Roberts, Donald Eugene, 83, St. Peter, died peacefully on July 24. While his heart may have tired, his spirit is alive and strong in the many lives he touched.
Don was born May 27, 1933, raised in Appleton, MN, and graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in 1956, where he met Nancy Lea, his love and life companion for 59 years. An accomplished three sport athlete in both high school and college (football, basketball and baseball), he joined the Marines upon graduation and was as proud of his military service as he was of his athletic honors. Don returned to Gustavus in 1959 to coach wrestling and football and in 1964 he restarted the hockey program as he ‘didn’t have a winter sport.’ Despite no experience and little time on skates, Don led the Gustie Hockey program for 33 years, winning multiple championships and leaving a lasting mark on the many students he coached and mentored.
While his devotion to hockey and Gustavus will be well remembered, his family will especially miss his pancakes, his Billy the Bug stories, and his boat starting abilities at the cabin he built on Birch Lake in Hackensack (it was a perfect boat; 1968 was a good year.) With Don, there were no strangers, only people with whom he had not found a connection (yet).
Predeceased by parents, Lloyd and Ruth (Nelson). Survived by Nancy, four children, Gregg (Cindy), Tim (Lori), Mike, and Susan (Craig) Wolfe; three grandchildren, Max, Hannah and Zachary; two step-grandchildren, Meredith and Casey; and seven grand-dogs. Also survived by his sister Donna Borstad (Teudy) of Appleton, brother-in-law Stephen (Patricia) Lea of Hopkins, nieces, nephews and their families.
A service for the family has been held. There will be a Celebration of Life at Christ Chapel at Gustavus on November 19th at 1:00 p.m. Memorials preferred to Gustavus Hockey Program, the G Club for Gustavus Athletics (Guatavus Adolphus College - Office of Advancement, 800 College Ave, St. Peter, MN 56082), or donor’s designation.