Robert Lars Andersen (1936 - 2018)

  • "Tena, I worked with Bob for many years at First Union and..."
    - Mike Rizer
  • "To the family, I am sorry to hear the news about your loss...."
    - John
  • "Tena, sorry to hear about Bob's passing (I was out of..."
  • "Tena, was sad to see the passing of Bob. Have thought of..."
  • "Dear Beth, Will, and Family we were saddened to hear the..."
    - Donald Willis

Robert Lars Andersen died peacefully in Charlotte, N.C., on January 22, 2018. Bob, as he was known, was born June 1, 1936, in Graceville, Fla., son of Hans Olaf and Alice Bessenger Andersen.

He graduated from Allendale (S.C.) High School (1954), Duke University (B.A., 1961), and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (J.D., 1967). Bob married the former Mary Sweaney of Durham, N.C., in 1966; lived in Chapel Hill, where he practiced law and developed real estate; and worked for the N.C. Office of the Commissioner of Banks in Raleigh from 1979 to 1987. That year he moved to Charlotte to join the legal division of First Union National Bank, where he played an important role in the massive growth of interstate banking that made the city the nation's second banking capital.

His first marriage having ended in divorce, he remarried to Nena "Tena" Carpenter Knight of Charlotte in 1989. He retired from First Union's successor, Wachovia Corporation, as deputy general counsel and senior vice president in 2005, and was of counsel at the law firm of Alston & Bird from 2009 to 2012.

A member of his state high school championship football team, Bob was an avid tennis player for many years, and his service with the U.S. Army in West Germany, between his sophomore and junior years at Duke, gave him a lifelong love of travel that befitted his wide-ranging mind. He was a kind man, devoted to his children, with a keen intellect and fine appreciation of music, art, books, movies, and food. He enjoyed life, and was blessed with the admiration of his colleagues, fondness of his friends, and love of his family. Perhaps above all he had a magnificent and adroit sense of humor, which found delight in the world, had a way of putting things into their right proportion, and would not let people take themselves too seriously. Bob's cheerfulness always won through. "All we go down to the dust; yet even at the grave we make our song."

He is survived by his first and second wives; children, Elizabeth Canada of Durham, N.C., and William Lars Andersen of New York, N.Y.; brother, Don Andersen of Quincy, Fla.; stepchildren, Jack Knight of Charlotte and Katherine Palmertree of Sanger, Tex.; grandson, Matthew Canada; and four step-grandchildren, Caitlin Palmertree and Kate, Will and Ben Knight. Predeceasing him was his half-brother, John Willis of Atlanta, Ga.

The service to honor his life will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, January 27, 2018, in the Chapel of Harry & Bryant, 500 Providence Rd., Charlotte. The family will receive friends following the service.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the , Condolences may be offered at


Published in Charlotte Observer on Jan. 25, 2018
Arrangements under the direction of:
Harry & Bryant Funeral Home
500 Providence Road | Charlotte, NC 28207 | (704) 332-7133
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