View Full Version : RIP Art Anderson, age 76, TechnoKat mentor and Boy Scout Leader
08-22-2011, 04:24 PM
With a heavy heart, I sadly pass along tragic news about Art Anderson. Art passed away this past Saturday afternoon. Here is an article explaining what happened. (http://kokomotribune.com/local/x833713568/Kokomo-man-fatally-stabbed-on-Nickel-Plate)
Art was a husband, father, grandfather, and friend to many. Art was an electrical mentor on the TechnoKats, FRC team 45 since 2003. He was a retired electrical engineer and manager at Delphi. He liked to show the students how to wire up the robot, spec out the right gauge wiring, solder connectors and crimp ring terminals. Well, except for that one night that Kyle Love, Michael Hill, Art, Nick Boyce, and I ripped out all of the wiring of the 2006 robot and then re-wired it 2 days before we shipped it. But, that's a story for another day.
Art got involved with TechnoKats after his grandson, Corey and his son, Alan got involved as team members. Alan's wife, Carol, and Art's wife, Bette, also got involved in supporting the team. For the Andersons, the TechnoKats is a family effort. Art and Bette are grandparent-figures to all of the students on the team. Also, at any events the TechnoKats would attend, you would find Art as the "spare parts guy" and Bette at the registration desk. Alan would be running from team to team, helping with their software, while Carol would usually be involved as a querer. Art ran the spare parts checkout at the Championships for the past 4-5 years. He would do what he could to make sure the teams got the parts they needed.
Also, you might have met Art at IRI or the CAGE Match. He and Mike Carmain are the guys who always wired up the pits, and ran the electrical power to the playing field. Art was 76 years old, but he still got in a lift to drape the wires over the rafters so that each team could get 120 volts. Oh, that reminds me: if I ever changed the pit layout at IRI, Art would give me a 2-page, detailed letter about how I messed with his pit layout. His detailed effort helped make that event great. Lord knows that he had more attention to those details than I did. If the pit layout at IRI is messed up next year, we'll know why.
Art and Bette also were very good friends to many. They opened up their home during their holiday times of Hanukkah, even letting us Christians partake in their celebrations. My wife and I were able to teach our kids about other religious customs this way, and I am thankful to the Andersons.
Oh, I forgot to mention that Art was a local Boy Scout leader for 51 years.
Maybe you knew Art. Maybe you got a spare part from him at a Regional or the Championships. Maybe he asked you to step out of the way when he was running cable in the IRI pits. Maybe he loaned you some wire for your robot. Maybe you already miss Art like I do. Please tell us all about it here in this thread.
The gentleman on the far left in this picture is Art (http://files.andymark.com/TKats-in-Niagra3.JPG).
08-22-2011, 04:34 PM
This is a real tragedy. I would have a difficult time thinking of a more kind and friendly person than Art. My thoughts are with his family.
08-22-2011, 04:42 PM
It was a huge punch in the gut when I read Alan's Facebook post this morning and then went straight the the newspaper website to read the news, unbelievable and shocking.
I remember the last conversation I had with Art at IRI this year and as usual he had a smile on his face. FIRST in Indiana just won't be the same without that smile at every event.
When setup time comes for CAGE match this October I don't think I will be able to do it without tears. But I'll remember that smile and it will be alright.
My thoughts and condolences are with the Anderson family, they are in my prayers.
Chris is me
08-22-2011, 05:08 PM
This is absolutely awful news. My condolences to Art's family including the TechnoKats.
At first I read the title and I was filled with sympathy for everyone close to Mr. Anderson, family friends and team. But then I read the news story and I'm even more sad. Why does this kind of stuff have to happen in the world? Why is it always the best people who have the worst things happen to them? I never had the pleasure to meet Mr. Anderson, and I can infer from what I've read here and other things I've heard about him that it would have indeed been a pleasure.
My deepest condolences to his family and everyone else who knew and loved him, I will keep you in my prayers and thoughts.
08-22-2011, 05:25 PM
This is my first time posting on this forum in 2.5 years. I've decided to "come out of retirement" so to say so I could pay a bit of respect to Art with others who knew him well. This is a terrible tragedy, and I wish the best for the Anderson family. Art was a great mentor, engineer and a friend. He will be missed.
