Obituary: Glyn Roger Dennis Roberts

Beloved grandfather, British Army veteran, machinist, tinkerer

Glyn Roger Dennis Roberts died peacefully surrounded by his family in Claremont on February 13 after living with Parkinson’s disease for two decades. He was 85.

Glyn was the youngest of five boys born to Leslie and Martha Roberts in Ormskirk, Lancashire, England in 1938. He was just 2 when the German Luftwaffe began its relentless Liverpool blitz, the heavy, sustained bombing campaign that would last two years. The port city endured the second heaviest bombing in England during World War II, trailing only London in this grim statistic.

His mother Martha died in 1953 at age 40. This tragedy was followed by another, when his 18-year-old brother Ivor died in a motorcycle accident in 1956. Soon after he met the woman who would become his wife, Alison, when they were both working for Liverpool toy manufacturer Meccano. He was 22 when they were married on February 6, 1960. Six weeks later he was drafted into the British Army.

He served for two years in Kenya and West Germany as part of The King’s Regiment, and was a machinist with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, the maintenance arm of the British Army.

Following his service, he and Alison had three children: Warren, in 1965, Grahame, in 1966, and Lisa, in 1970.

The family lived in Cape Town, South Africa from 1976 to 1979, where he took the train to work every day as a machinist for Plessey in Claremont, Cape Town — yes, another Claremont, this one in South Africa.

His work then brought the family to Manitowoc, Wisconsin in 1980. After one winter in Wisconsin, they were relieved to relocate to the much more temperate Riverside, California. Their final move was to the Russian Village neighborhood of Claremont, California in 2005, after which he retired from Printronix.

Fascinated by how things work, he loved to tinker, and was forever fixing something in the garage. He enjoyed movies about World War I and II.

He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Alison Roberts; children, Warren, Grahame, and Lisa; grandchildren Summer Roberts, Gabriel Vigil, Sierra Roberts (Lopez), Dominic Vigil, Shade Roberts, Homer Bilau, Star Roberts, Enid Bilau, and Walter Bilau; and Rusty the cat.

Most of his extended family resides in the UK and Australia.

A celebration of life will take place at 2 p.m., Sunday, March 10 at Claremont United Church of Christ’s Kingman Chapel,  233 Harrison Ave., Claremont, CA 91711.


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