Francis J. "Fran" Roberts
1940 - 2021
BORN
1940
DIED
2021
FUNERAL HOME
Kostanski Funeral Home
220 Federal Street
Greenfield, MA
Francis "Fran" J. Roberts

Shelburne Falls, MA — Francis "Fran" J. Roberts, 81, of Shelburne, MA passed peacefully at home surrounded by his loving family beside him on Wednesday October 13, 2021. He was born on April 3, 1940 to the late Frank and Helen Roberts of Greenfield, MA.

He became an Eagle Scout and was selected to attend the Boy Scout National Convention in Ervine, CA. He was a life guard for 3 years at the Greenfield swimming pool while attending high school.

After graduating from Kimball Union Academy in 1959 he started a new business as Long View Recreational Vehicles. He began with 3 Apache tent trailers that were delivered on a train, required assembly and were available for sale at his parent's Long View Tower/Gift shop in Greenfield, MA. This tower with a 3-state view from the top became the logo for Long View RV. With a $600 investment, Fran would create the largest and oldest family owned and operated RV dealership today.

Fran married the love of his life, Shirley Gutkowski, on August 23, 1962. Shirley was a Registered nurse, who graduated from Franklin County Hospital School of Nursing. Together they would establish an incredible RV business.

Fran graduated from Nichols College in 1964. He was employed by the Advertising Department of Millers Falls Tool Co. while selling RVs in his spare time. While at the Greenfield location the Roberts organized a Coachman camping club known as the Long View Roamers, Chapter 134. In 1975 Fran and Shirley were named Dealer Sponsor of the Year and awarded in the Market Penetration Contest. Fran also served as a director for the RV Dealers of America Association.

In 1984 the business moved to a 5-acre site in Northampton, MA. In 1993 they acquired a prime location in Windsor Locks, CT. The name of the company was changed to Long View RV Superstores now that they had two major locations. The CT location has been headed by son Frank who has over 30 years in the RV business.

Many RV manufacturers were added over the years and companies like Coachman, Coleman and Gulfstream offered incentive trips to the top performers. The Roberts family, including their son and daughter, were able to travel the world over the next 20 years. Some of their most memorable trips were to Alaska, Australia, Austria, Bermuda, China, Egypt, England, France, Germany, Greece, Hawaii, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Morocco, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Rhine River Cruise and Wind Star and Wind Spirit sailing ship cruises. "A life well lived and memories to last a lifetime!"

In 2000 a sales outlet was opened in Canaan, NY. In 2004 a new location in Leesburg, FL followed by another location in Kissimmee, FL and just outside Tampa in Dover, FL. The Tampa location was on a 22 acre lot just off I-4 on McIntosh Road. This was surely the "Taj Mahal" of RV dealerships.

It is the belief of the Roberts Family that the dedication to their customers has led them to grow as rapidly as they have. They proudly remain a locally owned and operated family business serving the needs of RV families across the country.

Fran leaves behind his loving wife Shirley of 59 years. A son, Frank and his wife Suzanne of Connecticut along with their two children, Alexis and Frank Jr. A daughter, Jackie and her husband Todd of Utah. Fran also leaves several loving nieces and nephews.

Calling hours will be held Wednesday, 10/20 from 3pm -7pm at the Kostanski Funeral Home, 220 Federal Street Greenfield.

In Lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Alzheimer's Association, Waverly Oaks Road, Waltham, MA 02452. For Condolences, please visit www.kostanskifuneralhome.com

Published by The Recorder from Oct. 15 to Oct. 22, 2021.
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MEMORIAL EVENTS
Oct
20
Calling hours
3:00p.m. - 7:00p.m.
Kostanski Funeral Home
220 Federal Street, Greenfield, MA
Funeral services provided by:
Kostanski Funeral Home
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8 Entries
Fran Roberts was a kind man with a huge heart. Fran and welcomed us into their Shelburne home for wonderful dinner parties with a ski racing theme. We will miss Fran and his smile immensely. The Hazens
The Hazens
October 21, 2021
a great friend great person to be around down to earth friend our sincere sympathy to the whole family might be gone but always will be loved and remembered god bless you all
Joseph Dionne lorraine dionne
Friend
October 20, 2021
Shirley and Family, So very sorry for your loss. I remember the Greenfield business well and how good Fran was to my brother when he worked there. Deepest Sympathy, Karen Fritz O'Hare
Karen Fritz O'Hare
October 19, 2021
We have lost an absolute treasure to this world! Fran was everything you wanted in a man: friendly, loyal, honorable, hardworking, trustworthy, reliable, funny as hell, and tough! He always had time for you, and made you feel special, not matter how insignificant the opportunity was. Fran & Shirley raised a great family (both at home and at Long View), and we will miss him dearly. God bless him and rest peacefully! ~ Love Bruce & Kristi
Bruce & Kristi Richard
Work
October 18, 2021
Please accept my sympathy for the loss of a very special person who it was a pleasure to do business with for close to fifty years going back to the old Coachmen days and continuing on to the Dover store in Florida. He will truly be missed.
john a boot
Work
October 18, 2021
Fran was a very special person in our New England RV Dealer community and the RV industry nationwide. His smile, wit and wisdom were the traits we will all remember - that and his incredible love for Shirley, Frank, Jackie and all family members. I've known Fran for over 25 years and always looked forward to our RV meetings and later through NERVDA. We had many social engagements and he would school me on the joys of Long View RV, and how much he loved his employees and their customers - and it showed in everything they did. We mourn the loss of this great man, but thank him and Shirley for sharing him on this journey. Everybody loved Fran, and he has left us with many incredible memories to sustain us at this time, and well into the future.
Bob Zagami
October 16, 2021
David and Heather Galotto
October 15, 2021
Dear Roberts Family, so sorry to hear of Fran's passing. Please accept my sincere condolences. I'll remember fondly Fran being part of the parent/grandparent cheering section at the bottom of Berkshire East's racing course. You have to know Lexi and Frankie that he was one of your most devoted fans. Love to you all.
Maureen Flaherty
Friend
October 15, 2021
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