Robert E. “Bob” Anderson, Sr., 88, a lifelong Upton resident, passed away peacefully on Thursday, January 14, 2021, at the Beaumont Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center in Westborough following a recent period of declining health. He was the beloved husband of the late Helen (Brooks) Anderson who died in 2019.
Born in Worcester, he was a son of the late Carl A. and Marion (Nadeau) Anderson and was raised and educated in Upton. He was a graduate of Grafton High School Class of 1950 and also earned his associate degree in mechanical engineering at Worcester Junior College.
Mr. Anderson proudly served in the United States Air Force during the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War. His passion for flying began as a young boy when he would rush to climb the tallest trees in his backyard at the first sound of an approaching airplane. Bob enlisted in the US Air Force in 1952, fulfilling his four years of active duty as a jet fighter pilot and instructor. His active duty was followed by enlistment in the Air Force Reserves, in which he served for thirty years before retiring and having earned the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
Prior to retirement, he was employed as an engineer at Draper Corporation in Hopedale for 23 years and was one of the very last employees to work for the corporation during its closing. He then worked as a sales engineer and purchasing agent at B.C. Ames Co. in Waltham for eleven years.
Bob enjoyed family, extensive traveling, gardening, and blessed with an excellent memory, he enjoyed telling stories of his travels and military service.
He is survived by his children, Robert E. Anderson, Jr. and his fiancée Catherine Berthiaume, of N. Grovenorsdale, CT and Mary Anderson of Camarillo, CA; his step-children Robert May and his wife Lynne, of Oakham, Christopher May and his wife Linda, of Hudson, ME, Marsha May-Morse and her husband George, of Northbridge, and Richard May and his wife Kate, of Hardwick; his siblings, Bette Jane Bates and her husband James, of Upton and Richard Anderson and his wife Susan, of Lyme, CT; a sister-in-law, Lyla Parkinson of Chateguay, Quebec; eleven grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
Due to the current gathering restrictions, his funeral service at the Pickering & Son Upton Funeral Home, Inc. and burial with military honors at Lakeview Cemetery in Upton will be held privately with his family.
In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be sent to the Upton Fire & EMS Association Ambulance Fund, P.O. Box 1012, Upton, MA 01568.