In loving memory of Robert LaZelle Anderson: May 29, 1932 - April 18, 2022

Priesthood office of Seventy, Community of Christ, Retired


Rev. Robert L. Anderson, known to most people as Bob, answered the Lord’s call to return to His eternal home on April 18, 2022. He was born in Chicago, Illinois, on May 29, 1932. He died peacefully in his home on April 18, 2022, surrounded by loved ones.

Bob accepted full-time ministry, serving as a seventy with the Community of Christ in 1964. His greatest joy was sharing his testimony of the love of the Lord Jesus Christ in his life. He was a dynamic preacher, a strategic planner, a gifted organizer, and an enthusiastic educator. 

Rev. Bob Anderson developed and coordinated programs and workshops in outreach, leadership development, and ministry in 58 congregations throughout the western part of the United States and Canada, including the establishment of five new congregations. In addition, he taught both graduate and undergraduate courses in effective communication, conflict resolution and problem solving. 

Prior to his full-time ministry, Bob worked in sales and managerial capacities for several food manufacturing and distributing companies (1956-1964). He proudly served his country during the Korean War from September 1950 to June 1952 as a combat infantry squad leader, U.S. Army, rank of sergeant. 

His accomplishments include a master’s degree in counseling (1976); a master’s degree in religious theory and practice (1970); a bachelor’s degree in business administration (1956); and an associate’s degree in general studies (1954). He graduated from Van Nuys High School in 1952 and he was an Eagle Scout. In 2015, Bob published My Journey: Stories from a Blessed Man, recounting a lifetime of his personal testimony, writing “.. it is important for me to convey that the blessings I have received are not because of my nature, but because of God’s nature.” 

Bob, better known as dad and grandpa in some circles, rejoiced in spending time with his family and was devoted to developing positive, affirmative, and nurturing relationships with his family and all people he met. He is survived by his four children Claudia Anne Anderson, Robert Briggs Anderson, Lawrence LaZelle Anderson and Mary Elizabeth Anderson; his four grandchildren Robert Chester Anderson, Carmen Anderson Spear, Katarina “Maxi” Maksimovic-Vukelja Anderson and Boris Vukelja Anderson; plus his four great-grandchildren.

Rev. Robert L. Anderson will be laid to rest in Santa Barbara, California, next to his beloved wife and steadfast life partner, Betty Anne Ward Anderson. A memorial service is planned for 7 p.m. on Friday, May 13 at the Southridge Community of Christ, 400 NE 179th St., Ridgefield, Washington. If you feel called, please donate to a local food bank in lieu of flowers.