Obituaries » Robert Charles Roberts

Robert Charles Roberts

December 19, 1940 - November 1, 2021

Robert Charles Roberts, age 80 of Lynchburg, VA, died on November 1, 2021 at VCU Health in Richmond, VA from heart complications.

Born in Lexington, KY on December 19, 1940 to Mary Alice Schnacke and John Bissell Roberts, Robert was graduated from Lafayette High School, received both his Bachelor’s and Master‘s degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Kentucky, and continued post-graduate work at Virginia Tech.

Robert worked for Engineered Devices Company in Lexington, KY; General Electric in Salem, VA; Babcock and Wilcox in Lynchburg, VA; and Science Application International Corporation in Lynchburg, VA. He was awarded multiple patents for both electrical and nuclear engineering. In 1990, Robert created his own company, Electrical Design and Manufacturing (EDM), a company that promoted community and used ingenuity to develop electrical parts. EDM continues to operate today as an employee-owned company.

In 1968, Robert married Leslie Anderson Seyfried in Houston, TX. They were married for 31 years. He is survived by his four children; John David Roberts and wife Jill Walker Roberts (Missoula, MT), Katherine Roberts Murphy and husband Daniel Joseph Murphy (Eldersburg, MD), Elisabeth Bissell Norton and husband Christopher Brian Norton (Charlotte, NC), and Steven Barrow Roberts and wife Danielle Heinzman Roberts (Richmond, VA). His grandchildren include Logan, Nathan, Landon, Jason, James, Isabel, Alexis, Ella, and Barrow.

In 2000, Robert married Cary Turner in Atlanta, GA after their meeting in Portugal on an Elderhostel trip, and welcomed her children John Douglas Walsh, Timothy Alan Walsh, and William Hagood Turner, Jr. to his family. Robert and Cary enjoyed traveling and learning about other cultures. No matter the weather or location, if a beach were nearby, Robert would build a sand castle. Locally, they were active in the arts community, enjoying theater and music activities.  Westminster Presbyterian Church, where Robert was an Elder, was a significant part of his life.

Robert was also an active member of a variety of charitable communities that include the Rotary Club, Boys and Girls Club of America, Habitat for Humanity, Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities, Rebuilding Together, Salvation Army, United Way, and the Academy Center of the Arts.  He also participated in Presbyterian mission work in Embangweni, Malawi, Africa for many years.

Robert was a Scoutmaster and created exciting and authentic experiences for many to enjoy. He spent innumerable hours with his children traveling or doing a wide variety of activities including camping, repairing anything, and creating ridiculous science projects. In addition to his strong desire to spend time with family and serve the community, Robert also formed many special friendships and relationships. He will always be remembered as a thoughtful, generous, inquisitive, and adventurous person.

Robert is survived by his beloved wife, Cary Turner Roberts (Lynchburg, VA) and his brother John Bissell Roberts, Jr. and wife Linda Ridge Roberts (Prospect, KY).

Robert was preceded in death by his parents Mary Alice Schnake, John Bissell Roberts, and his loving sister Barbara Jean Schrading, 1997, who is survived by her husband Paul E. Schrading and their family.

Visitation will occur November 12 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at Tharp Funeral Home. The Celebration of Life service will be held at 1:00 PM, November 13 at Westminster Presbyterian Church followed by a graveside burial at the Presbyterian Cemetery. A reception will follow at Oakwood Country Club. All locations are in Lynchburg, VA.

The family kindly requests that everyone follow Covid-19 regulations and wear a mask, and that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to a local charity of your choice.

Tharp Funeral Home, Lynchburg is assisting the family.

Click here to view Robert’s tribute video

Visitation will occur, Friday, November 12, 2021, from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at Tharp Funeral Home, Lynchburg. The Celebration of Life service will be held at 1:00 PM, Saturday, November 13, 2021, at Westminster Presbyterian Church followed by a graveside burial at the Presbyterian Cemetery.  A reception will follow at Oakwood Country Club.  All locations are in Lynchburg, VA.

Condolences & Tributes

Celebrate Robert Charles's life with a short message, photo or video!

