Clovis Roberts

Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - 13:58

Clovis C. Roberts died on Sept. 10, 2012 at his home in Chugiak. He was 87. The cause of death was lung cancer.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 22 at United Methodist Church of Chugiak.

Mr. Roberts was born on June 21, 1925 in Paton, Iowa, to Roy and Helen (Leber) Roberts. He was the fourth of 12 children. He grew up in Iowa, Illinois, Arkansas and Missouri during the Great Depression. In 1943, while a senior in high school, he was drafted into the U.S. Navy. He and his five brothers served in the Pacific Theater during World War II, where Clovis was a gunner on transport ships serving in the South Pacific. He was discharged in 1946.

In 1952, Clovis and his brother, Rolly, went to Alaska in search of adventure. Rolly eventually returned to the Midwest, but Clovis stayed in Alaska, working as a civil service employee of the U.S. Air Force in many parts of Alaska.

Clovis’ sister-in-law reintroduced him to Harriet, a widow he first met when they rode the country school bus together as children in Alta, Iowa.

“Clovis remembered her as the chattiest little girl on the bus,” his family wrote.

The couple married on May 25, 1964, and honeymooned by taking a trip up the Al-Can in a half-ton moving van with Harriet’s 10-year-old daughter. They settled in Eagle River “just as most of the state was heading south after the Good Friday Earthquake.”

In 1967, the family welcomed a son, Joel.

Mr. Roberts worked in the exterior electric shop on Elmendorf as shop foreman. He retired from civil service in 1977. The family then moved to Peters Creek, where they lived for the next 35 years.

He was a well-known fixture in the Chugiak-Eagle River community, serving on the board of the Chugiak Volunteer Association and as an active member of the United Methodist Church. He also served on many committees for the United Methodist Birchwood Camp, was elected as a representative to the Anchorage Road Board and was a member of the VFW and the Elks.

“He was a good friend to anyone in need,” his family wrote. “When neighbors had their house burn down, Clovis was there to help them rebuild. If a tool was needed, Clovis probably had four of them. Clovis was hard working and never said no. He was up on the roof at the United Methodist Church when people half his age had gone home. He could clear a driveway of snow and cut down trees with his Swede saw without breaking a sweat. He liked to sit and drink coffee with all the other old timers of the community. He enjoyed having Saturday breakfast with his family and friends. He made a party on any occasion with his hearty laugh and smiling blue eyes. He will be missed every day.

“Clovis was an example of a life well-lived. He didn’t have a Bucket List. He felt complete in the life he had been blessed with and desired nothing more. May we all take useful lesson from this good man who was so content.”

The family wishes to acknowledge the care Mr. Roberts received from Dr. Steven Liu and the staff at Alaska Oncology and Hematology, as well as the Chugiak Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department.

“They touched our hearts in more ways than we can say when they built the ramp for dad to get in and out of the house with his wheelchair,” the family wrote. “We would also like to acknowledge Providence Hospice for giving us the reassurance to care for him at home and allow him to pass peacefully cared for by his family.”

He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Harriet; son, Joel Roberts; daughter, Shelley Chapman; grandchildren, Caitlin and Joseph Chandler; great-granddaughter, Ashlynn Chandler; brothers, Rolly (Ada Marie), Clifford, Guy, Herbert (Carman) and Luke; sisters, Darlene (Claire Williamson), Tena Jones and Phyllis (Dennis Guthrie); and numerous nephews, nieces, cousins and close friends.

In lieu of flowers, the family is asks the community to consider making a donation to Chugiak Volunteer Fire and Rescue or the Building Committee of the United Methodist Church of Chugiak.

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