Robert Daniel Anderson

Robert Daniel Anderson Colonel (Ret) - USAF "Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth… Put out my hand, and touched the face of God". (John Gillespie Maggie, Jr.) A warrior to the end, Robert "Bob" lost his hard fought seven year battle against CLL on September 23, 2012. He will be dearly missed by his family and friends. Bob was born in Flagstaff on March 3, 1948 and raised on a farm near Willcox. He was clearly an Arizona boy with family roots dating back to the 1880's. He was preceded in death by his parents, Grant and Johanna Anderson. After graduating from Willcox High School, he earned his bachelor's degree in government from the University of Arizona, met and married Ruth Zeigler and was commissioned through the Air Force ROTC program. For the next 26 years, he served in a variety of intelligence positions, including Vietnam, the Pentagon, the Brookings Institution and commanding the 67th Intelligence Wing with some 10,000 members worldwide. Bob also earned his master's degree in international relations from Creighton University and graduated from Air War College and National War College. In the 1990's, Bob experienced a "calling" to become an educator to help prepare the next generation for future leadership roles; he retired in 1997 as a colonel and followed that calling to Nogales High School. The first opportunity he had to get into the classroom was to accept the offer to head the AFJROTC program at NHS. Bob's first year at NHS convinced him that education was where he belonged and he realized that his most important job was "broadening his students' horizons", both academically and their community service efforts. He worked to help them succeed in all their classes…not just AFJROTC…and that high school graduation, while important, is just a stepping stone to a college degree or other technical training. Annual field trips to Colorado Springs, San Diego, San Antonio and Washington, DC, helped reinforce these concepts. Bob also emphasized flying… many cadets had their first flights, with several of them actually at the controls during this time. One of his most successful partnerships was with Arizona State University's Mars Student Imaging Project (MSIP), in which teams of students studied Mars, selected a site to image, them tasked the camera onboard the Odyssey spacecraft on orbit around Mars to take the image. In 2007, ASU asked Bob to form a team of seven of his NHS students to match with 15 Chinese students, in a unique multi-cultural MSIP team that included two Gates Millennium scholars, both of which were former NHS AFJROTC students. During his tenure at NHS, Bob received numerous accolades for his work with his students and programs, including NHS Teacher of the Year (2002), NUSD Jackie Scott Ambassador of Excellence Award in 2002, the Arizona Educational Foundation's Ambassador for Excellence Award in 2002-2003 and the Arizona Department of Education's Star of Arizona Award in 2003. Since his retirement from NHS, Bob has remained active working with aerospace education activities throughout southern Arizona and with the Santa Cruz Composite Squadron of Civil Air Patrol. Besides Ruth, his loving wife of 43 years, he leaves behind his much loved son, Daniel (Julie) and two precious grandchildren, Aidan and Aeryn. His loyal companion, Arlo, greatly misses Bob's daily back scratches. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider gifts to The Wounded Warrior Project or a . A gathering of family and friends will meet on October 23, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. at EAST LAWN PALMS MORTUARY and Cemetery Chapel for a Memorial Service to honor Bob's life.

Funeral Home

East Lawn Palms Mortuary
5801 East Grant Road Tucson, AZ 85712
(520) 885-6741

Published in the Arizona Daily Star on Oct. 14, 2012