Former VBISD Board member was a “champion for kids”

Paul Garrod •

   LAWRENCE - Robert  “Bob” G. Anderson, who passed away  Monday, June 10, at his Kalamazoo residence, and who  recently stepped down from his position as a member of the Van Buren Intermediate School District Board of Education, is being remembered as a “true champion for kids,” by VBISD Superintendent Jeff Mills.
   Mills said of Mr Anderson’s passing, “Bob Anderson was on the Van Buren Intermediate School Board of Education for 26 years. He was a wonderful member who went above and beyond creating programs for students.  As you walk the halls of the VBISD facilities, he put in countless hours making sure the classrooms had the resources to provide learning opportunities for students.”
   Mr. Anderson was a 1957 graduate of Lawrence High School. According to his obituary, the day after graduation, he was called up to proudly serve his country in the United States Navy, where he served three cruises on the USS Intrepid, an aircraft carrier.
   Arriving home from  the service, he married the love of his life, Clara Jean “Sue” Herriman, on June 16, 1962.
   According to his obituary, Mr. Anderson, using the GI Bill,   went to Kalamazoo Valley Community College, then to Nazareth College, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
   With a career that centered around the plastics industry,  Mr. Anderson, started the vocational education plastics program at the newly-created Van Buren Skills Center,  Lawrence, where he also taught for several years.
   The Skills Center, now the Van Buren Technology Center and the Van Buren Intermediate School District remained  a vital part of his entire life.
   In 1978, he started his own plastics company, North Star  Molding, Oshtemo. He eventually sold the company to Engineered Plastics Components (EPC) /Alcoa, Mattawan, and retired in 2006.
   Mills said, “Mr. Anderson holds a special place in my heart for all he did in making VBISD the organization it is today and he will always be remembered as a true champion for kids. On behalf of the entire VBISD organization, we thank the Anderson family for allowing Bob to part of our family.  He will always be in our hearts and memories.”
   Memorials may be made to the West Michigan  Cancer Center, 200 North Park St., Kalamazoo, MI 49007.

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