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Leland Roberts

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Leland Roberts Obituary
Roberts, Leland
Leland Roberts, September 7, 1936 – November 29, 2014 died from cancer at the age of 78. Born in Salina, Kansas, Leland entered the University of Kansas as an engineering major, but graduated with a B.A. in Music Education, unable to resist the call of his clarinet and the lure of the conductor's podium. After completing his M.A. in Music Education, Leland spent 33 years as Professor of Music at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut, where he also conducted the SHU Chamber Orchestra and the SHU Chamber Choir, as well as numerous smaller ensembles. Leland was an early devotee of the resurgence in performance of Renaissance and Baroque music on original instruments, and was a master recorder player. When he retired from SHU in 1999, he was the first faculty member to receive a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, and also was named Professor Emeritus.
Although a son of the Great Plains, Leland's soul found its true home in the mountains of Colorado, and throughout his life he returned time and again to Gunnison and the surrounding countryside. Leland loved nothing more than a grueling climb up a mountain pass on one of his many bikes, followed by a gleeful downhill and a night at a streamside campsite, supported by nothing more than what he could carry in his panniers.
Leland was a model of humility, kindness and fortitude to his children, Lynne, of New York City, Kenneth, of Arlington, Virginia, Lisa, of San Antonio, and Jeffrey, who predeceased him. In addition to building extraordinary model train installations, Leland's other favorite hobby was "grandfathering," providing constant support and encouragement to Daphne, Evan and Griffin, Jane Emma and Mary, and Gemma and Declan. Leland was married to Monica Barcas Roberts for 43 years before her death, and was lucky to find love again with wife Peggy, who survives him. He is also survived by his sister Linda, of Jacksonville, North Carolina. His sister Diana predeceased him. A memorial service for Leland will be held next month at SHU. In lieu of flowers, Leland's family asks that you consider a donation to the San Antonio Symphony, www.sasymphony.org, or the Rails to Trails Conservancy, www.railstotrails.org
"Now he walks in quiet solitude the forest and the streams
Seeking grace in every step he takes
His sight has turned inside himself to try and understand The serenity of a clear blue mountain lake.
And the Colorado rocky mountain high
He's seen it raining fire in the sky
Talk to God and listen to the casual reply
Rocky mountain high."
Published in Connecticut Post on Dec. 3, 2014
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