08-22-2011, 05:28 PM
I believe I first met the Andersons (Art, Bette, Carol and Alan) when a group of folks decided to pull together a Seder at the World Championship in 2005 because the dates coincided with the Jewish holiday of Passover. This idea was a little bit crazy on a lot of fronts, but it happened (and set the stage for another Seder a couple of years later) because of a group of volunteers who, in very FIRST-like fashion, made it happen. The Andersons were very involved with making this Seder a reality.
In subsequent years, I saw Art and Bette at the DC regional and the CMP. As Andy has said, Art was the master of spare parts.
My heart aches for this family.
08-22-2011, 05:30 PM
Art has been a great mentor on our team and it is very saddening to see him go. I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say he will be greatly missed. I know he was a great mentor to the students of our team as well as to his boy scout troop. Every year Art would bring up something important that we missed or something that wouldn't work, effectively saving us a lot of work.
It's events like this that make me cherish the time I have with those in my life.
08-22-2011, 05:57 PM
Andy - you got the printed version two-page letter about the pit layout. Whenever I asked about tweaking it for our much smaller event, I had the honor of receiving the letter orally. While about 80% of it flew over my head, I earnestly listened and tried to keep up because it was obvious I was the the lone member of the audience of a master describing his craft.
I believe the true measure of a man is his family. If you went to an event in which 45 participated, and you didn't meet Art, then you undoubtedly met Alan, Carol, or Bette. I always saw them in the pits; I just hardly ever saw them in 45's pit. Only to run there to pick something up to bring to another team. It was apparent that Art instilled in his family the great honor and privilege that comes from helping others. They always walked into a pit with a look of deep concern, and they left with a grin. Heaven knows they've saved our bacon several times through the years.
The first year of CAGE Match, I didn't make it clear what our pit needs were. Not having brought everything we needed, Art made the drive from Kokomo to Indy to Kokomo to Indy on the Friday before, stayed until about 1am getting things ready, drove back to Kokomo, and was back at Indy by 7 the next morning. All without a cross word or disgusted look. His devotion was unparalleled and unquestioned.
As we were preparing supper this evening, my wife asked me if there was anything on CD about Art - I replied there is. Since her hands were messy, she asked if I could read it to her.
I said no, I can't.
Scott - you're right. Friday before CAGE Match will be surreal, and I'm sure we'll all need a hug or three.
08-22-2011, 06:14 PM
I just don't know what to say. I have chills in my body after reading this. I just don't understand why things like this happen to good people.
I am so sad to hear this. The Anderson family does nothing but good for their community and the youth they are surrounded by.
My prayers to the Anderson family. I am sorry this has happened.
08-22-2011, 06:34 PM
Despite the fact that I have never met him, I am deeply sorry for the loss of Art.
My (and 1126's) condolences go out to his family and to team 45.
08-22-2011, 06:48 PM
I just don't know what to say. What a sad circumstances of events that 45 must suffer.
Mr. Art, I have never met you, but I am touched of your dedication to 45 and your legacy that the Anderson will inherit. I can promise you that Alan and the rest of the family will uphold that legacy with all their hearts.
So I just went on to MSN to check my email, and I saw this story.
Seeing this story make the national news hit me even harder how much of a screwed up world we live in.
Once again, my prayers go out to all who loved Mr. Anderson.
08-22-2011, 06:56 PM
I didn't know Art, however the news of this is sending chills through me.
As a youth in both of the programs he was involved in, it just is very disturbing that we lost a great mentor and leader in that way.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the Anderson Family, the TechnoKats, the troop Art was involved in, and anyone else who loved him dearly.
08-22-2011, 06:57 PM
Terrible awful news. My heartfelt prayers go out to the friends, family, and community of Art.
08-22-2011, 07:10 PM
My condolences to the Anderson family and all the TechnoKats. Words cannot express the shock from this senseless act.
08-22-2011, 07:13 PM
The first time I visited IRI, I just happened to catch Art talking with Bette at the volunteer check-in table. There was a lull in check-ins and we had a wonderful conversation about their involvement with 45. During that competition, I made a point of talking with each of them several times to learn from them. During the year before that IRI, I had become increasingly aware of how much I wanted to grow as a mentor and I was also aware that the central Texas area needed to grow a few teams before we would be ready to take on an off-season and develop in areas of training, workshops, and volunteering.
