Born May 22, 1923, Bob was the oldest of four children of Villa Rica Postmaster Henry Grady Roberds and Louise Jones Roberds. His parents and his sisters, Lila Louise Beggs and Jean Lenore Holley, preceded him in death.
Graduating at the top of his class from Villa Rica High School, Bob attended Georgia Tech to study Chemical Engineering. World War II intervened, and having been a member of the NROTC, he served in the U. S. Naval reserve from January, 1942, until November, 1944. He re-entered Georgia Tech and graduated as a Chemical Engineer in 1945. He joined the California Oil Company (Chevron) in Harvey, La., and served as a very successful and admired reservoir and drilling engineer for 40 years.
The same year that his Chevron career began, he married his Villa Rica sweetheart, Sarah Nell Harrison. They had four children who survive them: Susan R. Graul and husband, Mike, Houston, Texas, Richard Allen Roberds, Villa Rica, Elizabeth R. Hebert, Villa Rica, and Barbara J. Roberds, Hammond, La.; one brother, Richard Grady Roberds and his wife, Margo, of North Carolina; 10 grandchildren, Lindsay, Sarah and Henry Roberds, Villa Rica, Jay and Michelle Hebert, St. Louis, Eric and Vanesa Hebert, Denver, Luke and Lori Hebert, Houston, Kelly (Graul) and Lance Parks, Houston, Colleen (Graul) and Jose Rodriguez, Richmond, Va., Patrick and Kim Graul, Tyler, Texas and Michael and Donna Graul, Bryan, Texas; 22 great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
Bob Roberds had a lifelong romance with learning, rarely without a book or electronic project, he not only stayed current with technology, but became an expert on historical matters of interest to a true “southern gentleman,” including the Civil and Revolutionary Wars as well as the genealogy of the Roberds clan. When the family lived in such garden spots as Rangeley, Col., and Waterproof, La., Bob and Nell could be counted on to pile the kids into the family car and take a road trip, sampling the local culture and area history.
A staunch patriot and longtime conservative, Bob passionately followed the local and national political scene. When his sight began to fail, he depended heavily on radio and book tapes or CD’s to satisfy his need for current knowledge and insight. A conversation with him, whether at an old-fashioned general store in Villa Rica, a long distance call, or a Skype with the kids, was sure to be a learning experience if not a full conversion from faulty reasoning — as if by a visit from the Renaissance Man.
Besieged by the macular degeneration, and a host of debilitating ailments, Bob’s mind remained keen to the very end, when this loving, Christian man went to his heavenly reward.
Funeral services will be conducted Wednesday, October 3, 2012, at 1 p.m. from the chapel of the J. Hoyt Thomas Funeral Home with Harold Peacock, Chaplain of Agape Hospice, officiating. Music will be provided by Randy Williams and Dr. Larry Price. Pallbearers will be Randy Williams, Ted Karas, Mike Graul, Neal McClure, Bernie Mandelke and Henry Keller. Interment will follow in Hillcrest Cemetery, Villa Rica.
In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully request that memorial contributions be made to the American Macular Degeneration Foundation, P.O. Box 515, Northampton, MA 01061-0515.
Messages of condolence may be sent to the family at www.jhoytthomas.com.
J. Hoyt Thomas Funeral Home, Villa Rica.