Robert (Larry) Roberts died in his home, surrounded by his family, on April 30, 2020 in Leamington, ON due to complications of MDS. He was 84. Larry is survived by the love of his life Ilene (Ignagni), his children Phil Roberts (Lori), Paula Roberts, Lisa Minello (Ken), Peter Roberts (Heather) and the daughter who joined our family in 1980, Debbie Ferrari as well as ten grandchildren: Jordan, Meg, Paul, Julia, Aly, Tess, Kenzie, Miranda, Marcus and Sonny. His nieces, nephews, sister Shirley Girling, sister-in-law Carmela Veneri, and brothers-in-law Tony Victor, Mario Ignagni (Kathy) also survive him. His brother and sister-in-law Frank and Pat Roberts, brother-in-law Gene Veneri and sister-in-law Marge Victor precede him in death. Anyone else fighting MDS for 7+ years would have given up the fight a long time ago but Larry was not going to be taken down easily. Although exhaustion pursued his last days, he was positive and never complained. He didn't live like he was dying. He died like he was living. His passion for life, his family, golf, music and literature were constants throughout his entire life and continued until the end. Classical and jazz music were really the soundtrack of his life. He spent countless hours in his library with a Vivaldi concerto pumping through his 13 speakers reading A People’s History. Everyone knew him on the golf course for his infectious smile and sense of humour. He would throw his arm around your shoulder with a warm “my buddy, my pal, my main man.” He was known for his love of the Christmas season, pizza and red wine, potato chips, fishing, his puzzles, sunsets, sunrises on the water, the cottage, having his family around him and his beautiful wife beside him. Larry was born on April 14, 1936 in Windsor, ON to his parents, Frank and Dulcie Roberts. He attended Assumption H.S. from 1950-1954 and then graduated from the University of Windsor with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1959. He later went back to the University to complete his Master’s degree in 1971. Larry started his teaching career at Massey SS and finished at WD Lowe 34 years later. He tells the story of meeting Ilene in 1960 and falling head over heels at first sight. How he could not wait until the second date to see her again and that, he knew she was the ‘one’. He married his love in June of 1962 and started their family shortly after. He retired in 1993 and continued his passion of reading and writing. A special acknowledgement goes out to the Princess Roberts, the East Beach posse, the Destin crew and the Erie Shores gang for all the love, laughs and support over the years. A heartfelt thank you goes out to the staff at the Erie Shores HealthCare Center, particularly in Ambulatory Care (Laura, Lynn, Mandy and Tracy) for their kindness, gentleness and compassion through his many transfusions and visits. A Go Fund Me (www.gofundme.com) page has been set up to honor these people under the Larry Roberts Fund which can be found at the link below.
Larry was a scholar, he spent his entire life reading and he lived his life guided by the following quote “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
As per Larry’s wishes, cremation has taken place. A Celebration of Larry’s Life will take place at a later date. Funeral Arrangements entrusted to Reid Funeral Home & Reception Centre, 14 Russell St., Leamington (519-326-2631). Family, friends and colleagues are encouraged to share stories and words of comfort at www.reidfuneralhome.ca