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Taps: Robert Alexander Anderson, Jr.

May 4, 2021

Robert Alexander Anderson Jr., born April 22, 1921 in Chicago, Illinois., a member of the greatest generation, passed away at home in Honolulu on March 5th just shy of his 100th birthday.

Bob attended Punahou and completed his undergraduate education at the Choate School in Wallingford Connecticut. He credited his strong, lifelong Christian faith to his years at Choate. While at Cornell University, World War II broke out and Bob drove across the country to San Francisco and enlisted in the Army Air Force following a long line of family commitment to military service. As a member of 485th Fighter Squadron Bob flew 57 air missions over Germany supporting General George Patton including the Battle of Bulge.

Returning to Hawaii after the war ended Bob cofounded the Hawaii Air National Guard. He then began a varied business career culminating in the management of the Alexander Young Hotel built in 1903 by his Great Grandfather.

During a long life well lived, Bob had many passions. He found great joy and pride in coaching track and field at Punahou School for 20 years. He was an avid sportsman. As a Past President, and member since 1933, of the Outrigger Canoe Club, Bob enjoyed surfing, sailing, and competitive canoe paddling. He was also a runner, completing 3 Honolulu marathons. He was an animal lover which led him to a very successful career as a Thoroughbred race horse trainer. He took great pride in having taken a horse from the Thoroughbred breeding program at Parker Ranch on the Big Island of Hawaii to winning races at major California racetracks.

Bob was the ultimate storyteller, and blessed with a sharp mind, he captivated people with his wonderful stories right to the end.

Bob was predeceased by his parents Robert Alexander Anderson Sr. and Peggy Center Anderson, his brother Allen, sister Pam and his first wife Trixie Eklund Anderson who passed in 1952. 

He is survived by his wife of 66 years Jeanne (Frankie) Anderson, children Robert A. Anderson III, Gay Anderson Molise, Wendy Anderson Eith and grandchildren and great-grandchildren all of whom loved him and will miss him dearly.

A family memorial service was held at Oahu Cemetery. Contributions in Bob’s memory may be made to the Billy Graham Foundation and Duke Kahanamoku Foundation or charity of your choice. 


Edward “Rick” Richardson offered these comments: I remember that when we had the ceremony for the arrival of the first F-15A in ’86 or ’87. We invited 2 Robert Alex Andersons to attend. One was the Robert Alex Anderson or Andy Anderson who was a fighter pilot in World War I and the famous writer of many hapa haole kamaaina songs such as “Lovely Hula Hands” and Male Kalikimaka.  He was escorted to the ceremony by his son Robert Alex Anderson Jr., who was a former member of the 199th Fighter Squadron.

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