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William Richard “Rich” Roberts

The Shawnee News-Star
William Richard "Rich" Roberts

William Richard “Rich” Roberts, 82, Olathe, Kansas, formerly of Shawnee, Oklahoma, departed this earth for his next design adventure on June 2, 2020.

Rich was an interior designer and talented pen and ink, oil painting and watercolor artist who was born on his grandmother’s couch on Feb. 19, 1938, in Spiro, Oklahoma. He was the first child of William “Bill” and Zella (Chrestman) Roberts and the older brother of Suzanne.

He cared about the marginalized and stood for social justice.

He raised five children who adored him and each other, and was the proud grandfather of ten grandchildren and three great-grandchildren who will carry on his legacy of kindness and acceptance.

Rich was greeted in heaven by his wife, Donna Sue (Trousdale) Roberts; his parents; his infant brother John; brother-in-law, Gary Ray; niece, Leigh Ray; sister-in-law, Barbara “Bobbie” Crowder; brother-in-law, Bob Crowder; and many aunts, uncles and cousins.

Rich and Donna’s marriage of 45 years was blessed with two daughters, Brooke (Steve) Haddock and Jordan (Chad) Pope.

Spending time with his family, on vacations, and on quiet bass fishing trips brought him the most joy.

He was a founding member of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity while a student at what was then Wichita University and was a member of the university’s tennis team. Shortly after college, he married the late Paula Bird, a union that produced three children, Bruce (Cindy) Roberts, Julie Roberts and Laurie (Tony) Haynes.

His Goldendoodle George will live out his senior years in Colorado with Brooke and her family, just as Rich had one day hoped to.

Rich was so proud of and cherished his grandchildren: Derik (Kristin) Roberts, Ashley (Michael) Ballew, Austin (Nathan) Byrd, Madison Roberts, Violet McCarthy, Henry, Charlie and Theodore Haddock, Baxter and Brooks Pope, his great-grandchildren: Joey and Ruthie Roberts and Beau Byrd, Rich’s beloved sister Suzanne (Roberts) Ray, niece Lynn (Don) Muse, bonus daughter Sarah Nguyen, nephews Rick (Brenda) Crabtree and Todd (Ana) Crabtree.

The family expresses its sincere gratitude to SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital Shawnee and especially Dr. Anderson, Samantha and Jose.

A funeral mass will be held on Friday, June 12, at 1 p.m. at St. Benedict’s Catholic Church, Shawnee. A graveside service will follow at Calvary Cemetery in Shawnee.

Memorial donations can be made to the Make-a-Wish Foundation and Phi Delta Theta Foundation. Leave remembrances for the family at Cremation Center of Kansas City.