Wakefield Timothy Anderson

June 20, 1948 – September 11, 2020


Tim lived a life dedicated to family, friends, learning and adventure. He was born Wakefield Timothy
Anderson on June 20, 1948 in Worcester, MA to Paul and Kathleen “Betty” Anderson. Growing up on a
farm in Middleboro, MA, Tim spent many hours exploring the woods and developing his love of reading.
A voracious reader his entire life, Tim was never far from a book and was always quick with a
recommendation. He developed a talent and passion for chess at a young age and continued to take the
king of almost everyone who sat across the board from him. He also spent many cherished summers on
Sampson’s Pond in Carver with his family, playing tennis, horseshoes, sailing and celebrating with clam
and lobster bakes. Sailing in particular was a favorite pastime for Tim, whether sailing in Narragansett
Bay, exploring the Chesapeake, long trips along the eastern seaboard, or spending the night in his
beloved Cuttyhunk; Tim loved to be in tune with the rhythm of the ocean and was always ready for his
watch. He passed this love of sailing on to his nephews and nieces, as he taught them to read the wind
on the water.

Tim had a strong love of learning, after graduating from Tabor Academy, he went on to study Sociology
at Suffolk University, and earned both a Masters and PhD from Boston University and his Post-Doctoral
Degree from Harvard University. Tim shared this love of learning as a professor of Sociology at Bentley
University for 34 years. Tim impacted the lives of the students he came in contact with through his
passion for teaching, understanding of complex subject matters and the authenticity he brought to the
classroom. His use of the talking stick, and the reverence for the act of teaching were a few of a myriad
of reasons for which he was awarded the Adamian Award for Excellence in Teaching. He frequently
remarked that he felt blessed to be able to spend his life doing what he loved. As a recognition of his
dedication to teaching, a scholarship in his name has been established at Bentley University.
Montana also played a very special place in Tim’s heart. He began visiting his western cousins from
early on and loved the big sky country and western way of being. In 1992, after spending his sabbatical
working at the Little Big Horn College, he was adopted into the Crow Tribe. After that time he was easily
recognizable on the campus of Bentley with his black cowboy hat and boots. Many summers he would
bring students out to Montana to learn from the tribal elders. Later, visiting his daughter and grandson
for extended visits, he discovered fly fishing.

Tim had an insatiable drive for social justice and concern for his fellow humans. For those of us who
loved Tim, we will deeply miss his special sense of humor and that twinkle in his eye. He was an
unabashed jokester who had a way with words, whether in a lively debate or in deep conversation. His
gift for language and oration made him an incredible public speaker, and he was called upon for moving
Thanksgiving toasts. He was a competitive man, whether playing cards, billiards, horseshoes or so many
other games with family and friends. He would never let anyone win, which is perhaps why so many
took great joy in the rare time one was able to get a victory. He loved a wide variety of music, fine food
and drink, travel and hosting happy hour at the cottage.

He is survived by his wife Teri, his daughter Sara and his beloved grandson Jack. He is also survived by
his sister Kathleen and countless cousins, aunts, nephews and nieces whom he cherished. A celebration
of life will occur in 2021 when we are able to get together again and celebrate Tim as he would have

In lieu of flowers please consider making a donation to his https://secure.bentley.edu/s/1696/giving18/interior.aspx?sid=1696&gid=2&pgid=2379&cid=1327&dids=33&_ga=2.180194020.1740745268.1600115823-425789874.1554413586” If making a donation, please put in “The W. Tim Anderson Scholarship Fund” in the fund to support.


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19 Condolences

  1. Christina Leonard on September 17, 2020 at 7:51 pm

    Deepest condolences to Teri Sara and the entire family. My sons Collum Gavin and I had the pleasure of meeting this amazing man in 2018 he was such an inspirational person, we are saddened to know we will never meet him again. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.
    RIP Tim

  2. Paul Orsi on September 17, 2020 at 8:04 pm

    I will miss you uncle Tim I will always cherish your candid conversation and knowledge. I will never forget you and time you nearly baked me alive in my first Crow sweat! Aho!

  3. Dean Rosetti on September 17, 2020 at 8:05 pm

    Teri, Sara and family. We are all saddened and heartbroken. Tim was a very special guy. We were always partners in everything we played when you came to visit. He made it alot of fun and didn like to lose. So sorry we can’t be with you during this sad time. Hopefully we can get together soon. We love you guys. ♥️ Rip Tim

  4. noelle on September 17, 2020 at 8:23 pm

    This is still so surreal. Things won’t be the same without him, but we’ll make it the best we can. And maybe once a year we’ll even play Tim’s Rules pool down by the lake… ♡♡♡

  5. Chery Ehresman on September 18, 2020 at 12:31 am

    Met Tim at The Little Big Horn. Always enjoyed his company and his take on native life. Such a nice man.