My initial reasons for traveling to IRI were to see the off-season and talk with mentors of other teams, as well as observe other teams in action, on and off the field. The Andersons were a goldmine of insight, experiences, wisdom, and humor. They understood the value of going the distance but not getting our knickers in a twist when things don't happen quickly or when we think they should. They may not even remember our conversations over the years that I traveled to IRI but - I do. It's very gratifying to be feeling totally lost without a compass and have such valuable mentors and teams in place to help establish a course of action or wisdom. The value is immeasurable.
The gifts that were given to me during my IRI experiences will always be precious and held close to my heart. No better example can be given than the way in which Mr. and Mrs. Anderson reached out to help support a mentor from Texas and how their grasp was true and steady. Not only have they mentored young people but they have also mentored seasoned mentors in need of inspiration and understanding.
The thoughts and prayers that I send to the family and all of those touched by this loss - are filled with sadness. They are also filled with respect for a life well lived.
08-22-2011, 07:28 PM
This is a gut-wrenchingly difficult series of events to digest... In fact it seems rather surreal. Does stuff like this REALLY happen? Do murderers like this ACTUALLY exist? And here we are faced with the stark reality: the answer to both questions is yes. Indeed they exist, and they are brazen enough to take away a cherished, respected and important member of our own FIRST family.
Forgive me for my moment of belligerence, but that makes me really really angry.
My thoughts and prayers are with the Anderson family during this difficult and tragic time of loss.
08-22-2011, 07:35 PM
This is very sad news. My prayers go out to the Anderson family, his scout troop, and of course, The Technokats.
I may not have known him personally but from what I know he was a very good man who will be missed by everybody.
08-22-2011, 08:12 PM
This is very hard for me, Art and his family are good friends. There was never a time when anyone of them were asked for assistance did they refuse. When my wife Dottie called me this morning, I was stunned and immediately thought back to IRI and to this past Championship. Somehow Art and Bette and I would be able to get in at least one volunteer meal together and this year was no exception. Art had passion. The kind of passion one has for instructing youth, doing a more than a good job, keeping a happy demeanor and knowing your craft. To say that Art was merely the Spare Parts guru is an understatement. He knew what parts were in inventory and where they were located. He kept an eye on spare batteries and let me know if teams were experiencing odd failures. I knew that if Art approached me, there was a serious problem that needed to be taken care of. Otherwise, he would have taken care of it himself. Art was one of those people that made my job easier and who helped me be more calm during events. Somehow having Art around made things a little better.
Art was a kind, gentle and intelligent human being who loved what he was doing. He always had a smile for me and was genuinely happy to see me after a long absence. I can tell from my treatment he must have been a great Scoutmaster. For someone to carry on working with youth for 50 years is a miracle and certainly someone who epitomizes Boy Scouting and FIRST.
Bette, Alan and Carol, please know that our prayers are with you at this time. If there is anything we can help with, or that you need, please let us know. Art, you were a good friend, Dottie and I will miss you.
Peace be upon you...
08-22-2011, 08:31 PM
This has been a horribly tragic weekend. When I saw the news article this morning, I was going to send an e-mail to Andy to ask if it was I thought it was. Unfortunately, it is. I can't believe how hard this must be on the family. I'm really dumbfounded. There is nothing that can help the family in these situations except time, which unfortunately cannot come fast enough. I'm so sorry.
08-22-2011, 08:52 PM
This is just awful. I'm speechless...
Please convey my deepest condolences to Art's family and friends. I can't even imagine what they're going through.
08-22-2011, 09:38 PM
I have never had the privilege of meeting Art however I do remember that great smile he had when I saw him at IRI. I am very sorry for the loss of Art and my condolences go out to his family and the TechnoKats as well as anyone else who knew him as a friend, mentor, or leader. It's horrible that something so evil would happen to someone so giving of his time and effort.
He and his family are in team 910's thoughts and prayers.
