Kip passed away peacefully on June 26, 2013 in Friday Harbor surrounded by his loving family.
Kip was born in Friday Harbor, Wash., Jan. 10, 1934 as a fifth-generation islander. Kip’s dad was a navy man, and as a young boy he moved around a lot, splitting his time between Friday Harbor and other elementary schools throughout the states.
When Kip was in the sixth grade, after his dad’s passing, his mother Lorena, older brother Hugh and younger brother David, settled in Friday Harbor. After graduation, Kip and three of his high school buddies, Richard Nash, Gordon Middleton and Trevor Beeston, joined the air force. When he completed basic training and before shipping out overseas to Germany, he and Kitty Wade, his childhood sweetheart, were married in the Wade family home (Cannery Cottage) in Friday Harbor.
Kip spent a year-and-a-half in Fürstenfeldbruck in Bavaria, Germany. He returned to the states and was joined by his wife and 11-month-old daughter, Cherie, when he was transferred to Great Falls, Mont. to finish his military service.
Kip decided he wanted to be a teacher; so with family in tow, he enrolled at Western Washington College of Education in Bellingham, Wash. to obtain his degree. Kip began his teaching career at his Alma Mater, Friday Harbor High School.
In addition to being a classroom educator he also taught woodshop, JV basketball, drivers education (some may remember the “cry baby house” scares) and was both girls and boys tennis coach, winning many state championships. Speaking of tennis; Kip was the driving force in establishing the installation of what was then known as the lower tennis courts; at the same time accomplishing his dream of providing state-of-the-art courts for his team and the community.
Taking a leave of absence from teaching for several years, Kip went into exploring self-business opportunities and then returned to teach sixth grade. Students in his 6th-grade class will fondly remember the famous lunch-time milk cards and other creative projects that showed Kip’s passion for art and teaching combined. Kip retired from teaching in 1989.
Instead of full retirement he continued in the workforce at King’s Market, beginning with the deli department. He moved on to Mark ‘N Pak as frozen foods manager and finished his career designing store ads for Market Place.
As time goes by, we look forward to all your hugs, memories, stories and experiences you have about Kip. Please honor Kip by hitting some tennis balls and/or taking your family to your favorite beach. Think of him with love as you celebrate the 4th of July with your friends and family.
He is preceded in death by his father, Hugh Roy Roberts, mother, Lorena Ida Roberts Buchanan, and brother, David Franklin Roberts.
He leaves behind his wife of 60 years, Katherine “Kitty” Wade Roberts, his children, Cherie (John) Jackson, Peggy (Jose) Henscik, Nancy (Tim) McAbee, Roy Roberts; as well as seven grandchildren, Jon (Mary) Hurley, Travis (Ann) Hurley, Taylor (Summer) Clark, Jesse McAbee, Katy McAbee, Tyler Roberts and Trent Roberts; eight great-grandchildren; his brother, Hugh (Jane) Roberts and many other family members and friends who loved him dearly.
Family graveside services will be held at the San Juan Valley Cemetery on Tuesday, July 2, at 11 a.m. under the direction of Evans Funeral Home.
A Life Celebration will be planned at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations in Kip’s memory can be made to Friday Harbor EMS or San Juan Historical Museum.
—Family of Kip Roberts