Truman Anderson Jr., 92

Professor and dean of medicine at UIC

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Dr. Truman O. Anderson Jr. died on July 6, 2019 after suffering a stroke. The longtime Oak Park resident was professor of medicine and former executive dean at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago (UIC), where he taught for more than 50 years.

Born on March 26, 1927, he was a native of Chicago's South Side Roseland neighborhood. He grew up in Glenwood, Illinois, the son of Truman O. Anderson Sr., also a physician, and Myrtle V. Anderson (née Andersen), a homemaker and optometrist. He attended Bloom High School in Chicago Heights before enlisting in the Navy at the age of 17 in 1944 and serving as a hospital corpsman. Upon discharge, he attended the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign on the G.I. Bill, receiving his bachelor's degree in 1950. He went on to earn M.S. (1952) and Ph.D. (1955) degrees in microbiology and an M.D. (1960) from the UIC College of Medicine in Chicago. During the next 10 years, he taught both at UIC and at Cook County Hospital and held professorships in both medicine and microbiology, including the Keeton Professorship. From 1969 onward, he entered administration full time at UIC. He was dean of the School of Basic Sciences from 1970 to 1976 and served as executive dean of the university's four medical campuses in Chicago, Rockford, Peoria, and Urbana-Champaign from 1976 to 1980. 

Dr. Anderson established the UIC College of Medicine's James Scholar Program for Independent Study and led that program for many years. One of his proudest moments at UIC was his successful effort, undertaken with many colleagues, to maintain the independence of the University of Illinois Hospital in Chicago in 1989. In 2007, in recognition of his lifetime of service, Dr. Anderson received the Conscience of the College Award from the UIC College of Medicine. He retired in 2011. 

Dr. Anderson met his wife, Mary Ann Anderson (née Heineken) on a blind date and they were married in Emden, Illinois, in 1953 while he was finishing his medical studies. Together they had four children: Mary Beth, Barbara, Truman, and Amy. The family moved to Oak Park in 1960 and took an active part in community life for many years. He Anderson served on the board of Oak Park and River Forest High School from 1978 to 1980. Family life was central and he reveled in the company of his children and grandchildren. 

Truman Anderson Jr. is survived by his children Mary Beth Logas, Barbara (Richard) Hickey, Truman O. Anderson III (Caroline Humes) and Amy Anderson (David) de Jong; his grandchildren, William Logas, Daniel (Kristen) Logas, Richard, Meghan, Elizabeth, Kelly, and Sean Hickey, Erik and Eleanor Anderson, and Evan and Sonja de Jong; and he was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Ann Anderson (née Heineken).

Visitation was held Tuesday, July 9 at Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home, Oak Park with the funeral service on Wednesday, July 10 at 10:30 a.m. at Grace Lutheran Church, 7300 Division St., River Forest. Interment will be private. The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, memorial gifts be directed to: The University of Illinois College of Medicine (chicago.medicine.uic.edu/giving/) or Amita Hospice (https://www.amitahealth.org/services/hospice-care/amita-health-alexian-brothers-hospice-care).

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