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Mars, Western Pa. mourn loss of Central Catholic teacher

Central Catholic High School physical education teacher Robert “Bob” Anderson died at 63 of electrocution on Tuesday night, June 18, while bicycling in North Park in Allegheny County. Submitted Photo

Communities in Butler and Allegheny counties are mourning the unexpected death of Mars resident Robert “Bob” Anderson, a longtime physical education teacher at Central Catholic High School in Pittsburgh. Anderson died after being electrocuted on Tuesday night, June 18, while cycling down a trail in North Park.

According to multiple sources, Anderson came into contact with downed wires, which were operated by Duquesne Light, on the trail.

“Mr. Anderson was dedicated to the students entrusted to his care and the mission of Central Catholic,” wrote school president Matthew Stoessel in a letter addressed to the school community. “Everyone who knew him mourns his passing, as he was an integral member of our school’s community. I am certain that the Central Catholic community will join me in prayer as we collectively extend our deepest condolences to Mr. Anderson’s family and friends.”

Anderson served as a physical education teacher at Central Catholic for nearly two decades and was serving as chairman of the school’s health and physical education department.

As a bicyclist, Anderson was inducted into the Hall of Fame for the Month of Mud mountain bike race series in 2016. He held numerous titles in that series, his most recent being a Grandmasters 55+ title in 2022.

Those who knew him said he inspired others — both in the classroom and on the trail — to be the most physically fit person they could be.

“He was a stand up guy,” said Jared Boyer, who formerly operated bike shops in Wexford and Cranberry Township frequented by Anderson. “He was always enthusiastic about the sport and willing to go the extra mile to get others involved. He was addicted to riding. Anything bicycles, he wanted to learn more about, know more about, and that way he could help others.”

“He was very passionate about pursuing health through activities. He loved to see people be active,” said Travis Saeler, of Oakland Township, who frequently encountered Anderson while he was out biking. “The community — not just cycling in general — has lost a great advocate for health and well-being. Bob was just a nice guy, easy to talk to, and friends with everybody.”

Stoessel said the school will offer counseling to any students, faculty and staff who need it.

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