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How do you sum up a persons life and put it on paper?
Michael was, like all of us, an imperfect person, but he was perfect for me. Not that he didn't get on my last nerve but he was, and will always be, the love of my life. I really, really miss him.
Michael was born in 1949 to Roy and Mary Ann Roberts. He teased, harassed, was proud of and truly loved his sisters, Shirley Pinkerton (Pat), Patty Roberts and Margaret Kueser (Mike). There were numerous times when he was in the hospital that we would absolutely demand to see his sisters. He was a regular kid. Rode his bike to KCK to hang out with his cousins and built forts with the neighbor kids. He told me a lot of stories about the Johnsons and all the shenanigans he and Dave would get into. He graduated from Paseo High School in 1968. Not a big fan of school, but he made some life-long friends. He was a big "car" guy. Loved cars and motorcycles. Not only drove them, but built, painted, rebuilt and restored them.
Drafted after high school, he served in Vietnam where he earned several commendations, including a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star. He also came home with some horrific memories. When he got home from Vietnam, he went to Plumbers School. I remember how excited and proud he was when hired by Midwest Mechanical Contractors as a commercial plumber. He loved his job, the company and the owners. He worked there for over 30 years. And self-employed after that. You hear of folks who can do anything? He really could! We married in 1979 and bought a shell of a house on 7 acres in Peculiar. He worked on the house while working full-time for Midwest. I came home from work one day and he had cut two huge squares in the vaulted ceiling and was installing skylights by himself typical!! Along the way, we added trees, landscaping, two out-buildings and a son, Ryan.
Michael was as comfortable with a newborn as he was with his power tools. Ryan spent a lot of time out in the garage with his dad. Then over the years a lot of Ryans friends also hung out in the garage with "Dad". Seemed like we always had kids camping out downstairs or riding 4-wheelers in the backyard. Ryan was Michael's spokesman when they went to car shows with the Mustang. Hed sit in the shade and let Ryan do the talking. He always said Ryan could do anything and even if he couldn't, hed convince you he could. He loved kids, especially little ones. His specialty was quieting a baby on his chest while lying on the sofa. Lots of pictures with Ryan, or various nieces and nephews asleep on him. Later in life, he really loved hanging out with our great nieces and nephews. Lots of "Friday happy hours" with Kate and Annie at their house. They climbed all over him and loved hiding his hat. He was almost obsessed with Sal and insisted that he was the first person to see him. By that time, his dementia was progressing, so Sals sweet parents just went along with it. He was super proud of all the kids on both sides of our families. He never saw himself as smart and was thrilled that they were all doing so well in school.
About 10 years ago, Michael was diagnosed with PTSD and severe short term memory loss. Sadly, it progressed over the years into full-on dementia. He certainly didn't deserve what he lived thru his last years, but then no one does. Dementia is a hideous disease. He often said it was harder and scarier than anything he did in Vietnam. We were all amazed at how he kept his sense of humor during some of the most trying times. Everyone who knew Michael will have their own stories and remembrances of him. Please know that he cherished his friends. As hard as it is and as badly as I miss him, I'm glad he's at peace and his poor little brain can rest.
So many people to thank:
There are no words to express our feelings to all of you who helped us through this journey. You know who you are. Shout out to our rowdy "deplorables" - Pat, Elaine, Bob and Dot. Pat got us hooked up with the right VA docs and all four of them just loved on us. Michael considered Pat and Bob his brothers. Were forever grateful for the kindness and care he received from the VA. They always called him Mr. Roberts and treated him with dignity and respect. The staff at Brookdale OP and Ascend Hospice were just wonderful. Were so very thankful for their commitment to helping him and us through a hard transition. To our families, what can I say? Your love and strength never wavered. These last few months, especially, there was not a single day that someone didn't check to see what we needed and how I was holding up.
And to my sweet, sweet Michael, I think I knew from that first motorcycle ride that you were it! I thank you for your innate goodness and your quiet strength, but mostly just for loving me.
A Celebration of Life event will be held at Bogey's Windy City Pub, 13170 State Line Rd, Leawood, KS 66209, at 5:00 - 7:00 pm on Friday, February 25th, 2022.
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Celebration of Life
Friday, February 25, 2022
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Bogey's Windy City Pub 13170 State Line RdLeawood, Kansas 66209
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