Robert Theodore Anderson

July 23, 1928December 20, 2018

The Reverend Doctor Robert Theodore Anderson, son of Hazel and Oscar Anderson, was born on July 23, 1928, in Syracuse, New York.

Robert was the husband of Elizabeth Lathrop Anderson, the father of David and Rondi Anderson, and the brother of Paul Anderson. He was the grandfather of Shakti, Austin, and Ally Anderson.

He received his bachelor’s degree at Syracuse University and his doctoral and seminary degrees at Boston University. He served as Professor and Chair of the Religious Studies Department at Michigan State University from 1957 until 1998, where he taught courses on Biblical literature to adoring students. His research focused on Samaritan texts, and his books include Studies in Samaritan Manuscripts and Artifacts and The Samaritan Pentateuch (with Terry Giles).

Robert was also a clergyman, a storyteller, a ballroom dancer, a baseball player, a weaver, a cyclist, and a runner. He traveled around the world, with extended stops to perform research in Calcutta and to teach in Cairo.

He attended Edgewood United Church of Christ in East Lansing, where there will be a memorial service at 11:00 am on Saturday, December 29.

His loving family and friends will forever cherish his inimitable kindness, his gentle soul, his devoted care for people in need, and his impassioned stewardship for the environment.


  • Memorial Service Saturday, December 29, 2018

Robert Theodore Anderson

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Terry Giles

December 29, 2018

A mentor and friend. Bob gave to me a love for the classroom that was life changing. Missd dearly.

Mary Minor

December 23, 2018

My love and condolences to you Dear Elizabeth and family. A favorite memory was looking out kitchen window into backyard and seeing Robert sitting on the ground with his legs in a W picking raspberries. Robert teaching me a few salsa dance steps in the kitchen a few months ago and seeing Robert and Elizabeth at festivals or riding their tandem bicycle. Loved working on little projects with Robert and hearing him share memories. So grateful to have known and loved him.