RIP Art Anderson, age 76, TechnoKat mentor and Boy Scout Leader

All,

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.

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://wthr.images.worldnow.com/images/15305800_BG2.jpg

Thanks,
Andy Baker

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

RIP

So I just went on to MSN to check my email, and I saw this story.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44224604/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/

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.

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.

RIP Art.

Terrible awful news. My heartfelt prayers go out to the friends, family, and community of Art.

My condolences to the Anderson family and all the TechnoKats. Words cannot express the shock from this senseless act.

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.

Jane

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.

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.

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…