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Robert A. Anderson

Bob AndersonDied: February 11, 2021

Robert A. (Flash) Anderson was born November 7, 1944 in Morristown, NJ. His family moved often and he grew up primarily in Connecticut and Florida. He came to Yale from Pompano Beach High School. He lived in Pierson College and was a particularly active member of Fence Club. He developed a wide circle of friends who remained close friends for life. He graduated with a BS in Industrial Administration.

He volunteered for the U.S. Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. As an infantry lieutenant he was in combat and was struck in the head by a piece of mortar shrapnel and sustained a serious head injury in the Battle of Hue in the Tet Offensive of 1968. He received a Purple Heart and was classified as “permanently disabled.” After his recuperation he moved to New York City where he pursued writing. On December 12, 1977 he married Rose Marie Wright who was a founding dancer with the Twyla Tharp Dance Company.

He worked tirelessly to develop his skill as a writer and was quite accomplished. In 1982 he published Cooks & Bakers: A Novel of the Vietnam War. In 1986 he published another novel: Service for the Dead. In 2006 he published the non-fiction work, Paddy: The Colorful Story of Colonel Harry A.  “Paddy” Flint. In addition, he published short stories, plays and poems.

In 2009 he and Rose moved to West Wyoming, PA to care for Rose’s mother. They became active in the local artistic community including the Wyoming Valley Art League. Among other projects, he staged his work, The Cat, the Sun and the Mirror, a film-noirish jazz musical based on the ancient Japanese myth of the Sun Goddess, Amaterasu. In 2012 he and Rose returned to Vietnam and he wrote a poem for “Ha Long Bay, Place of Emotions,” published in Volume I of our 50th Reunion Class Book.

As his friend Tom Goldstein, Class of ’67 wrote in an essay found on our Yale Class website: “Wherever they were, Robert and Rose manifested an unusual talent for friendship, and they brought dozens of remarkable people into their orbit. Robert, especially, loved meeting new people, and he would often recruit them in his productions as on-stage performers and off-stage staff. One aspect of his extraordinary generosity: he would find out what people liked, whether food, or plants or books, or something else, and would give them as gifts throughout the year.”

He was diagnosed with a severe case of Lyme Disease in August 2020 and died from cardio-pulmonary arrest on February 11, 2021.

Benjamin Liptzin