Saturday, August 13, 2022

Robert Edwin Anderson, 100, unflaggingly committed to a successful partnership that spanned seven decades

Robert Edwin
Robert Edwin Anderson

Love and Accomplishment in a Tumultuous Age…

Robert Edwin and Rosamond Ruth Anderson died peacefully, days apart, in Williamsburg; Robert, age 100, on Sunday, May 17, 2020, the consequence of a fateful fall and Rosamond, age 94, on Thursday, May 21, 2020, following a lengthy struggle with Alzheimer’s dementia; both in the company of loved ones. They would have been married 74 years this coming June and had resided in Skokie, Illinois, for over 70 years.

Robert Edwin, in adolescence known as “Ed,” and later as “Bob,” was, among many things, a distinguished World War II Navy veteran, who also served during the Korean Conflict, and who then later rose through the ranks to head a leading Chicago construction company. Rosamond, most always called “Rose,” was a dedicated homemaker and mother who lovingly raised four children in their Dobson Street home. Their lives epitomized the quintessential American story; two spirited, fiercely independent, souls that joined and forged a legacy of enterprise, service, and devotion both to family and to one another.

Robert, the eldest of four boys, grew to manhood in Athens, Georgia, where his father worked as a traveling salesman. Rose, hailing from rural northern Wisconsin and the eldest daughter of seven siblings, was raised on the family farm at Belle Plaine near Shawano, Wisconsin. Their births and deaths literally “book-end” the modern American era. Born in the waning days of horse-and-buggy America, when electrification was still a novelty in much of the country, they arrived in the wake of the “Great War.” Their lives began in the raucous prosperity of the “Roaring 20s,” as America flexed its newfound might, and then witnessed the immense suffering and privation of the terrible economic calamity that was the “Great Depression.” They survived the tribulations of World War II and witnessed the “Pax Americana” that issued thereafter. From the early days of biplanes, to spacecraft landing on the moon, Robert and Rose saw together the wonder, majesty and misery that was mid-century America.

Robert, following his distinguished Naval service, during which he survived the sinking of both USS Hornet (CV-8) and USS Princeton (CVL-23), began his civilian career as a “timekeeper” for the Chicago commercial construction company Campbell-Lowrie-Lautermilch, of which he was to eventually acquire ownership. Despite the demands of running a large and successful enterprise, he carved-out time for all the important things in his life, his beloved wife, his children and his omnipresent dogs and exotic plants. Yet, given all the demands that intruded on his life, Robert never stopped giving, finding time to serve his Skokie community as a Boy Scout Troop leader for nearly 20 years.

If Robert was the engine that moved life forward, Rose was the lubricant that kept the family machine running smoothly. A “spunky” and “spirited” woman, she resolved early on to let-go the farm for the lure of life in the big city. It was while working in Chicago, that she met the love of her life. She married Robert on June 22, 1946, and never looked back. An avid card player and gardener, she skillfully balanced her duties as wife, mother, and, in the later years, grandmother; armored with a constant, firm and abiding faith in God. Rosamond was fiercely proud of the home she managed, and eternally dedicated to the burgeoning family she and Robert created; unflaggingly committed to a successful partnership that spanned seven decades.

Robert was preceded in death by his parents, Jessie Addison Anderson and Gena Mae McBrayer; and his brothers, John Harold, Jesse Addison and William Joe; Rosamond, by her parents, Edward Louis Redmann and Anna Martha Kersten; her brothers, Wallace Royce, Oliver Henry, Edward Carl and Arlin Harold Paul; and sisters, Lila June (Leis) and Norma Ann (Blank). Robert and Rose are survived by their children, Carolyn Rose (Tripp), Glenn Edward, John Howard, Donald Forrest and their spouses; and lastly, by their beloved 11 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Robert and Rosamond formed a lasting partnership that spanned the entire modern, American century. Their contributions to our country, their community and family will be their enduring legacy; two remarkable lives which certainly represent the very best of a “Great Generation” and, now resting together, represent one of its greatest love stories.

“Love came at dawn, when all the world was fair,
When crimson glories’ bloom and sun were rife;

Love came at dawn, when hopes’ wings fanned the air,
And murmured, “I am life.”

Love came at eve, and when the day was done,
When heart and brain were tired, and slumber pressed;

Love came at eve, shut out the sinking sun,
And whispered, “I am rest.”

Mark Twain
1906

Graveside services for Robert and Rosamond will be held at noon, Saturday, Woodlawn Cemetery, Shawano, Wisconsin. Military rites will be held after the ceremony. The family wishes that anyone who comes to please respect social distancing guidelines.

Share online condolences with the family at Swedberg Funeral Home.

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