Cary I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I recall many years ago you talking about your upcoming elderhostel trip. I am so thrilled you were able to share to years together. Prayers and Hugs and May your memories be a blessing

Posted by Donna Bernier on November 14, 2021

Cary I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I recall many years ago you talking about your upcoming elderhostel trip. I am so thrilled you were able to share to years together. Prayers and Hugs and May your memories be a blessing

Posted by Donna Bernier on November 14, 2021

Robert always had a smile when I met with him. He was quick to offer a helping hand and I'll never forget the time he asked for my help! When he installed a new metal handrail on his front steps, he measure incorrectly and drilled two holes into the cement base that were wider than the handrails. Ever the optimist, rather than seeing his mistake as a problem, he saw it as an opportunity to add some beauty to his front steps. He asked if I could make two small round tiles, with a flor de lis design on them. These holes could have simply been filled with cement and yet Robert chose to embellish his front entrance!

Posted by Ted Batt on November 13, 2021

Being one of the newer neighbors on the block, we did not know Robert as long. However, one of the many things Shay and I remember about Robert is his sense of humor and jokes. To this day, I still remember one of his jokes.

Posted by Kerwin & Shay Stevenson on November 13, 2021

Our sincerest condolences. Robert was a good man and will be missed

Posted by Brian & Stacy Zimmerman on November 12, 2021

Dear Cary and family, Our hearts and prayers are with you at this time of Robert's unexpected passing . Thank you Cary for trusting me to take your place on an adventure of two with your family. What a privilege and honor it has been to have gotten to know you through our Africa experiences. Robert with his sense of fun, adventure, "can do" spirit and strong Christian faith has had a dramatic affect on my life as it has with people wherever he went. Our earthly loss is heaven's gain.

Posted by Kathy and Brian Slack on November 11, 2021

Dear Cary, We are deeply saddened by Robert’s unexpected death. We are carrying you, Robert and your entire family in our hearts and keeping you in our prayers. We take great comfort—and delight—in knowing that you and Robert met on an Elderhostel adventure in Portugal and that, with a deep appreciation for other cultures, you enjoyed many trips together from then on. You shared a profound concern for others, along with a rich, intellectual curiosity and love of the arts. We appreciate all the ways both of you have helped to make Lynchburg a kinder, more dynamic, culturally alive place. Before COVID, we had a lovely time in your home whenever you hosted your annual welcome party for the Opera on the James opera singers. I, Doug, had the good fortune to meet Robert in the 1970’s when we were both working on similar issues within the nuclear industry. Then I had the pleasure of serving on his Electronic Design and Manufacturing Board for over thirty-five years. I greatly admired Robert's technical and business competence; along with his caring, respectful treatment of his employees and his philanthropy. May you feel enveloped in the love of family and friends at this difficult time and may you take comfort in knowing how much both you and Robert have enriched the lives of countless people who call Lynchburg home. Fondly, Judy and Doug

Posted by Doug and Judy Lee on November 10, 2021

My husband knew Robert for less than 24 hours. They were roommates at VCU?MCV. In that short time he was a bright spot in the room, chatting and bringing a smile to all. Obviously a delightful gentleman we will always remember him singing "76 Trombones" from Music Man just a short time before he became in distress. We send our condolences to the entire family, especially his daughter who was there at the time. We prayed for him and his family and are so sorry to now learn you lost him that day.

Posted by Teddy and Brenda Martin on November 9, 2021

Robert was a sweet Christian man and will be missed! He loved Cary and the Lord with all his heart. I always enjoyed talking with him during our gatherings in the neighborhood. We will be praying for Cary and your family as Robert is now in the presence of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Posted by Judy and Lucky Billings on November 8, 2021

So very sorry for your loss! Thoughts and prayers for the family. It was such a pleasure to have met such a kind hearted man.

Posted by Della Fowler on November 7, 2021

A all around top dude, when St Peter told GOD the Golden Gates needed repair and needed a Special person to repair them, God called for Robert, we will miss you Robert.

Posted by Otto Vallastro on November 7, 2021

My sympathy to you all in this sorrowful time. Memories of his warm, friendly presence at our Davis family reunions will be treasured by many. Sending hugs and love, Sally

Posted by Sally Barney on November 6, 2021

We are so sorry to have lost a one of a kind neighbor. Robert was a man of MANY talents, had achieved and done SO much, and yet somehow made you feel just as interesting as he. I learned something new in every conversation. He will be missed.

Posted by Tessa Foust on November 6, 2021

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