Fred Roberts Jr.
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February 18, 1924 - November 30, 2013
On Saturday November 30, 2013 the world lost a wonderful man. After a solid and enjoyable life of almost 90 years, Fred Roberts Jr. passed away surrounded by his adoring family. He was a lifelong resident of Pocatello, a respected businessman and ski bum at heart. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
Fred is survived by his wife, Jerry Cullen Roberts (Copper Summit Assisted Living, Pocatello), daughters; Melinda Redden of Idaho Falls and Susan Davidson of Boise; son Frederick Blake Roberts and his wife Stacie of Pocatello.
Fred is also survived by his four grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Melinda's daughter Andrea is married to Brandon Rees and has two boys, Gabriel and Declan Frederick. They reside in Idaho Falls along with Melinda's son, Matthew Roberts Redden. Susie has two sons. Ben lives in Boise with his wife, Erin and their daughter, Violet Mae. Jeff is married to Tara. They reside in Seattle.
Fred was born on February 18th, 1924 at his parents' home on N. 7th Avenue, Pocatello, Idaho. His parents, Fred Roberts Sr. and Melitta (Mae) Hansen Roberts, were the children of diligent Welsh and Danish immigrants who worked and managed the gold mines of Central City and Black Hawk Colorado. He had two older brothers Walter and Ralph Roberts.
Fred's parents moved to Pocatello to pursue their dreams of raising a family and owning a business. That business was People's Market, a well-respected grocery store and meat market. His father had him assist with deliveries and balance daily receipts, all at the age of eight.
Fred graduated from Pocatello High School in 1942 where he was class treasurer. He enrolled at Idaho State University, but shortly thereafter, duty called and he proudly enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He turned 19 en route to Midway Island where he served in the 2nd Defense Battalion during World War II. He told insightful stories of his time on the very small Pacific atoll, from the entertaining "Gooney Birds" (albatrosses) to the daily experiences of a young Marine during wartime.
Fred returned to the States by sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge. While enjoying his one day of liberty in San Francisco, he took the opportunity to call his mother, get a good meal, have a nice drink and sleep in a comfortable bed. He returned to Pocatello and was stationed at the Naval Ordnance Plant (NOP) where he served as payroll clerk until he was honorably discharged at the end of the war.
Fred married Jerry Cullen on October 13, 1946 at the First Congregational Church in Pocatello. They honeymooned in Jackson Hole, an area that still holds a special place in all Roberts family members' hearts. He was a devoted and caring husband during their 67 years of marriage.
Fred went to work with his father and two brothers in the family business, People's Market, this time as grocery manager. In 1964 he worked at O.G. Roach Moving and then for Gate City Steel as traffic manager. He became a realtor in the early 70's and remained so for more than 30 years. He was equitable and loyal to all his clients, friends and acquaintances, yet wasn't afraid to call someone's bluff. He enjoyed the hard work and the many friendships he made along the way.
Fred was active in the Masons, Elks and Bannock Historical Society with his wife. He especially enjoyed hiking and skiing Skyline Ski Area (Pebble Creek). His friends and he would "ski-pack" the lower runs for their fellow skiers before hiking to the top of Mt. Bonneville to ski their reward of fresh powder. His ski stories are part of Roberts lore to this day. He also enjoyed fly-fishing, particularly in the Mackay area. He passed his love and respect of the outdoors on to his children, and grandchildren. With a gentle hand he always had a dog at his side. He loved them all and they him.
Above all Fred loved his family. He was a caring husband, a patient and loving father, a loyal friend and an honest human being with an admirable wisdom of life.
In typical understated fashion Fred did not want a large funeral held in his honor. Instead he wanted friends and family to gather together and enjoy each other's company, some good food, a nice drink and warmhearted stories.
A wake will be held Saturday, February 22, 2014 at the home of Fred's son, 141 S. 9th Avenue, Pocatello, Idaho from 1-5 pm.
Memorial donations may be made in Fred's name to the Bannock Humane Society P.O. Box 332 Pocatello, Id 83204.
Published in Idaho State Journal on Feb. 9, 2014