John R. Roberts ’71

John R. Roberts ’71 died on April 18, 2020 in Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts. 

(The following appeared on on April 18, 2020)

John R. Roberts of Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts, formerly of Andover, Massachusetts, and Blackwell, Oklahoma, passed away on April 18, 2020, after a long battle with cancer. He was the loving husband of Christine (Goss) Roberts, loving father of his son Edward and his wife, Ilona, of Boston, and son Steven of Wellesley.

Growing up in Blackwell, Oklahoma, John’s competitive nature saw him become the youngest Eagle Scout in his town, a testament to his character. But it was his basketball and track and field talents as a decathlete that brought him to Bowdoin College, in Brunswick, Maine.

He also had a long and storied career in commercial real estate, working for organizations such as Lechmere, BJ’s Wholesale, and The Home Depot, where he ran site selection and development on the East Coast through the 1990s, although none of his professional accomplishments mattered when compared to his love of his family. John could always be found coaching youth sports for both of his sons, both baseball players, as well as organizing the Challenger baseball league, a baseball league for disabled children. Challenger provided opportunities for inclusion and created champions of all participants. John was the president of the Special Education Parents Advisory Council in Andover, Massachusetts, for many years.

John was preceded in death by his parents, Bob and Arline of Oklahoma, he is also survived by his sister, Mary Bibus of Florida, and his two brothers, Kim and Bob of Oklahoma, his sisters-in-law, Carol Nichols of Raleigh, North Carolina, Lorraine LeClair of Dedham, Massachusetts, Judy Crowley and her husband, Dan, of Rockland, Massachusetts, and Mary Martin and her husband, Frank, of Rockland, Massachusetts, along with numerous nieces and nephews.

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