Anne Hammond Roby 1940-2015

Anne Hammond Roby passed away in Chicago on Dec. 13, 2015 of acute issues related to lung cancer. She was 75.

Born and raised in Columbia, SC, Roby moved to Hyde Park in 1959 to attend the University of Chicago and never left. She lived in the same condominium apartment for 47 years and was active in a number of local organizations and activities, participating in 10K races and racquetball tournaments in the 70s, and in reading and exercise groups into her final years. She was a trophy-winning, mixed-doubles racquetball player at the Hyde Park YMCA. 

She lived a full life, reading voluminously and maintaining great friendships over decades. She was devoted to a succession of four standard apricot poodles, all named Papageno, and was a huge fan of blues, jazz, and classical music. 

Roby taught thousands of “nontraditional” adult students in Roosevelt University’s evening Bachelor of General Studies program, at the Reading Institute, and at the Safari House drug abuse clinic. She had a remarkable ability to connect with people whose previous educational experiences had been less than positive, and to help them make progress that they didn’t know was possible. Some of her lifelong friendships came from students that she had in these courses.

Later in life she did editorial work for Encylopaedia Britannica becoming the associate editor of Compton’s Encyclopedia. She also worked on mathematics curricula for K-12 math and science.

Her marriage to Thomas W. Roby produced two children and ended in divorce after ten years. She is survived by her sons Tom and Lem, and her grandchildren Nichole, Kalei, Vielle, and Mas. 

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Jan. 23 at the Chicago Buddhist Center, Peace Room, 1455 S Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60605. All are welcome. Condolences may continue to be sent to her home address or by email to