MCCALL, Idaho - Harold Lee Roberts checked into heaven on Monday, May 17, 2010, with his family at his side, after a short battle with lung cancer.
Harold was born in Hamilton on Sept. 14, 1934, to Clinton and Mildred Roberts.
Harold served two years in the U.S. Army from 1957 to 1959.
His work career was spent with the U.S. Forest Service in forest fire suppression. He became a smokejumper in 1953, based in Missoula and jumped for 18 years, finishing in 1971 with 252 fire jumps. This was a very important part of his life and he formed many lifelong friendships during his jumping career. Harold then moved to Libby, as a forest dispatcher in the supervisor's office. In 1977, Harold moved to McCall, as project supervisor of the McCall Smokejumper Base. He was in this position until his retirement from the Forest Service in 1984. Harold is a charter member of the National Smokejumper Association.
Harold married LaVerne Burns on March 18, 1961; they just celebrated 49 years of marriage. Harold and LaVerne have three children and 14 grandchildren. David Lee was born on Aug. 27, 1962; Teri Lynne came along on July 14, 1963; and Jeffrey Lyle blessed the family on Nov. 23, 1969.
Harold lived a wonderful life and was blessed with a close family that was by his side till the very end. He was able to enjoy 26 years of retirement and able to choose what he wanted to do each day. Early in retirement, he drove the activity bus for the McCall-Donnelly School District. He loved this time spent with the coaches, teachers and students and he was very loyal to his McCall-Donnelly Vandals. He also loved to work with his hands and spent many years making woodworking projects for his children, grandchildren and LaVerne. He was always willing and able to offer his handyman skills to anyone in need. Harold was able to spend as much time as possible on the rivers of central Idaho pursuing his love of salmon and steelhead fishing. He met many friends and spent many hours on the river banks ready to land the next "big one." The last eight years, Harold has spent the winters in Phoenix, and fully enjoyed reconnecting with the many people he had met throughout his life. He golfed most days and enjoyed the warm weather as he could putter around each day doing various projects.
Harold is survived by his wife LaVerne; his children Dave and Valerie Roberts of Meridian, Idaho, Teri and Randy Howard of Fruitland, Idaho, and Jeff and Lisa Roberts of Meridian. He is also survived by his grandchildren Jake and Tiffany Roberts, Stacia Roberts, Zachary Howard, Cortney and Scott Osborne, Caleb Howard, and Alexandra, Savannah, Chase, Saige, Addyson, Havyn and Jackson Roberts; his brother James Roberts of Enumclaw, Wash.; and his sister Bonnie Evers of Darby.
Harold is preceded in death by his father and mother; and his brother-in-law Wallace Evers.
A Memorial Service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 22, at Mt. Life Church, Highway 55, in McCall.
Harold is a member of the McCall Church of the Nazarene, PO Box 4250, McCall, Idaho 83638. Contributions may be made in Harold's memory to the McCall Church of the Nazarene building fund.
Arrangements by Heikkila Funeral Home.