Harry Franklin Roberts
June 21, 2034 – June 23, 2023
Beloved Husband, Father, Grandfather, Great Grandfather, devoted Roman Catholic, advocate, encourager, patriot, enthusiastic champion of everyone he met, and a pillar of strength to all who were blessed to know him. After a brief illness, Harry passed away peacefully in his home In Brookings on June 23rd with his wife by his side and surrounded by loved ones. He was 89 years old.
Harry was the son of the late Elizabeth P. and Chester H. Roberts of South Haven, MI. His youth and school years were spent in South Haven, on the Eastern shoreline of Lake Michigan. After graduating from South Haven High School in 1953, he drove a truck for Willoughby’s Orchard Supply until March of 1955, when he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps.
In the Fall of 1959, while on military leave, Harry returned to South Haven and reacquainted himself with Marguerite Molnar who would become the love of his life. July 9, 1960, Harry and Marguerite were wed at St. Basil Roman Catholic Church in South Haven. Their one-week honeymoon road trip to Camp Pendleton began their love for travel. His military career required relocating their home every couple of years. They welcomed their daughter Theresa in 1962 and son Richard in 1963. Harry’s first of three tours in Vietnam was in 1966 as a Sergeant. During his career he ascended to the rank of Captain.
Retiring from the Marine Corps as a Captain in 1975, Harry began a second career as a service representative for United Parcel Service (UPS) in Anaheim, CA. He moved his family to Yorba Linda and was a parishioner at St Martin De Porres Church. He and Marguerite drove into retirement for good this time in 1993. They put many miles on their motorhome traveling the country, visiting family and old friends, and making new friends wherever they landed. Their travels included all 50 states and Canada. Wanting to settle near their family, and preferring the beautiful coastal Northwest climate, they built their retirement home in Brookings, OR in 1997. They continued to travel in their motorhome, with many trips to Los Banos, CA to visit Theresa, her husband Hank and their nine children, but called Brookings their home port, fishing, and helping Rich and his wife Cathy raise their four boys. “Gramps” purchased an ocean boat and was always ready to take the boys fishing from the Port of Brookings any morning they could go.
A devoted Catholic, Harry was active in many facets of parish life. He began a long ministry lectoring for Mass at Treasure Island Naval Base, San Francisco Bay in 1969 and continually served at his home parishes until his recent illness. An active member of the Knights of Columbus, he served as Grand Knight for 2 terms, achieved 4th Degree, and served as Faithful
Harry enjoyed many interests through the years: passionate fisherman, mole trapper extraordinaire, woodworking, avid reader, music & dancing, closet Elvis impersonator, family camping & RVing, campfire bacon fry chef, boating, shop tinkering, watching and opining on world news and politics, thrifty accumulator of potentially useful items, shopping for fishing gear, scuba diving, praying the Rosary, Elks Club lifetime member – Elk of the Year 2004, Outstanding Service Award 2010, Calling Bingo at the Elks where he was known to make the best popcorn, Lifetime member of the Marine Corps League – as the oldest member he was the cake cutter at the Marine Corp Birthday Ball, and Santa Claus to all.
Dad, Grandpa Motorhome, Gramps, So Big, deeply loved spending time with his 13 grandchildren and 10 Great-Grandchildren. He always made time to attend their many significant events through the years. He knew we lived in the best country this world had ever seen and was a true patriot to the end. Never afraid of hard work and always willing to volunteer when others couldn’t. He kept his word and never made excuses when things didn’t go as planned. We will forever miss
his companionship, wisdom, and love for us all.
Harry is survived by his wife of 63 years Marguerite Roberts, children Theresa Vander Poel (Hank Vander Poel) of Los Banos, CA , Rich Roberts (Cathy Roberts)of Brookings, OR, grandchildren Sean Roberts (Samantha), Arik Roberts (Kayla), Collin Roberts, Dylan Roberts (Maria), Andrew Vander Poel (Savannah), Matthew Vander Poel (Amber), Victoria Vander Poel,
Jerome Vander Poel (Kristin), Nathan Vander Poel (Talisa), Anthony Vander Poel (Gemma), Samuel Vander Poel, John Paul Vander Poel, Philip Vander Poel, and 10 great grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the charities that were close to his heart: Knights of Columbus or Star of the Sea Parish. A donation for either can be sent to: 820 Old County Rd., Brookings, OR 97415
A Funeral Mass will be held at 9:30 a.m., Wednesday, July 5, 2023, at Star of the Sea Catholic Church, 820 Old County Road, Brookings. A Rosary will precede the Mass at 9 a.m.
Interment will be at 1 p.m. on Thursday, July 6, 2023 at Eagle Point National Cemetery, 2763 Riley Road, Eagle Point, Oregon.
Redwood Memorial Chapel is assisting the family.