Robert Francis Anderson was born on October 11th, 1922, “somewhere west of Skiatook,” Oklahoma, in what his mama always referred to as, “a shotgun house full of cracks.” The family later moved to the Gray Horse area east of Fairfax, Oklahoma.
Robert attended school at both Gray Horse and Fairfax, graduating in 1941. He valiantly served his country in the Army Air Force in World War Two.
In 1944, He was married to Miss Ida Mae Leroy, a marriage that lasted 50 years, until Ida passed away in August of 1994. During that time, they raised Ida Mae’s four nephews, Bobbie, Henry, Wallace, and Sam, as their own sons. Bobbie passed away in July of 1983; while Wallace passed away some three years later in 1986. Sam is still living in Norfolk, Nebraska, while Henry continues to reside in Fairfax, Oklahoma.
Robert’s father, Chryton Simes Anderson, passed away in 1949; his mother, Clara Dell (Bertling) Anderson, passed away in 1983. Death was certainly no stranger to Robert, as it claimed his youngest sister, Anita, in 1975; his oldest sister, Roberta, in 1983; and his brother, Buzzy in 2000.
During his lifetime he worked intensely at several different difficult and demanding occupations; from farming, to pipelining, to masonry/brick laying, to Vocational Education Teacher and Director of Vocation and Education for Native Tribes – a profession within which he both enjoyed the opportunity to directly influence, and subsequently had a profound effect upon, the many young Native American men which he so much loved and hoped to positively impact in their lives.
In his younger days, Robert loved to hunt with coon dogs, and was especially fond of fishing.
Robert married Bernice Thompson in 1998, and they remained married until her passing a short 3 years later in 2001.
Then, in 2005, Robert married Peggy Secondine and they made their home in Cleveland, Oklahoma, until she predeceased him on May 16th, 2011. This was the lady of whom he would often tell anyone who would listen thereafter, with a gleam in his eye, that she was “the love of his life.”
After several recent hospital visits, Robert Francis Anderson passed away quietly in his sleep, on Friday morning, August 3, 2012, at his home in Cleveland. He is survived by his sister, Jody Badly; much extended family; many brothers and sisters in Christ; and several faithful friends who will miss him very dearly, including his two long-time pet companions, Candy and Rambo.