08-22-2011, 09:42 PM
I met Art at IRI and he was so friendly and nice, and his smile alone invited you in and made you feel at home. My thoughts are with his family and friends, and everyone who feels his loss tonight.
08-22-2011, 10:08 PM
My sympathies to the TechnoKat's and Art's family. No matter the manner of passing he will be missed in the FIRST family and by his own.
08-22-2011, 10:31 PM
This is just horrible.
I really don't know what to say. I can't wrap my head around terrible things happening to great people.
As an Eagle Scout and Team Captain on 422, this makes me appreciate all of the people who come out and help me... help us. Mentors and Scout leaders try my patience all the time, but I know they're there just trying to help me be the next leader of kids. It helps me realize that I need to appreciate them all more and more than i do.
I guess with one less Art Anderson in the world, we're all left with trying to reach out to as many people as we did. We can only try, in futility, to hopefully fill the void we have been left with by this act.
08-22-2011, 10:32 PM
I had the privilege of meeting the Anderson's this year at IRI. My sympathies go out the the Anderson family and the technokats
08-22-2011, 10:43 PM
Last night I heard a news story about a 76 year old scout leader being stabbed in a seemingly random senseless act. I thought to myself why does this type of absurd act take someone from us who has such a positive impact on youth, and our society in general. At that time I did not see a photo of Art or hear his name mentioned.
This evening a news teaser showed Art's picture and I was totally stunned. I did not know Art well, but I had the pleasure of sharing a table with Art and Bette at the IRI Mentor's dinner this year. His wisdom and guidance will be sadly missed at future FIRST events.
My heartfelt condolences go out to his family and friends.
08-22-2011, 11:17 PM
Thank you all for your thoughts and wishes. We have the support of good friends and close family, along with helpful professionals to keep us from getting lost in the chaos surrounding us. Your small stories are really appreciated.
08-22-2011, 11:38 PM
Really sorry for the terrible loss of your father and a member of the FIRST family. I hope you can get through this with everyone around you. Best wishes to you and your family.
08-23-2011, 06:24 AM
I never formally met Art, but I could tell he was the type of person that that didn't matter. I could walk up to him and just start a conversation or ask for help and he would give it.
Although I didn't know him very well, I know I will miss seeing him at competitions and at IRI. To me Art was like a warm blanket, you felt good having him there.
08-23-2011, 06:34 AM
When I read this in class, I had to take a moment and step out of class. I remember Art helping my team at CAGE and Boilermaker. He was running the encryption kiosk and was trying to help us get on to the field when our radio kept crapping out. He was an awesome guy and always seemed to be smiling. I'm praying for the Anderson family and Team 45. I really don't understand why bad things happen to good people.
08-23-2011, 06:51 AM
I cannot put into words how shocking this story is! My heart goes out to the entire family as well as to the scouts that witnessed this terrible act. I personally never met Art, but just reading all of the posts by those that knew him makes me feel as if I did.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you!
Team 1625 - Winnovation
08-23-2011, 07:42 AM
I can't believe it. I just meet him at IRI. I Introduced him at out table for the Mentor Dinner. He was such a nice guy. I'm so sorry to hear this.
08-23-2011, 08:34 AM
This is truly one of the most terrible and random events that I have ever heard of. How tragic! Our sympathies and prayers go out to Art's family, the Boy Scouts, and The Technokats Robotics team in this time of loss. Art will be missed by many.
08-23-2011, 09:49 AM
I wish I had the opportunity to meet Art although I am starting to feel I knew him through all of these wonderful recollections and the warm embrace from the FIRST family.
My heart cries out for the Anderson family.
08-23-2011, 01:35 PM
My heartfelt sympathies Alan and family.
"I believe that God put us in this jolly world to be happy and enjoy life. Happiness does not come from being rich, nor merely being successful in your career, nor by self-indulgence. One step towards happiness is to make yourself healthy and strong while you are a boy, so that you can be useful and so you can enjoy life when you are a man.
Nature study will show you how full of beautiful and wonderful things God has made the world for you to enjoy. Be contented with what you have got and make the best of it. Look on the bright side of things instead of the gloomy one.
