On April 20, 2018, in Chatham, New Jersey, Alan Roberts passed away after a short illness. He is survived by his three children, Jeffrey and Christopher Roberts and Cecily Hewes, two grandchildren, Owen and Natalie Hewes, and nephew, Robert Hawes.
Born September 4 1919, Alan’s life encompassed an astonishing change. He saw the world begin an age of automobiles, airplanes, telephones and radio, then to become one of television, world travel, space exploration, computers, globalization, the internet, smart phones, and universal connectivity. Remarkable about Alan was his interest and embrace of all of it. The more complex and dynamic the world, the more it challenged his mind and spirit.
Alan grew up in Medford, MA, son of Dr. Jacob and Dorcas Authier Roberts. In his youth, during hard times all around, the family was sustained by Alan’s father’s earnings as a dentist, often paid in homemade Italian food or elaborate cakes by grateful patients. From his father, (one of the top 100 bridge players in the world), Alan acquired skills for logic, analysis, math, and strategy. To these attributes he added wit, curiosity, kindness, and playfulness.
A brilliant student, Alan finished high school early, and prepped at Williston Academy. Alan attended Harvard as a day student, riding a street car to classes. He graduated Harvard class of 1941, Cum Laude. He returned to Harvard for an MBA after WWII, in 1946. Because of poor eye sight Alan served his country during the war at a non military government job in Washington DC.
In 1944 Alan married Emily Youmans in Washington, DC. A family soon followed. Also, a long career in marketing, advertising and corporate strategy. The family moved to the Chicago area, then to New Jersey, then back to the same town, Barrington, Illinois as Alan’s career unfolded. Weekends were devoted to children’s social and sports interests, dog walking, reading and intellectual pursuits, and civic activities.
When his children were grown, Alan remarried Elizabeth McKee. They lived in Barrington, IL for more than 25 years. They travelled extensively. Both were civically active. Alan served as president of the Barrington Area Public Library, and ran an antiques business in Volo, Illinois. Upon Betty’s passing, Alan moved to Chatham, New Jersey to be near his daughter Cecily and her husband Michael Hewes, and his beloved grandchildren.
He lived his last 8 years at Juniper Village, where he made friends, delighted his companions with his wit, amazed them with his skills at bridge, and quietly impressed everyone with his quick mind, and open heart.
As age and illness slowly took its claim, Alan seldom spoke of his problems. When he finally passed away, he was still clipping book reviews from his daily Wall Street Journal so he could order the newest and best when it got to the library. To Alan, life was as good as your mind and heart made it.
There will be a memorial at Wm. A. Bradley & Son Funeral Home, 345 Main Street ,Chatham NJ on May 14, from 10am until 11:30, with prayer service from 10:30 to 11. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to St Huberts Animal Rescue, in memory of Hannah the basset hound, in honor of Alan Roberts.