Lawrence James Roberts
Lawrence James Roberts was the eldest son of WW2 Marine Colonel Edwin S. Roberts, Jr. and Betty Roberts, born in Quantico, VA. As an infant they moved to Los Angeles, and in 1955 to Reno, Nevada. Larry fondly recounted days of his youth having Bob Hope make sandwiches, and later spending all day riding his bike, building forts and jumps, collecting, and taking care of animals and his siblings. He graduated from Bishop Manogue High School, Reno, Nevada.
He was active in the Marine Corps Reserves and other local military groups, and until COVID, he led the efforts to organize the Marine Corps Reunion every Veteran's Day at the Tamarack Junction. At the end of each dinner, the ritual of cutting the cake with the oldest and youngest Marines was performed, using his father's Marine Corps Officer Mameluke sword.
Professionally, he was an architect for Daniel, Mann, Johnson & Mendenhall, and a few other firms, and then opened his own commercial architectural business. Larry was involved in many of the local buildings in the Reno/Sparks area. He was an early innovator in energy efficiencies and was Co-CEO of Western Energy Enterprises. While he was adept at building or renovating new spaces, he was also passionate about history. He spent many summers at Q Ranch in AZ participating in archaeological digs, and his favorite trip abroad was to see the architecture in Egypt.
Larry has three children (Dr. Lisa Jeanne Roberts/Jim Pishue), James (Jim) Lawrence Roberts (Mary Kim, Alec Roberts, son), and Timothy Lawrence Roberts (Kim Roberts, Erin Roberts and Brandon Roberts). He married the love of his life 25 years ago, Judy Roberts, and lovingly embraced her daughters and their families (Lisa Laskey, Kim Laskey, Ren, Mel) and Kristi Morton (Cliff Morton, Gunner, Skylar, Shea, Gage). He is also survived by his siblings, William (Bill) Roberts (Jennifer, Kimberly, and Danny), Jim Roberts (Wendy, Christopher, Corey and Kate), and Chris Kilian (son Sean, daughter Lenni (Tony), and children Nikoli, Dante, Giovanni, Leo, Helena). His cousins remain in contact, including: Don Roberts and daughter Olivia, Marcia Roberts, Louise Vandling, and Kathy Grossman.
Larry was consistently regarded as a genius. He could see potential in many objects, especially if they had wheels, were heavy or susceptible to rust. He loved building, tooling, blacksmithing, archeology, creating—he was truly a Renaissance man. He participated every year at the iconic annual Reno Hot August Nights event, including cruising in his 1965 Chevy Suburban (BKBRNR), and scouring the swap meet for treasures.
He used to wear a t shirt that said "I can't die, I have too many projects"- unfortunately, someone did not get that memo! He was a true friend, always there to help and often to build something to solve a problem. He was kind, funny as hell, and had impeccable manners. He was patriotic, patient, humble and kind, and made this world a better place. His lifestyle made him both mentally and physically strong, and we all share fond memories of the best bear hugs, almost to the point of suffocation. Despite chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery, he lost his battle with pancreatic cancer 15 months after diagnosis.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to either Circle of Life Hospice Foundation, 1575 Delucchi Lane, Suite #214, Reno, NV, 89502 or the Reno DVA, Sierra Nevada Chapter 989, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or call (775) 825-9760 to make a credit card donation via phone. The family will be tentatively holding a celebration of life gathering in Reno, in the fall. If you are interested in attending please email Judy Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com more details.
Published in the Reno Journal-Gazette and Mason Valley News on Apr. 18, 2021.