But the real way to get happiness is by giving out happiness to other people. Try and leave this world a little better than you found it and when your turn comes to die, you can die happy in feeling that at any rate you have not wasted your time but have done your best. 'Be Prepared' in this way, to live happy and to die happy - stick to your Scout Promise always - even after you have ceased to be a boy - and God help you to do it."
Baden-Powell (final farewell to Scouts)
08-23-2011, 01:57 PM
I knew this man, heck Iíll come right out and say it: I loved this man.
How could you not love such a kind, gentle, patient and generous man? Words fail me here. The term may be technically inappropriate, but itís the only word I know that describes people like Art: he was a saint.
Shock, disbelief, anger, and now just tears. There is no Earthly or logical way to understand these events. It seems as if old scratch found a troubled mind and used it to destroy a major force for good.
This should cause us to stop and think about what we are really doing at FIRST. Are we just training engineers? Are we simply steering young people towards success? There is something deeper happening here. FIRST has a stated goal of changing our culture. By doing this, weíve joined the fight against ignorance and corruption. It is an ancient fight, and looking around the world today it may seem like we are losing ground to this enemy. But we must never give up.
I urge the FIRST community to think of Art often. Remember his kindness, his patience, and his generosity. We must keep Art alive in our hearts by following his example. We should honor the memory of his lifeís triumphs by doing as he did. We have lost a battle, but we cannot allow the enemy to defeat us.
With great sadness, my wife Lori and I offer our condolences to the family and to all those who loved this wonderful man.
As is our custom to say: May his memory be eternal!
08-23-2011, 02:58 PM
My condolences. I only met him in passing, but he's one of the people that make FIRST the great culture it is. He'll be deeply missed.
08-23-2011, 10:04 PM
This is such a horrible tragedy. Art was such a great guy. My thoughts and prayers are with team 45, and Art's friends and family.
08-24-2011, 10:02 AM
Any midwest events, championships, or IRI that I have traveled to; I have always seen Art in the pit. I passed by him so many times while he greeted me with a smile. Last year at Championship, he gave us a hand by lending us parts and giving ideas.
I am just at loss of words where I don't understand why this happens. I see stories everyday but it doesn't struck to me as this story has.
I am deeply sorry to hear this news. Mine and Team 108's condolence to Art's family, and to the family of Technokats.
08-24-2011, 05:48 PM
Since many folks from across the country have sent letters and made posts about Art and the Anderson family, I thought that I should make a follow-up post. Many TechnoKats attended Art Anderson's funeral today. About a dozen kids got out of school, joined about 8-9 mentors and we headed down to Indy for the ceremony. I was impressed by the formal dress that the students wore for this event.
The ceremony was attended by many, many friends and family. There were a few hundred crammed into the room. The back wall was lined with Boy Scouts and Scout Leaders. A young female rabbi from Kokomo's Temple B'nai Israel presided over the event and did a fantastic job. She told us about all that Art is and has been involved in, which was surprising to all in the room. I didn't know that Art started the University of Illinois college radio station while he studied there. I didn't know that Art built and flew his own plane for family vacations. I didn't know that Art and Alan would build their own computers in the 70's and 80's.
The ladies in Art's family sang beautiful songs during the service, and his daughters spoke about Art's work for the local Temple, the TechnoKats, and what all he did for his family.
Also, a father and son who have been involved in the Boy Scouts for a long time both spoke to us. The father served as a Scout Master with Art, and told us all about how Art would always fix everything (which was the theme throughout this ceremony and his lifetime). Then, this father introduced his son to speak, but before handing over the microphone, he asked all of the scouts in the room to recite the Boy Scout Oath (http://usscouts.org/advance/boyscout/bsoath.asp). We saw about 60 men and boys stand up right away and begin saying their oath. Then, slowly, there was an older gentlemen, most likely in his late 80's or 90's, sitting to the right of Mary and I, as he joined in with the scouts. When he rose his right hand and made his pledge, most of us reached for our tissues.
After the ceremony, many folks went out to the cemetery for the burial. Later in the day, friends and family started visiting the Anderson family at the shiva at Art and Bette's house. We didn't stay very long there, but it was good to see family and friends, along with the Superintendent of Kokomo Schools pay his respect.
