Dr. Reba Law Anderson passed away Wednesday, Nov., 13, 2013, in St. Augustine, Fla., at the Bailey Center for Caring. She was born June 11, 1938, in Lynchburg, Va., the daughter of the late Juanita M. and Robert O. "Spec" Anderson of Charlottesville, Va.
Reba is survived by her siblings, Jean Lee Anderson Chapman and her husband, the Honorable C. Rodney Chapman of Richmond, Va., Helen Anderson Hatzenbeler of Charlottesville and Robert O. "Bobby" Anderson, Jr. and his wife Karen of Troy, Va.; three nieces, Susan Chapman Reilly of Richmond, Va., Nancy Chapman Tolley of Lanexa, Va. and Mary Chapman Hendrix of Jacksonville, Fla.; three nephews, W. Edward Hatzenbeler of Enumclaw, Wash., David L. Hatzenbeler of Edmonds, Wash. and Robert Lee Anderson of Orange, Va.; and 11 great nieces and nephews. She is also survived by her aunt, Lucinda Mitchell Griffin of Culpeper, Va., and her two Maltese rescue dogs, Melli and Casey.
Reba graduated from Lane High School, Class of 1957, and continued her education at Richmond Professional Institute (now Virginia Commonwealth University), graduating in 1959. She completed her master's in 1970 and Ph.D. in anthropology at the University of Florida
in 1984. Over her career, Reba served two years with the Special Forces in Verdun, France, and taught occupational therapy at the University of Miami in Miami, Fla., Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo., Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., Florida International University in Miami, Fla., and culminated her career at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where she implemented their master's and doctorate programs in occupational therapy.
Reba and her colleague, Mrs. Suze Dudley, were founders and co-chairs of the Great Southern Occupational Therapy Conference from 1983–2000. Reba was inducted as a Fellow of AOTA (FAOTA) in 1985. She received the AOTA Award of Merit in 2001 in Philadelphia, Pa. At Nova Southeastern University's Department of Occupational Therapy, she served as director of doctoral programs and was appointed department chair in 1999 until her retirement as professor emeritus in 2001. In addition to her leadership roles, she was highly respected for her role as mentor to faculty, students, and occupational therapy practitioners. Reba had a long and successful career with many awards and was sought after as a conference "keynote" speaker in her profession globally.
Reba was an eight-year double lung transplant survivor. She worked with doctors from the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., schooling other potential transplant patients on the benefits of improving life through lung transplants and organ donation. She was a member of the St. Augustine Historical Guild, participating in their reenactment days. She was an accomplished pianist and dulcimer musician, having made her own dulcimer at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, N.C. She traveled with her sister, Jean Lee, to many campouts held in conjunction with the Sportsmobile RV Social Club.
A memorial service will be held at a later date in Charlottesville, Va.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Community Hospice, Bailey Family Center for Caring, 200 Health Park Boulevard, St. Augustine, FL 32086; or the Charlottesville Albemarle SPCA, 3355 Berkmar Drive, Charlottesville, VA 22903.