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2000 Leonard Street NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49505
Life Story / Obituary
Lee Roberts could always be counted on for his compassionate, listening heart and thoughtful hugs. A gentle natured and soft spoken man who by faith walked daily with his Lord, Lee was ever so humble and kind. Born on January 17, 1940 in Grand Rapids, Michigan where Lee always made his home, he was the youngest son of Harold and Sadie (Baker) Roberts. Lee joined his older siblings, Hugh and Betty, and was raised primarily on Fredrick Street NW where he spent a childhood of adventures. He especially held fond memories of summertime visits with family friends at Gun Lake where he enjoyed fishing and waterskiing. Times also shared with cousins created a close bond that continued their whole lives through.
Lee attended West Leonard Elementary School and later graduated from Union High School in 1958. He then spent two years studying at Grand Rapids Junior College where he earned his associates degree. Having enlisted in the U.S. Army, Lee honorably served for three years as a clerk in Germany during the Korean War. Upon his return home, Lee took a job with General Motors where he worked as a data processor, and in the early days of their inception, computers. The company later became EDS, and Lee was promoted to supervisor from which he retired. Lee’s career was something he truly enjoyed and he fostered friendships with many of his coworkers.
Eventually Lee purchased his parent’s home, giving them a lifetime lease. When they grew older he was there to assist them. Although Lee never married, he had much to fill his time. He enjoyed spending time with family, and always loved fishing on the inland lakes with his small boat. When it came to traveling, he went on several trips with his parents, usually visiting relatives.
First and foremost in Lee’s life was his faith. As a 60 year member of Wallin Congregational Church where he was raised, Lee helped in many capacities there and often ran the sound booth. He later became active with the Disciples of Christ retreats, usually attending several a year. Lee’s compassionate and thoughtful ways were quite evident. He was a good listener, and people were naturally drawn to him. There wasn’t anything quite like Lee’s genuine, heartfelt hugs which he loved to give. In fact, he even had clothing that said, “free hugs.”
A quiet, often reserved man, Lee was a humble servant of his Lord. His faith was clearly the cornerstone of his life and it centered on his personal relationship with Christ and his commitment in following His ways. Lee professed, “Before I was born, I was blessed in my mother’s womb, and the Lord has walked with me each day of my life, helping me each step of the way”. Lee went on daily walks and enjoyed this time to talk to God, and he was certain to have actually heard, on occasion, the Lord’s voice and laughter.
Later in life, Lee developed dementia and was later diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. He had a housekeeper for a time, and eventually moved to Pilgrim Manor in 2010 where he made many new friends. Family and friends often visited him and were with him still, right by his side through the last of his days. Always a gentleman, Lee loved people and will be deeply missed and fondly remembered by all.
Leland “Lee’ B. Roberts, aged 75 of Grand Rapids, passed away on Monday, October 26, 2015 at Pilgrim Manor. He was preceded in death by his parents, Harold and Sadie (Baker) Roberts; his brother, Hugh Roberts; and his sister, Betty (Roy) Redlin. He is survived by his friend, Lucy Read; cousins, Dorothy (Ken) Ruiter, Jane (Donald) Nelson, Hilda (Bob) Jones, Ray (Shirley) Doty; nieces and nephews, David, Christopher, Douglas, Carrie, Renee and Kurt; and many friends. Lee was a longtime member of Wallin Congregational Church and later, Trinity Congregational Church. The service to celebrate Lee’s life will be held on Thursday October 29 at 1:30 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home–851 Leonard St. NW. Burial in Rosedale Memorial Park. Relatives and friends may meet his family at the funeral home on Thursday from 12:30 until the service begins at 1:30. In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association or Pilgrim Manor. To read more about Lee’s life, to leave your own memory of him and to sign his guest book, please visit his web page at www.lifestorynet.com.