James William Roberts obituary photo
 
In Memory of

James William Roberts

February 3, 1942 - June 17, 2017

Obituary


James William Roberts

DOB: February 3, 1942 in Kansas City, KS
DOD: June 17, 2017 (75yo) at Olathe Medical Center

Parents: Cecil Ellsworth Roberts and Rachel Louise (Claycomb) Roberts

Siblings: Mary, Cecil, Marge Stierly, Liz Biggs, Clayton, David

Wife: Carolyn Sue (Gossett) Roberts, married 49 years at the time of her passing in 2015

Children and spouses:
Lisa Christine (Roberts) Grinham (from 1st marriage)
Chris Grinham, husband
Greg Martin (wife Sandi), ex-husband
Ivan Phillip Roberts (from 1st marriage)
Deana Roberts, wife

James William Roberts

DOB: February 3, 1942 in Kansas City, KS
DOD: June 17, 2017 (75yo) at Olathe Medical Center

Parents: Cecil Ellsworth Roberts and Rachel Louise (Claycomb) Roberts

Siblings: Mary, Cecil, Marge Stierly, Liz Biggs, Clayton, David

Wife: Carolyn Sue (Gossett) Roberts, married 49 years at the time of her passing in 2015

Children and spouses:
Lisa Christine (Roberts) Grinham (from 1st marriage)
Chris Grinham, husband
Greg Martin (wife Sandi), ex-husband
Ivan Phillip Roberts (from 1st marriage)
Deana Roberts, wife
Linda Sue (Houghton) Bell (step daughter from 2nd marriage)
Chris Bell, husband
Rochelle Sue (Roberts) Ray (from 2nd marriage)
Rod Ray, husband

7 Grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild:
From Lisa - Eric Martin
From Ivan - Nicholas (wife Lacy); Landon (Jim's first great-grandchild)
From Linda - Stephanie, Craig (wife Jalashree), and Brad (wife Abby)
From Rochelle - Tanner and Trevor


How do you describe Jim Roberts? Many will smile and say, "What a character!" (or some not-so-clean version). For better or worse, he made an IMPACT! Jim made friends EVERYWHERE he went with his unique way of making people smile (kind of like the day he asked for marinated hummingbird hearts at Pizza Street). How he came up with the random things that flowed out of him is a mystery. Combined with his willingness to shoot the breeze and his love of people, he never knew a stranger.and never forgot his friends.

Jimmie was quite the challenge for his parents and siblings; his rebellious adventures ranged to the extreme side to say the least. But he loved his family dearly and was happy to be in closer contact in later years.

Although Jim had college credits in fire science and medical training, he felt like he wasn't smart enough with only a high school diploma. Nothing could be further from the truth. As his teachers at Wyandotte High School found out, when he was interested in something (like snakes), he was an engaged student. His insatiable curiosity was seen all the way to his last cognizant moments. He'd either figure it out or take it apart trying. He was a wealth of knowledge.

Jim was a hard worker. After being honorably discharged from the Navy for being allergic to wool (he'd say he couldn't do anything right!), he did a variety of jobs including produce manager, sales, over-the-road trucking, construction, etc. Rarely did he hold just one job; he didn't expect someone else to pay his way.

True pride and stability came when he joined the volunteer fire department. This led to the best 27 years of his life on the Overland Park Fire Department where he retired as lieutenant in 1997, primarily due to COPD and the pain of running too many calls involving children. In the early days, firefighters could have monitors at home, and the family often ran off-duty emergency calls with him. He had a passion for helping and was the man you'd want in an emergency; he'd either figure it out or die trying.

Jim truly retired several years later (from his remodeling business, work at a bottling plant, and Parsons) to be caregiver to his wife who eventually died of her fourth cancer in 2015. Although Jim had lots of skills and interests, a true jack of all trades, we did find what he couldn't do: cook!

Jim and Carolyn eloped in 1965 and had quite the adventure for the next 49 years. They both loved to fish and travel, especially if it was snowing in Colorado! They were imperfect people who loved imperfect kids and grandkids dearly. We were the center of their affections. They always welcomed grandkids with big smiles and hugs; and the candy drawer was always well-stocked. We are grateful for how God used them in our lives. They are incredibly missed.

COPD and chronic heart issues brought the rollercoaster to an end sooner than expected. Jim passed into eternity with Linda, Rochelle, and Ivan loving him to the end.

We want to capture the limitless stories, bits of 'wisdom', and sayings (grandpa-isms) that were his trademark. Please include any you remember in the guestbook! (examples: intercranial rectumitis. do it smarter (from when he almost tore his arm off)..the more you have, the more you work..etc.)

Jim's visitation will begin at 9am with a memorial service at 10:30am, Saturday, June 24th, 2017 at the McGilley & Hoge Chapel, Overland Park, Kansas. Memorial contributions may be given to the Overland Park Fire Department Benevolent Associate, 12401 Hemlock Street, ATTN: Lt. John Hefernon, Overland Park, Kansas 66213.