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Columbia Missourian

Dr. Ralph Anderson, Nov. 1, 1932-Oct. 24, 2012, of Columbia

By Parker Funeral Service
October 27, 2012 | 2:12 p.m. CDT

Dr. Ralph Robert Anderson, 79, of Columbia, Missouri passed away October 24, 2012.

Services will be at 11:00 a.m., Tuesday, October 30, at First Presbyterian Church. Burial will follow in Columbia Cemetery. Visitation is 5-7:00 p.m., Monday, October 29 at Parker Funeral Service.

Ralph was born November 1, 1932 in Fords, N.J., to Harry and Johanna (Damgaard) Andersen, who preceded him in death, along with his brother, Walter Andersen. Survivors include wife LaVeta Ann Phillips, married on January 28, 1961; son, Richard (and Susan Knol) Anderson of Dearborn, Michigan; daughter, Laura (and Arlin) Vancuren of Tulsa, Oklahoma; sisters, Harriett Wilding and Gertrude Hansen both of New Jersey; grandchildren, Claire Anderson, Ian Vancuren and Austin Vancuren.

Ralph earned a Bachelor’s from Rutgers University (1953), served in the US Army (1953-1956) and returned to complete a Master’s Degree from Rutgers in 1958. He held a Pre-Doctoral Fellowship from the National Institutes of Health and earned a PhD from the University of Missouri in 1961. After a faculty position at Iowa State University and an NIH Post-Doc Fellowship at the University of Wisconsin, Ralph returned to Mizzou in 1965 where he became a teaching and research Professor in Dairy Science.

Over time, Dr. Anderson served on the campus-wide graduate faculty for Endocrinology and Physiology until his retirement as Professor Emeritus. Professional Memberships included: Sigma Xi-Scientific Research Society; The Endocrine Society; The Society for Experimental Biology & Medicine; Society for the Study of Reproduction; Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology; The American Physiological Society; American Dairy Science Association; American Society of Animal Science.

Dr. Anderson authored chapters for, edited, or co-edited nine books on endocrinology and lactation while at Mizzou, and his Graduate Students came from all over the world: the United States, India, Iran, Pakistan, Turkey, South American, Thailand, Taiwan, China, Japan, Europe, Scandinavia, and Russia. Many former students became professors and researchers in universities, veterinarians, physicians and other health care professionals, and government researchers in this country and overseas.

Ralph and fellow professors established the Gamma Alpha Graduate Fellowship Fund; and much of his work was honored as follows: Gamma Sigma Delta Research Award of Merit; Distinguished Alumni Award Cook College, Rutgers University CAES Alumni Association; Fulbright Senior Research Fellow, New Zealand Ruakura Research Station; Outstanding People of the 20th Century, International Biographical Centre, Cambridge, England; Who’s Who in the World; Who’s Who in Science & Engineering; Who’s Who in Frontier Science & Technology; Dictionary of International Biography; Notable Americans of the Bicentennial Era, American Biographical Institute; American Men & Women of Science; Community Leaders and Noteworthy Americans; Who’s Who in the Midwest; Personalities in the West and Midwest; Outstanding Faculty Member Award, UMC Dairy Club; Gamma Sigma Delta Graduate Teaching Award of Merit; Post-Doctoral Fellow of National Institutes of Health; Pre-Doctoral Fellow of National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Anderson was a member and former deacon of First Presbyterian Church and also of Columbia Kiwanis Club, where he was Past-President. He also enjoyed the Columbia Track Club and working on the farm in his spare time. Ralph’s legacy is seen not only in his contributions to animal science and the dairy industry, but the lasting impact he made as an educator. His graduate students, extended family members and their children continue his legacy by pursuing higher education and serving people all around the world.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Ralph R. Anderson World Graduate Scholarship Fund, attn. Gift Processing, 109 Reynolds Alumni Hall, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri 65211 or may be left online at

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