Charlie Anderson

Charlie Anderson

Charlie Anderson

Iowa City

It is with deep sadness and heartache we announce that Charlie Anderson died on January 31, 2024, at his home at Oaknoll Retirement Community. True to Charlie’s spirit, after a busy day of seeing friends and signing up for some new classes, he died in

his apartment while finishing his

last gourmet lamb stew. He lived a full and wonderful life until the very end.

Charlie was 90 years old. It will be impossible to summarize the wonderful life of our beloved husband, father, grandfather, amazing colleague, dear friend and mentor, and inspirational leader in audiology and in

the community of Iowa City, but we will try.

Charlie was born in a farmhouse near Little Sioux, Iowa to Paul and Clarissa (Snover) Anderson. Charlie spent his childhood with his older brother Joe driving their Model A in the fields of their farm and sneaking cigarettes behind the barn. He graduated from Blencoe High School in Blencoe, Iowa as valedictorian of his class of 12 students. He was off to the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, Nebraska in his Chevrolet convertible to take on the world.

Charlie served eight years in the U.S. Army Ready Reserve with six months of active duty. He was honorably discharged as a 1st Lieutenant in the Military Police.

Charlie first discovered the relatively new profession of audiology as a senior in college and never lost his passion for it. His first clinical assignment was to evaluate the hearing and issue hearing aids to

veterans of the Spanish-American War, World War I, and World War II. His first full-time job was to establish

a state-wide hearing testing program for K-12 schools in Nebraska. He received his B.S. in Speech Pathology and M.A. in Audiology from the University of Nebraska and his Ph.D. in Audiology from the University of Pittsburgh. It was in Pittsburgh where he first began to make life-long friends and colleagues in his field.

Charlie’s first professor position after graduate school was at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. It was also where he met his fabulous future wife, Jane (Middleton) Anderson, as he walked the hallways of Heavilon Hall. They had a long-distance romance for three years while Jane was completing post-doctoral work in Boston. They were married on August 20, 1966, in her childhood home in Youngstown, Ohio. They finished their honeymoon in Iowa City ready to take on new positions on the faculty of the University of Iowa.

Charlie served on the faculty of the University of Nebraska, the University of Pittsburgh, and Purdue University before coming to the University of Iowa. At the University of Iowa, Charlie served as a professor and Director of Audiology in the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics before joining the faculty full time in the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology (now the Department of Communications Sciences and Disorders) where, among other duties, he served for five years as Director of the Wendell Johnson Speech and Hearing Clinic. He also directed the EPA Region 10 Noise Technical Assistance Center.

Charlie lived his commitment to outreach and collaboration by teaching, providing service, and collaborating on research in various departments in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the College of Public Health, the College of Nursing, the College of Medicine, the College of Dentistry, and the College of Education. He was instrumental in providing students with experiences outside the academic setting. He was especially proud of his success in leading the establishment of American Sign Language as a legitimate foreign language at the University of Iowa. Charlie was a mentor, cheerleader, and inspiration to dozens of graduate students and colleagues across the country.

Charlie truly lived his life in service to others. He was a committed volunteer, as demonstrated by his many contributions to the State of Iowa, the University of Iowa, his profession, and his community. Among his many volunteer activities were service on the Iowa Department of Health Conservation of Hearing Committee, the Iowa School for the Deaf Advisory Committee, advisor to the Iowa City Chapter of Self Help for the Hard of Hearing, and numerous University of Iowa committees. He served as President and Chair of the Task Force on Licensure for the Iowa Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ISHA) and was a founder of the Iowa Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation. He was awarded the Honors of the Association and the Niel Ver Hof Award for Exceptional Service to the Professions of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology by ISHA. He was a member and Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), the American Academy of Audiology, the Academy of Rehabilitation Audiology, and the Acoustical Society of America. He served on and chaired a number of ASHA committees and boards including the Standards Council, the Board of Ethics, the Education Services Board (for which he also served as an accreditation site visitor for 31 years), the Professional Services Board, and the Legislative Council representing Iowa for nine years. He represented ASHA on the national CARF (Commission for Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) Board for five years. For five years he was a member of the committee which developed the National Audiology Examination.

Upon retirement in 1996, Charlie continued his dedication to service and turned his volunteer interests to the community through participation and leadership in a number of organizations. He was a docent for over a decade at the University of Iowa Museum of Art and was one of the original organizers and volunteer staff for the Museum of Art Store. He was one of the first (and one of the oldest) participants in the Iowa City Community Leadership Program. He was deeply involved in the University of Iowa Retirees Association and served on several committees. He supported the local nonprofit and service community through many years on the Boards of the United Way of Johnson County, the Community Foundation of Johnson County, and as a regular volunteer at the Free Lunch Program. Charlie was a founder and board member of TRAIL of Johnson County, an organization to help older adults in Johnson County live and age safely and comfortably in the place they call home.

Charlie will be missed for his never-ending enthusiasm for life, his ability to love without judgment, and his support of all family, friends, and colleagues. He was the ultimate cheerleader, believing in those around him, bringing them together for something better, and inspiring us to do more. His support for the women in his life, whether his wife, his daughter, or his female colleagues and friends, made him the ultimate feminist and ally. We will miss his amazing gourmet cooking, his ability to make a celebration out of the smallest moments, and wonderful laugh.

Charlie is survived by his adoring daughter Mary Elisabeth, his supportive daughter-in-law Jan Arnold, his beloved grandson Jordan Arnold-Anderson, and his loyal grand-dog Baxter. He leaves his nephews Roger Anderson and Steve Steinhart, his nieces Carol (Anderson) Smith and Jeanette (Anderson) Gould, as well as countless colleagues and friends.

If you knew Charlie, you knew he was a man who not only had a zest for life but also shared it with everyone he knew. Let us not forget his smile, his ability to bring folks together, and his love of a celebration with a Celebration of Life to be held Saturday, April 13, 3:00 p.m. at Oaknoll Retirement Community, Heiden Room.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in his name to Friends of the University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art, at:, or TRAIL of Johnson County, at:

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