We believe that a life should be celebrated with Love, Respect and Joyful Memories.

John "Jack" Roberts

Nov 11, 1900 - Nov 11, 2017
ObituaryShare A Memory

John “Jack” Roberts

Thanks for a wonderful life. I've dreamed of a life as an eagle, flying wherever I want with a bird’s eye view; or as a dolphin gracefully swimming the oceans; but that's just a dream. Better yet, a human being growing up in the 21st century and lucky enough to live in the United States of America.

 I was fortunate to be born to Mae and Norman Roberts at St. Elizabeth Hospital. They were loving parents who I admired and fondly remembered throughout my life. I followed my Dad into teaching and coaching sports, and my mom who taught me competitive bridge and supported my art endeavors. My art and sports were also encouraged by my teachers at Wilson Jr High and Eisenhower High schools. After graduating from Central Washington University with a BA in Education, a job opened up at Franklin Jr High, where I taught for the next 31 years. I've done the math and 18 thousand students have come to my classroom to learn something about art and being creative. I hope they also learned more about themselves and how to treat people around them. My student athletes learned what they are made of, and how to be team members. The 15 thousand I had the honor to coach, worked hard and performed their very best come game day. The Franklin football field is where you would find me for 22 years. I usually coached the high jump, pole vault, and hurdles 28 years during track season, what fun! During the winter time for 29 years I coached many very talented, hardworking wrestlers at Franklin and ten years at Davis High School, traveling around the state every weekend to tough tournaments. I want to sincerely thank all my fellow coaches. I won't mention names (to protect the innocent).

 Competitive bridge tournaments can be intense, but fun at the same time. The names of hundreds of Duplicate Bridge partners and thousands of opponents we will keep secret as well. Achieving Life Master over 10 years ago was a thrill. It was a good thing being around directors and players at the Yakima Bridge Club because they are all wonderful people. Another group of people I admired, the Larson Gallery Guild, gives outstanding effort and support to the arts in the valley. I was privileged to be on the board of directors for 10 years. I enjoyed working with all the volunteers and directors.

 A few of my really close teacher friends and I loved to fish with our boats on the lakes. We were having such a time we bought a cabin on Rimrock Lake so four families could join in. I'm quite sure I did not make any money in the monthly poker games, which still go on today, but I raked in some good longtime friends and memories.

 I followed my father’s passion to remodel, build, and improve property. Every house I have owned or even rented has been transformed in some way and I still have all my fingers. My Dad's major project for 50 years, which included me, was a lake house on Lake Coeur d’Alene in northern Idaho. The lake house was and still is a wonderful place to work on projects and hobbies. My brothers and sisters got how-to lessons on excavation, cement work, structure, electricity, plumbing, roofing etc. Dad would slowly give out this wisdom between summer jobs to pay for the lumber and cement. Exploring nature, beach combing, waterskiing, and fishing were activities I figured out by myself.

 Mom always said I was the baby of the family, which drove me crazy.

My surviving siblings include; Dave (Millie) Roberts of Spokane, Tim (JoAnn) Roberts of Kalispell, MT., Bev Kent of Seattle, and Mary Wyn Hagel of Tacoma. We all got together two or three times a year or as much as possible. These four people are the nicest, most caring, hardworking individuals on the planet. I love them all very much. 

My first marriage was 19 years. Daughter Amy (Curtis) Smith, grandchildren Sawyer and Sadie of Richland. Son, Drew (Karen) Roberts, grandchildren Jacob and Ruby of Minneapolis, MN. We sure have great times at the lake.

My second and last marriage is to Theresa of 27 years and counting (at the time of this writing). Theresa has 2 daughters, Deann (Jochen), grandchildren Austin, Justine, and Laurel of Yakima. Debra (Doug), grandchildren Cameron, great-grandchildren Caden, Karlee of Houston, TX. Colton greatgrandchild Cohen also of Houston, TX.

 A big smile comes to my face when I think of each relative, whether it was doing a project together or just hanging out playing games. I have no regrets about my life other than I would have loved to spend more time with Theresa exploring the country and life. I was never the sharpest knife in the drawer but my early years of energy and later years of organization and laidback approach seemed to work well for most all students and friends. I would like to be remembered as someone who respects nature, values science and education—classrooms can be anywhere. My art is lifelong. I always tell friends I have a short attention span because I would jump from one medium to another. Here is a list of my favorites; color and regular pencil drawing, water color and acrylic paintings, photography and stained glass. I hope if you run across an art piece of mine, you will remember to give someone a hug or tip a glass for me.

Thank you, Theresa and others, for end of life struggles. I love you. Jack

A Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, April 22, 2018 at Santiago's on Yakima Avenue. Drop in between 2:00 PM and 4:00 PM. Use the back door entrance off of 1st Avenue.


Funeral Information

Funeral service

Apr 22, 2018: 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Santiago's On Yakima Avenue