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The New Era Paper
Sweet Home, Oregon
August 1, 2012     The New Era Paper
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August 1, 2012

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1 , r. - August 1,2012 VouR COMMUNITY Page 9 II Roberts From page 1 scenes, sometimes helping them finance cars. "He would always give," Younger said. "He had a heart for the downtrodden." He was there for the children when they were having a rough time at home, Younger said. "For over 20 years, Ken and I met every Saturday morning for breakfast," Younger said. It turned into an "accountability" group, where they talked about different things, talked about the Lord and read books, and it continues today with several more members. Roberts always seemed to be a part of church activities, Younger said. He enjoyed learning and took New Testament and Old Testament courses at Linn-Benton Commu- nity College. "I'm going to miss him on Sat- urday mornings," Younger said. It was something he always looked forward to, even after away games in football when they returned to Sweet Home late. "He was always the voice of the Huskies for football," Younger said. He also announced in track and introduced the Huskies in bas- ketball. "In 1990, he started being our stats keeper." Younger and track and field Head Coach Billy Snow both noted how, before the use of computers, Roberts diligently put together sta- tistics and, in track, heat sheets be- fore events - a laborious process. "He did all the little things," Snow said. "As a coach and track aficionado, I really appreciated it." Younger said Roberts was ahead of his time in using the stats to analyze games and perfor- mance. "A lot of times we'd get home late from games," Younger said, and Roberts would have the stats done before Saturday breakfast. He kept the same kind of stats during softball, which Younger coached for 15 years. He continued assisting coaches Steve Hummer and Casey Humphrey after 2005. "He was an excellent bas- ketball coach," Younger said. He coached the high school girls for awhile, and he also coached sports at the junior high level. "He's in a better place," Younger said. "I look forward to seeing him again." Snow said Roberts' dedication to excellence was key to the success of home track meets, including two district meets held in recent years at Husky Field. The announcer is crit- ical to keeping things moving in the meet, making sure athletes know where they are supposed to be, and " keeping the audience engaged. "Not only did he announce, but he knew the events," Snow said. "He knew what was going on. He knew good marks. He knew the little things. He'd research and say, 'This person was defending state champion, or third in the district last year.' "He livened up all the sports at the high school with the way he announced. He had that energy and excitement in his voice. He did a great job. If he did it, he had it all figured out. It's hard to find peo- ple like that. They do something they're good at and you just stay out of the way." Roberts also covered Sweet Home football, volleyball and boys basketball off and on for The New Era for years, on a volunteer basis. He also wrote a sports column for a number of years. "Ken's reporting was always fair but compassionate," said Pub- lisher Scott Swanson. "He knew it was important to a lot of these kids to get some recognition for their ef- forts and he did a good job of mak- ing sure they got that. He really helped our sports coverage with his contributions. I hated to see him retire from sportswriting. I would have been happy to pay him, but he always said he didn't need it." Roberts was one of Dave Trask's best friends, and even now, Trask doesn't shy away from giv- ing him a hard time because, he said, he knows Roberts is watching him. They had a natural rivalry and were always competing. Trask said Roberts beat him on this race too and is in heaven laughing at him. "He was one of the best guys I've ever known," Trask said. "He would do anything he could to help you. He was a really good friend, a godly man. He had his act together. He was good mentor for coaches. He did a lot for the kids. I think if you are to add all of that up, it would be an amazing stat. "We did a lot of things to- gether. I probably knew him better than a lot. We talked about life. We talked ab.out death." Sweet Home Junior High Principal Hal Huschka worked with Roberts for four years after Huschka moved to the Junior High from Foster School about 18 years ago. The previous year, Roberts had done a half-time teacher-ad- ministrator split. "When I came, he returned to the classroom," Huschka said. Roberts was very instrumental to changing how the Junior High did things, bringing on the A-B sched- ule and developing the guided study program. He was in charge of leadership for a number of years. "He was liked by everybody," Huschka said. "He cared about the school. He cared about kids. He was a great teacher. He was a great friend of mine. His whole life re- volved around Sweet Home and Sweet Home School District. He did everything he did because it was good for kids. He's going to be sorely missed?' Mike Reynolds, who was chairman of the School Board while Roberts served on the board, said one of Reynolds' two daughters told him Roberts was "hands-down the best teacher she ever had." "He was certainly a passionate educator," Reynolds said. While on the board, he pursued exPansive changes to the way children are educated. Roberts wanted to address the many learning styles that children have, reaching them the way they learn best, whether it is auditory, visual or hands-on. He especially was interested in helping students who learn best through hands-on instruction, Reynolds said, but the wheels of change were a little slow for Rob- erts' tastes and he left the board af- ter one term. "I think he epitomized a great passionate educator, good for kids," Reynolds said. Dr. Larry Horton, who was superintendent at the time Roberts served, said he and Roberts both visited Washington "skills centers" to see how they were using hands- on techniques to teach children. "He did an excellent job on the board," said "He was very active and had very good ideas." People often talked with him about old times, the good times in class, Horton said. "He was an ex- cellent teacher and well respected by the community as a whole. It's a big loss." Snow echoed what others said about Roberts' main focus in life. "He had a big heart and loved kids," he said. "It was always about the kids." Roberts taught middle school English, history and social studies for 30 years. He was a graduate of David Douglas High School in Portland and the University of Oregon. He served as a clerk in the U.S. Air Force. Roberts has two surviving sons. Memorial services are planned at 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 12, at the Community Chapel Amphitheater, 42250 Ames Creek Road. 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