July 26, 1933 – May 15, 2022
Roberta T. Anderson. Ph.D., age 88 of Turlock, CA died on May 15, 2022. Dr. Anderson was born on July 26, 1933, to Thorwald Martin and Helen Evelyn Thorson in Wittenberg, WI. She was preceded in death by her father and mother, sisters Helene M. Thorson and Elizabeth Ida Marie Beckway, her husband of 40 years, Robert J. Anderson and her niece, Pamela (Eve) Povolo. She is survived by niece and nephew Candyce Bednar of Lisle, IL, and Clark Beckway of Bolingbrook, IL.
Dr. Anderson graduated from Williams Bay High School in Williams Bay, WI. She earned her Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee in Milwaukee, WI; Master of Education and Ph.D. Degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana, IL. She continued her education over the years by attending seminars, workshops, and post-graduate classes with emphasis in management and health communication.
Roberta found pleasure in seeking out and sharing new information about health care communication. She was interested in how the mind influenced the physical well-being of each of us. Her professional research and personal interest focused on intra-personal communication and methods of health care that combine the state of mind and the body in health supporting ways. She communicated regularly with health care professionals in both traditional and alternative practice. She wrote books and instructional material that were the source of her lectures on alternative methods of health care practices. Her love of animals prompted her to write books and conduct seminars and workshops on touching techniques to care for companion animals.
Dr. Anderson retired after serving 44 years in education including 13 years as tenured full professor of Communications at CSU, Stanislaus. She taught graduate, undergraduate, community/junior college education and as an elementary grade teacher. Dr. Anderson served as Provost/V.P. for Academic Affairs at CSU, Stanislaus and as V.P. for Academic Affairs/Dean of Faculty at Morehead State University, Morehead, KY. She also served as V.P. for Graduate Affairs at Foster G. McGaw Graduate School, Evanston, IL and Dean of the School of Education at University of South Dakota, Vermilion, SD (including one year on leave as Senior Scholar in Residence with the Dept. of Education, Washington, D.C.). She authored several funded grants for improvement of instructional programs. Dr. Anderson served as confidant to many professional colleagues and friends over the years.
Roberta was a member of Epsilon, Eta and Epsilon Nu Chapters of Delta Kappa Gamma: Epsilon International for 53 some years. She served as Chapter President for two chapters, President of a Coordinating Counsel, Chairman and member of several chapter committees and Director of Delta Kappa Gamma International Area XVII for northern California. She was honored in 2003 as an Outstanding Woman of Stanislaus County. She was a member of Soroptimist and The Rotary Clubs of Turlock and Modesto, CA. She served as The Rotary Foundation District 5520 Paul Harris Society Chair from 2005 – 2010. She was a member of Tuesday Reading Club; served on the Boards of the Turlock Concert Association and the Turlock Community Theatre. Roberta was an active loyal participant in any organization she was a member.
Roberta passed away peacefully in her sleep early Sunday morning. She was surrounded by people who loved her and had been caring for her for the last few years. Her final day was filled with friends and loved ones. She had a chocolate chip cookie and a cup of tea at 9:30 and was lovingly tucked into bed at 10 o’clock. She closed her eyes at 10:30 for the last time. She was surrounded with people she loved and was never left alone.
Roberta will be cremated, and her ashes spread. Her family, who do not live in the area, is not planning a local funeral service. Roberta asked that those who wish to remember her make non-monetary contributions daily in the form of acts of kindness toward one another, friends and strangers alike.