Obituary: Robert Lindsay Anderson
July 25, 1943 – October 10, 2013
Robert Lindsay Anderson, a noted western conservationist, died in Serengeti National Park October 10, 2013 due to injuries sustained in a vehicle accident. He was celebrating his 70th birthday, and had just successfully summited Mt. Kilimanjaro, watching the sun rise on Africa from 19,341 feet, arm in arm with his wife.
Born to Dora (Rued) Anderson and Walter Anderson July 25, 1943, Bob was raised in Livingston, MT. Growing up in the Rocky Mountains began Bob’s obsession for the wonder of nature, sleeping on the ground and summiting peaks. That passion became a core interest of his life and led to major achievements in congressional wilderness designation and lifelong advocacy for wild places such as those loved by John Muir.
He served as chair of the Montana Wilderness Association, and was the first director of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. A published author, he wrote a book entitled, “Beartooth Country: A Human and Natural History of Montana’s Beartooth Mountains”.
Anderson attended university and graduate school in Montana and Michigan, earning bachelors and master’s degrees in civil engineering. He was elected to three terms and served as chairman of the Montana Public Service Commission (1990-2001), and is a nationally recognized leader in the quest for increased use of renewable energy in the US electricity supply system.
Bob met his life partner, Cynthia Grace (Praul) of South Lake Tahoe in 1999 and he has lived here since 2002. They achieved their shared goal of backpacking the 220 mile John Muir Trail in 2012. Bob’s commitment to public service has continued in Tahoe, where he serves as Chairman of the bi-state Tahoe Area Sierra Club, and co-founded the Washoe Meadows Community. He is also a member of the Board of Tahoe Institute for Natural Sciences and the Pacific Rivers Council.
There was always a guitar and a Frisbee within Bob’s reach. He was an accomplished naturalist and teacher, gently sharing his knowledge of birds and native plants with his grandchildren, teaching them to respect the natural world and leave no trace.
Survivors include daughter, Crystal Anderson (Matilda & Tallulah) of Hamilton, MT. Sons, Scott Anderson (Lea, Reilly & Elijah) of Chicago, Justin Beveridge of Las Vegas, Chad Praul (Colleen, Lincoln & Hudson) of Lake Tahoe.
There will be a ceremony Friday October 25th and a Chautauqua celebrating Bob’s life in Montana in spring, 2014. If wished, memorial donations may be made in Bob’s memory to: Tahoe Area Sierra Club, Washoe Meadows Community or the Tahoe Institute for Natural Sciences.