  6. Patrick McKennan on September 18, 2020 at 2:23 am

    Oh man. Tim helped me enjoy learning. I was a terrible student, but he convinced me to come with him on the first Bentley trip to Crow land. What an experience, and what a teacher. My heart aches.
    Much love my friend Tim and all who loved you

  7. Eric Dore on September 18, 2020 at 4:06 am

    Tim was my professor at Bentley and like so many others has a profound impact on my life. I took every class that Tim offered and was deeply inspired by him, his family and his love for the world. My favorite memory of Tim is when he invited me to his mom’s house for sweat and then dinner. What an amazing experience, and family. My thoughts and prayers are with Tim and his family. RIP Tim

  8. Marion Wingfield on September 18, 2020 at 2:01 pm

    We are deeply saddened by the passing of Tim with his outsized personality and unique energy. We always enjoyed his toasts at countless weddings, Thanksgivings, and other events – you could count on Tim to say the most profound & appropriate things at the right time. His voice and wisdom were very special, though he never took himself too seriously – he had an unceasing sense of humor and fun. One of the things I loved about Tim was his adoration of children, and while there were plenty to adore, he took a wonderful interest in our daughter, Emma, who basked in his attention. I remember her as a tiny child playing pool with him in the basement, or traveling around on Tim’s shoulders. Most recently, he gave her a treasure trove of advice for her post college years. Thank you Tim, for being such a positive force in our lives, a special light. We will always remember you. To Teri and Sara and Jack, and all those who loved him, please know we are holding you in our hearts. Much love – Marion

  9. Laralei Duarte on September 18, 2020 at 4:10 pm

    My deepest condolences to your family and friends, Tim. I haven’t seen you for many years, but always remember the joy, and happiness you spread as you were growing up. Your family is my family and I will always love them. May God welcome you with open arms, and you can enjoy the big sky called heaven. Love you.

  10. Michael Ennis on September 18, 2020 at 4:26 pm

    .I knew Tim before he had class. We hung out on the ‘Common’ and threw frisbee. He will forever be the the gentle soul whose twinkle mesmerized me as he bested me at something.
    I genuinely feel as if I’ve lost a kindred spirit and am grateful for the time I was able to know him.
    RIP brother.

  11. Barbara S. Logan on September 19, 2020 at 6:23 pm

    I watched Tim grow from a small child playing with my children, then the many tennis games with me and with Jennifer and playing horseshoes with his Uncle Ive, and watching Tim and my brother Jack sailing the lazers and he loaned me many great books to read. How much Tim enjoyed the music when the family gathered with Jack on guitar and sang “Deep Elum Blues”. He loved coming to Carver with his beloved Teri and then the joy of bringing his grandson Jack to meet all his cousins. I didn’t join that pool room gang, but I surely heard the crack of the balls from my house and knew how late they came in at night!! We will miss you forever Tim. Aunt Barby

  12. Jim Kenealy on September 21, 2020 at 2:50 pm

    So sad to hear of his passing. Our interactions were few and far between, but I admired his wit and vibrant outlook on life. The world was so much richer with him in it.
    My sincerest condolences to Teri and the rest of the family.
    When someone you love becomes a Memory, the Memory becomes a Treasure ….. always Treasure the Memory!
    Godspeed, Tim

  13. Jonathan Shaw on September 21, 2020 at 3:53 pm

    One of Tim’s special gifts as a teacher was his capacity to also instill a love of what he was teaching. So it was with sailing. He certainly was competitive but also generous, sharing his insight into the smallest tricks to make a boat move faster in the water; faster than the other guy. But he also knew when to flip the boat—just for fun. The same was true in chess—he liked to win, but never to the point of discouraging the spirit of competition. He enriched our lives, exposed us to things we wouldn’t have known or imagined otherwise—these are Tim’s gifts that we carry always. He is part of so many of us. Sending love to all who have lost him, especially Teri, Sara, and Kathleen.

  14. Franklyn Salimbene on September 23, 2020 at 1:52 pm

    With fond memories of Tim and his presence on campus and sincere condolences to his family. May he rest in peace.

  15. Katherine Marshall on September 23, 2020 at 4:01 pm

    I believe the ability to make a college student want to attend class is extremely rare. I never wanted to miss Professor Anderson’s classes. Even when our basketball team was away at the Elite Eight, it was the only class that I wonder what was going on in. I told him once he reminded me of my father. Professor Anderson, thank you. You truly impacted my life and I’ll never forget it. You will be missed.

  16. Bobby Lynn on September 24, 2020 at 5:11 am

    Tim was such a shining light here at Bentley. Whenever he saw me, he always reached out with that super positive attitude.
    He was such a great guy who I will miss deeply.
    My deepest condolences to his family.
    Heaven just got a real good one !!!

  17. Alan Varney on December 9, 2020 at 8:03 pm

    I just found out in the Bentley Magazine that Dr. Anderson passed. I could write a book on how he helped me when at Bentley. He made me think critically and look inside myself to find my passion. I have been an inner city public educator in Dallas TX for 16 years. I am 100% certain I would not have embarked on this career without the mentorship and knowledge of Dr. Anderson. There are no words to thank him enough.

  18. Daniel J Ciocca on December 10, 2020 at 11:48 pm

    So sorry to hear of your loss. I had Tim as a Sociology professor in 1988. He was a great instructor. I thought it was awesome that a college professor would hang out in the game room and play pool with his students! I think we may have learned and talked more there than we did in the classroom. RIP Tim!

  19. Traci Coleman on December 15, 2020 at 12:15 am

    So sorry for your loss, the loss to the Bentley community and his friends. I too had Dr. Anderson as a professor for multiple behavioral science classes and just learned of his passing. He is the reason I received a minor in Behavioral Science, for which I use today in my Social Services career along with my Accountancy degree. He was such an inspiring professor and he had such a gift. Thoughts and prayers and thank you for sharing him with us.

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