Richard R. Roberts

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Richard Randolph Roberts

90, former chief editorial writer for the Indianapolis Star, died February 12, 2013 at Methodist Hospital.

He was employed at The Indianapolis Star for 45 years, retiring in 1996. He also had been as editor on the city and state desks at the paper, as well as one of the paper's top rewritemen. He received several awards including the Sagamore of the Wabash.

He was brought up in a newspaper family. His father, the late Frank Roberts, was longtime editor of the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, and his mother, Bessie Keeran Roberts, was a noted historian who at one time wrote an internationally syndicated newspaper column. The couple was host to many celebrated authors, politicians, and journalists at their Fort Wayne home.

Born in Fort Wayne, September 14, 1922, Roberts attended public schools there and graduated from Indiana University in 1944. He was awarded his IU degree by radio on a troopship to Europe. He later fought in the infantry during World War II, serving as an interpreter and was awarded the Bronze Star. After the war he did graduate studies at the University of Nebraska and the University of Chicago.

Before joining The Star, he worked at the Journal-Gazette and the Bedford Times-Mail.

In 1965 he married Joanne Harden of Indianapolis. Between them they were parents of seven children, 16 grandchildren, five great grandchildren, and one great great grandchild.

He was preceded in death by his parents brothers, William and Jack; and wife, Suzanne (Reeder); son, Richard, and daughter, Marisa (Toria).

He is survived by his wife, Joanne; children, Randolph (Rute) of Bahia, Brazil, Darren (Janai) of Zionsville, Angele Laredo of Monterrey, CA, Donna (Dan) Kelley of Fort Wayne, and Cindy Roberts; and daughter-in-law, Clare Roberts.

Roberts was a man of many interests. In 1995 in a biographical sketch in a Star yearbook, Roberts wrote that he enjoyed "jogging, hiking, target shooting, fishing, classical music and jazz, gardening, landscape painting, theater, reading history, biography, drama, politics, astronomy, social analysis, literary criticism, Greek, Russian, French, English, and U.S. literature, browsing in bookstores, walking in favorite cities...New York, Chicago, New Orleans, Frisco, Fort Pierce, and Indy for starters."

A Celebration of Life will be held at a later time. Memorial contributions may be made to or Wounded Warriors. Arrangements: Alpha Funeral Service .

Published in the The Indianapolis Star on Feb. 17, 2013
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