TOPEKA (KSNT) – Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has ordered flags to be flown at half-staff from sun-up to sun-down beginning today through Friday, Sept. 19 to honor the passing of former Governor John Anderson.
“I am deeply saddened to hear of Governor Anderson’s passing,” said Governor Brownback. “He devoted many years to serving the people of Kansas, and we are grateful for his dedication to our great state. The Lt. Governor and I, along with Mary and Ruth, extend our heartfelt sympathies to Governor Anderson’s family and friends. They are in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”
At the family’s request, all funeral arrangements will be private.
Kansas First News Political Analyst and Washburn University Political Science Professor Dr. Bob Beatty interviewed Anderson for a 2005 documentary “The Kansas Governor.”
Dr. Beatty sent the following statement to Kansas First News Wednesday morning.
“Former Governor John Anderson was mild-mannered man, but he was tough-minded and could get things done. Not many people are aware that he was a fierce advocate of civil rights. He told me a few years ago “Racism is a terrible thing. Every person as a citizen of the United States should have equal opportunity to succeed based on their abilities.”
“His main legacy to Kansas is likely in what he did for education in the state. Anderson recommended and got passed by the legislature substantial increases in funding for schools, especially enhancing the community college system, and got Wichita State University added as a Board of Regents school. Most dramatically, Anderson led the way for significant school consolidation, which resulted in the reorganization of public schools from over one thousand school districts into a little over three hundred unified school districts.”
“When asked how he wanted Kansans to remember him, he said, “I hope people remember that I did not get into public service for the money, or the personal gain, or for some ideological reason, but because I thought I could get some things done that would help the state.”