Glen Roberts passed away peacefully on February 9, 2023 with his loving wife Bonny Roberts by his side. Glen was born on May 7, 1935 in Hoopa to Sherman and Marie Roberts. He was a proud member of the Yurok Tribe with ancestral ties to the Village of Wasek. In his first years, he received loving care from his Grandparents Wasek Bob and Maggie. His grandfather was Headman of the Wasek Village. Glen’s father, Bob Roberts graduated from Haskell Indian College. He then moved to Tulsa, OK. where he met his wife, Marie Brannon. Marie came to speak the Yurok language fluently and was a hard worker who farmed, canned, and was a great cook. Together Sherman and Marie moved to Martins Ferry and had six children: Kenneth, Ruth Evelyn, Helen, Glen, Wilma and Wesley.
Glen is survived by his loving wife Bonny Marshall Roberts. They were married for 67 adventurous and loving years. They were best friends and barely spent time apart from one another. He will forever be cherished and remembered by his children; son Bob Roberts and wife Becky Roberts, grandchildren Byron Roberts and Derek Roberts, daughter Robin Roberts and granddaughter Linnea Jackson, and his son Russ Roberts. He is survived by his loving sister Wilma Roberts, sister in-law Linda Roberts and God-granddaughter LeMonie Hutt. He also leaves a special friend of note Grumpy Fountain.
Glen attended a one room schoolhouse in Martins Ferry (near Wasek Village). He kept busy with fishing, hunting, hiking and doing chores in his middle school years. He actively participated in high school sports and graduated from Hoopa High School in 1953. He developed a life-long passion for competitive sports.
After graduating from Hoopa High School, he married the love of his life Bonny Marshall Roberts. Together they lived in Martins Ferry while Glen worked construction and timber jobs. One day, a government agent from the Bureau of Indian Affairs arrived at their door to recruit Glen into the Indian Relocation Program. Glen and Bonny and their children moved to Chicago, IL. Glen attended Greer Technical School where he received accreditation as an auto mechanic and a body and fender mechanic.
They moved back to the West Coast and settled in Redding. In 1962, Glen found a new career specializing in tile setting. As a perfectionist with an eye for design, he soon became a master craftsman in his profession. These were exciting times, with projects ranging from beautiful high-end homes to commercial projects, including hospitals, schools and offices. His expertise took him and his crew across America completing over 20 Holiday Inn projects that entailed marble entries, pillars and pools. Traveling across the country, Glen made sure that his family and employees saw the sites, local monuments and tasted the local cuisines. Granddaughter Linnea, travelled every summer with her Nana and Papa seeing every amusement park, zoo and museum which greatly enriched her life.
In 1989, Glen opened his own business, Pacific Coast Ceramic Tile and Floor Covering in Crescent City. With the partnership of his wife Bonny and son Russ, the business was a great success, completing hundreds of residential and commercial works throughout Northern California and Southern Oregon, including Pelican Bay Prison. After working for decades of non-stop jobs, Glen’s health began to deteriorate, and it was time to retire.
Throughout Glen’s career, there were countless nephew, nieces, extended family and friends that Glen taught the value of hard work. Many were trained by Glen and took up the trade.
If you know Glen, then you know how much he loved sports. He was an avid fan of the San Francisco 49ers, San Francisco Giants and the Golden State Warriors. He often went to professional games with his family. He supported his son Bob Roberts and nephew Lyle Marshall as wrestlers throughout their high school career. He hit softballs to his daughter Robin every night which taught her the art of precision and hard work. Both Linnea and Robin played on Alaska State Championship softball teams. His number one sport was basketball. In the early years of Indian Basketball, Glen was the Manager and Coach of the North State Hawks. The Hawks travelled throughout Indian Country playing the tournaments. Glen coached his son Russ’s basketball team that competed in the Word of Life Tournaments that climbed the brackets to New York City. He also coached the Hoopa High JV Girls team. Another success stories was coaching and promoting his nephew Joseph Hutt all the way to the pro leagues.
Glen traveled throughout his life visiting his children all across the country. Glen and Bonny visited their son Bob in Oregon, Washington, Montana, Colorado, Idaho. He also visited his daughter and granddaughter in Alaska many times to enjoy hockey and the Great Alaska Shootout. They took many trips to the Bay Area to visit their son Russ and attend their favorite sporting events.
Glen was a voracious reader. Utilizing his artistic eye and tile carving skills, he enjoyed making native jewelry, abalone inlayed pipes, abalone salmon carvings and regalia.
Glen was known as a disciplined and fierce worker with a strong work ethic who believed in doing things right. Glen enjoyed hunting, especially with his son Bob in Idaho and the Risling and Fountain Families throughout his life. He loved boating and spent many years on the lakes.
After retirement, he fished the Klamath River, providing gourmet salmon, smoked and canned for his family. Many of those years, he was joined by nephew Sport Surber Jr. sharing his vast knowledge of the Klamath River, traditional fishing culture and history. Glen taught many of his family members and friends how to fish, fillet and smoke salmon.
Glen was a real uncle, he provided training, employment, help, coaching and life-skills. He offered good advice, wisdom and history. He was generous and shared many adventures, which included sporting events, dinners out, travel, water skiing, fishing and hunting. He included his nieces and nephews, too numerous to name, throughout his life.
Glen served on the Yurok Indian Housing Board for ten years, bringing with him a determination to be viewed ethically by the eyes of the public, as well as a constant reminder to follow Yurok policy. He was very proud of the time dedicated to this endeavor.
Glen Roberts had an unforgettable personality. He was quick witted, stern, well read and knowledgeable on any subject. He was a generous man to his entire family. His legacy will carry on forever reminding us to take responsibility, finish the job and do it well.
Glen was preceded in death by his great grandmother Mollie Kimeche, grandfather Wasek Bob Kimeche Roberts, grandmother Maggie Preston Roberts, Father Sherman Roberts, Mother Marie Brannon Roberts, Brother Kenneth Roberts and his wife Betty Faye Roberts, Sister Ruth Evelynn Roberts, Brother Harold Wesley Roberts and Sister Helen Roberts Pole.
His memory lives on with his entire family, numerous nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews and many dear friends.
Clifford Marshall, Buck McCovey, Adam Allen, Jordan Hailey, Justin Hutt, Roman Hutt, Sport Surber Jr., Lawrence Tracy, and Douglas Risling
Lyle McKinnon, Robert Kinney, David Gensaw, Carlton Pole, Jeff Pole, Cynde Buford, Korie Bartnik, Carol Rutledge, Weldon Hailey, Mark Hailey, Wesley Hutt, Joseph Hutt, Baron Risling, Dale Risling, Gary Risling, Leslie Risling Jr., Mike Nipar, Lyle Marshall, Steve Baldy, Jack Jackson, Ed Moore, Gregory Moon, Neil Moon and Joe Davis
The service will be held at the Neighborhood Facilities (NF) on Friday, February 17, 2023 at 11 a.m. Interment will be held at the Wasek Village Cemetery. Directly followed by a reception at Yurok Community Center in Weitchpec.
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