Robert Marion Roberts Sr., 87, Council Grove, went to spend eternity with His savior on July 3, 2019.
He was born in Herington on Jan. 5, 1932, to Fred and Ruth (Cochran) Roberts, the seventh of eight children: Ila, who died in infancy, Fred, Tom, Marjorie, Janeice, Glenn, Robert and Kenneth. They preceded him in death.
Bob graduated from eighth grade at Garfield School, and at the age of 15 started working at Council Grove Rural Electric Association to help support his family. Other employment included Henry Trucking and Beech at Herington Air Base. He was also a member of the Kansas National Guard. He retired in 1997 from Fort Riley where he worked for 40 years as a sheet metal mechanic. He worked lots of overtime hours during the Vietnam War, repairing helicopters damaged on the battlefield. He was a maker of tools and received commendations for his inventions to help in the repair of aircraft. He repaired many cars, often using a rope-over-the-tree-branch method to replace motors into vehicles. He also raised registered Hampshire hogs. His love for Laura Ingalls Wilder began when LaQuita began reading the books to the family aloud on Sunday afternoons. He read her books over and over again and he and family members toured several of her homes before his walking became limited.
Bob was courier for the Council Grove Republican newspaper for over 15 years, until he quit driving in 2017. He loved the daily drive and meeting new people at the printer offices in Junction City and later in Burlingame.
He married LaQuita Joyce Holm of Chase County on Dec. 18, 1951, on her 17th birthday. He once told a grandchild, “I gave my heart to Jesus Christ on March 18, 1951, then on December 18, 1951, I gave my heart to your grandma and she still has it.” Together with their strong faith they raised five children for the Lord: Kay, Raye, Bob Jr., Chuck and Ruth Ann. Many great memories are of Friday family nights, picnics, fishing trips (the Neosho River was just yards from their property in Parkerville), going camping,, making homemade ice cream with the old crank freezer, foot races down the driveway to see who could beat dad.
Bob had beautiful blue eyes, a wonderful sense of humor and a wonderful laugh, which was shared by his brother, Kenny. A favorite story of the family was when a co-worker of Bob’s came through Council Grove and stopped at the Skelly gas station owned by Tom Roberts. The man heard Kenny, who was working there, laugh and said, “That must be Bob Roberts or a relative of his!”
Bob was ordained as a minister in the early 1960s in the Union Baptist Association of which Parkerville and Fredonia were the remaining churches. He occasionally filled the pulpit at Parkerville Baptist Church. He and LaQuita started the youth group at the church and worked with the youth for many years. This ministry was indeed a ministry of love. Many a good youth group party was enjoyed at their home or at the Parkerville Park.
Preceding him in death were his beloved wife, “Keke”, who died at the age of 59. Survivors include his children: Kay, of the home; Raye Roberts, Council Grove; Bob Jr. and his wife, Robin, Council Grove; Charles Roberts and his wife, Susanne, Dallas, TX; and Ruth Ann Bundy and her husband, Mike, Manhattan; six grandchildren: Marcus Hernandez (and his fiancée Kendra) and Aimee Roberts, Council Grove; Michael Roberts and his wife Jamie, Emporia; Jacqueline Bundy and Kirsten Bundy, Manhattan; Linnea Roberts, Dallas, TX; a great-granddaughter, Merideth, Emporia; and a sister-in-law, Janis Holm, Council Grove.
Also surviving are special double cousins, brought about when Bob’s brother Fred married LaQuita’s sister, Mary. They are Marvin Roberts, Lane; Carolyn Ray, Hillsboro; and triplets: Gary Roberts, Newton; Gerry Roberts, Peabody; and Larry Roberts, who was stillborn.
It was Bob’s wish to be cremated. Visitation will be from 6-8 p.m., Tuesday evening at the First Baptist Church, 501 Country Lane, Council Grove. Memorial service is 1 p.m., Wednesday also at the church.
Memorials can be made to the First Baptist Church Youth Group or the Doug Laue Prairie Suite at the Morris County Hospital.