Philip (Phil) Norman Anderson

Private family services for Philip (Phil) Norman Anderson, 81, Lawrence, will take place at a later date.

Philip Norman Anderson died Thursday June 22, 2023. He was born June 30 1941 in Tracy Minnesota, the son of Kenneth Eugene Anderson and Dorothy Woodruff Smith Anderson. Phil graduated from Lawrence High School and the University of Kansas where he met his wife, Patricia McDuffie. They were married February 2, 1963 in Lawrence KS. After receiving his Bachelor of Engineering, Phil accepted a job with IBM and they moved to Poughkeepsie, New York. He worked as an Engineer from 1963 to 1969. IBM arranged for professors from Syracuse University to fly to Poughkeepsie so Phil completed his Masters of Engineering in 1969. On a visit to Lawrence, Phil learned that the School of Engineering had Training Fellowships from NASA. He applied and got a grant which led to his doctorate in 1972. From 1969 to 1985, he served as an Instructor for the KU Electrical Engineering School where he taught 16 classes, and as a Senior Research Engineer for the University Center for Research.

In 1972 he decided not to return to IBM, but to start his own company, Kantronics where he and his team designed and built products for the amateur radio world. Products were sold world wide for decades. His designs made it possible to connect a computer to an amateur radio and display morse code in words on the computer. His entrepreneurial spirit led to many products some of which are in use today. Over the years Phil applied for and was granted U.S. patents for his various product designs.

Among his honors is the Small Business of the year award from the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce. He chaired the Entrepreneur Development Committee for the Chamber and served on the Economic Development Committee. In 2023 Phil received the Distinguished Service Award from the KU Electrical Engineer and Computer Science Department for career achievements and dedication to the department.

He is survived by his wife, Patricia of the home, daughter Rebecca Anderson Hewes (Randy) of Norman Oklahoma and son Kenneth Anderson of Lawrence as well as nephew Todd Anderson of Lawrence, cousins Mary Radloff of Rock Island Illinois and Jackie Johnson of Knoxville TN.

The family suggests memorials to Presbyterian Manor or Visiting Nurses Hospice, P.O. Box 1260 Lawrence, Kansas 66044.

Messages & Condolences

From Dane Robinson...

Pat, Ken & Becca
I am sorry to hear of the loss of Ken. Your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

From Ellyn Louise Owen...

My sympathies to the family. David and I met Phil and Pat at Trinity Episcopal Church. Our daughters and Rebecca were about the same age and enjoyed Sunday school together. Phil always had a good sense of humor and was full of interesting stories of gadgets and scientific experiments. He will be missed.

From Gary J. Minden...

I met Phil in the fall of 1971 at KU. I was a junior in Electrical Engineering and he was finishing his Doctorate of Engineering. One of the early projects he assigned me was to present at his doctorate defense in January 1972. I worked with Phil at Kantronics on a railroad monitoring system and over the decades through the KU EECS department. The latest project he bragged about was a sound translator. It received ultrasound from bats and translated the frequencies to human range. Always the inventor, and he taught a lot of students to invent. May he have a good soldering iron and lots of parts.

From Stan Flory (son of Calvin and Jean Flory)...

I am so sorry to see that Phil has passeed. I have many memories of Phil both from mowing the lawn for him at Kantronics, and living around the corner from him on BelleHaven St. while I was growing up. Many times I would exchange my mowing fees with him for some of the early products & prototypes he had designed and built, as I was also a beginning CB radio user/operator. He had such a great sense of humor and always treated me with such respect. I’m sure he will be greatly missed!

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