the SWPS program; he was its constant. Bob earned and received a number of citations, accolades, meritorious awards for his service; not bad for a guy who dropped out of university. The same set of characteristics were applied at home and for his family; there was never a deficient in Bob’s capacity to nourish and be the spiritual spearhead for his immediate and extended family, and friends. Bob’s influence and life imprint is profound to many; he fortified and enhanced the strand of legacy that is passed from generation to generation, that strand of legacy is strong today, evident in daughter Marcia Kay Anderson, son Kyle Andrew Anderson, daughter-in-law Jacqueline Ann Kinnick, grandson Charles Jackson Anderson, granddaughter Olivia Kay Anderson, and numerous others. Special thanks to Alan Duff who visited Bob weekly while he was ill, and to the VNA Hospice nurses and staff who made Bob comfortable and provided great support to his family. Family and friends are invited to attend a final “BOB-O-RAMA” to take place Sunday, November 3, 2013 from 1-4pm at A View in Fontenelle Hills, 1102 Country Club Court, Bellevue, NE. The family requests donations, in lieu of flowers, to VNA Hospice, 12565 West Center Road, Suite 100, Omaha, NE 68144 or Bellevue Human Services, Food Pantry, 1908 Hancock Street, Bellevue, NE 68005. His passing leaves a void that none can fill.

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