Remembering Col. Robert S. Adden, The Citadel Class of ’44

Col. Bob Adden, The Citadel

As seen on

Robert S. Adden, 98, a long time resident of Charleston, passed away peacefully on March 6, 2021 after a brief hospitalization in Reston, Virginia. Born January 1, 1923 in Orangeburg, South Carolina to the late Mary Elizabeth Heggie Adden and John Augustus Adden. His father died months before he was born and he was raised lovingly, along with his siblings “Toots” and Jack, by his mother during the difficult Depression era.

He attended The Citadel as a member of the Class of 1944, of which the entire class was called to active duty following their Junior Year. He served as a 2nd lieutenant in World War II with the 84th Infantry Division and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Combat V, a Purple Heart and the Combat Infantry Badge. He was severely wounded in combat in November 1944 in Prummern, Germany, attributing his life being saved by God’s hand causing his dog tags to deflect a machine gun bullet that was directed towards his heart. He was discharged from the Army in 1946.

He graduated from The Citadel in 1947 as the first honor graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Two days later he began his teaching career at The Citadel, leaving the college only for a short time to earn his Master of Business Administration from the Wharton School of Business and his Doctor of Philosophy in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While at Chapel Hill he met the love of his life, Norma Sue Sligh, and they married on December 27, 1953.

He enjoyed teaching accounting and taxation. He served as the Head of the Business Administration Department at The Citadel from 1962-1982, during which time he was instrumental in launching the Master of Business Administration and the evening undergraduate programs at what is now the School of Business Administration. He retired as Professor Emeritus in 1985. The Citadel recognized his service to the school awarding him the coveted Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award in 1984; an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters in 2008; and the School of Business Alumnus of the Year Award in 2011. He and Sue were loyal supporters of Citadel athletics, rarely missing any home football, basketball or baseball game and listening on the radio to many of the away games.

He was a faithful Lutheran who proudly donated to the church. When his older brother Jack (USMC) gave him $100 that he had won playing poker in the South Pacific during WW II, he donated the money to the Orangeburg Lutheran Church. He taught an adult Sunday School Class for more than 50 years at St. John’s Lutheran Church, served on its Vestry and was a former President of the Vestry. He was also a lifetime member of the Salvation Army Advisory Board and a member of the Charleston Rotary Club.

Surviving are his wife of 67 years, Norma Sue Sligh Adden; daughter, Carolyn Elizabeth Rose and her husband Col. Michael G. Rose (USA, Ret) of Herndon, VA; son, Robert S. Adden, Jr. and his wife Kimetha Hunt Adden of Charlotte, NC; daughter, Virginia Sue Barrett and her husband Hazle Barrett of Camden, SC; four grandchildren, Robert Anthony Adden, Daniel Spencer Adden (Kayla), Caroline Jordan Christian (Jack) and Thomas Caldwell Jordan; four great-grandchildren, Mary Caroline Christian, Eleanor Christian, John Christian and Frances Christian and many loving nieces and nephews.

“He had such a calm sweet spirit & will be missed by many. “

Remembrance by family friend Mike Wiggins

“Col. Adden was a great accounting teacher during my years at the Citadel. He was kind and caring to the cadets. His quality as a man is undisputed. He supported the Citadel in many ways after his retirement. You could see him at basketball, baseball, and football games cheering on his team. God Bless his family and many friends.”

Roy DeHaven, ’81

Leave a remembrance about Col. Adden here.

J. Henry Stuhr, Inc. Downtown Chapel is serving the family. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, a memorial service will be held at St. John’s Lutheran Church at a date to be determined.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to The Citadel Foundation Class of 1944 Scholarship Fund, 171 Moultrie St., Charleston, SC 29409 or to St. John’s Lutheran Church, 5 Clifford St., Charleston, SC 29401.

Read more about Col. Robert “Bob” Adden in this story by The Post and Courier