It was a lovely and sad celebration. I was able to print out the kind words in this thread and hand it to Bette. She appreciated what you all have said on ChiefDelphi and the facebook posts.
08-24-2011, 06:51 PM
I can't even express the feelings in me after hearing about this event. It is always sad when someone you know passes on. Art was loved and respected by so many whose lives he enhanced. I know that the students he inspired will continue on teaching what he taught them to others. This was such a senseless loss that will effect everyone who knew him. My thoughts and prayers alnong with the rest of Exploding Bacons, are with The Andersons, the TechnoKats and his Scout troop
08-24-2011, 09:12 PM
... The ceremony was attended by many, many friends and family. There were a few hundred crammed into the room. The back wall was lined with Boy Scouts and Scout Leaders. A young female rabbi from Kokomo's Temple B'nai Israel presided over the event and did a fantastic job ... The ladies in Art's family sang beautiful songs during the service, and his daughters spoke about Art's work for the local Temple, the TechnoKats, and what all he did for his family ... After the ceremony, many folks went out to the cemetery for the burial. Later in the day, friends and family started visiting the Anderson family at the shiva at Art and Bette's house. We didn't stay very long there, but it was good to see family and friends, along with the Superintendent of Kokomo Schools pay his respect. It was a lovely and sad celebration. I was able to print out the kind words in this thread and hand it to Bette. She appreciated what you all have said on ChiefDelphi and the facebook posts.
Andy, I really appreciate your posts in this thread - You have done a wonderful job of communicating the feelings and experiences of many of us. I am so glad I was able to attend the funeral today. You perfectly described the service as "a lovely and sad celebration".
I wish I had known Art better. I had no idea what an amazing father, leader, mentor, and friend he was to so many. I hope his family could feel the love for Art in the room today, and I pray that helps temper their sorrow.
08-25-2011, 12:14 PM
I'm truly speechless. My family's thoughts and prayers are with Art, his family, and his FIRST friends. This is so shocking and sad.
08-25-2011, 04:20 PM
Working with Art was always a pleasure, his work ethic was superb and I enjoyed chatting with him briefly at each event I got a chance to. My heartfelt condolences go out to Art's family, friends, and team.
08-25-2011, 04:25 PM
This is an unbelievable tragedy. I can only try to imagine what you and your family are going through Alan. Unfortunately I have only had the pleasure of meeting your father on one occasion. Of course he was lending our team a part for our robot. No words of mine or any other can ease the pain that you and your family are going through. A hole has been created that cannot be filled. My deepest condolences to you and your family.
08-25-2011, 04:37 PM
This was truly a sad and shocking email when i received it earlier in the week. Art and the whole Anderson family is such a big part of any FIRST event, and especially the IRI. I have had some great conversations with Art over the past several years.
Please know that the entire FIRST community is with you, and I am sure we can say the same for scouts everywhere. Art has truly made an impact.
What an awesome man - I only wish I had know more of his story before.
08-25-2011, 07:47 PM
My condolences to the Anderson family and the extended TechnoKat family for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.
08-25-2011, 10:45 PM
Art was an inspiration to every single student on the Technokats team. He was known for always being positive and was always there for us when we needed him. This is a tremendous blow to the entire FIRST community. He is what every mentor should strive to be. He has inspired me to become a mentor who will always explain things to students in a way they can understand and be a mentor for the true reason of FIRST. Win or lose, Art always commended us on never giving up and was always a supportive man. He can never be replaced as the "Technokats grandpa". RIP Art Anderson, you will always be a motivating factor in everything I do regarding STEM education and robotics. My prayers and thoughts are with the Andersons and everyone who has been impacted by this loss.
08-25-2011, 11:34 PM
You know, just as I was reading the update, I was listening to the Halo 3 Soundtrack, and do you know what song started playing?
"No More Dead Heroes."
08-25-2011, 11:45 PM
There's so much more than can fit into any number of words.
TechnoKats mentor and FIRST volunteer.
Scout leader, merit badge counselor, orienteering course designer, canoeing instructor...
Strong member of the Jewish community.
Amateur Radio operator (now a silent key).
Stage lighting designer.
Model railroad hobbyist.
Electrician, plumber, carpenter, automobile maintenance technician...
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