Aug. 2, 1940 - Jan. 25, 2011
Albert L. "Abe" Roberts passed away Jan. 25, 2011, at Providence St. Mary Medical Center in Walla Walla at age 70 with his family by his side.
He was born on Aug. 2, 1940, in Deer Park, Wash., to Albert R. and Nora L. Roberts. He attended Deer Park schools and graduated from Deer Park High School in 1958. He then attended Whitworth College in Spokane, graduating with a degree in education in 1962. He received his master's in school administration with principal's credentials from Whitworth College in 1966. Abe played baseball for Whitworth College and was a member of the 1960 national championship team.
He married Gail Wohrle in Deer Park, on May 11, 1962. They were blessed with two children, Richele and Lonnie, who provided them with many wonderful memories and opportunities, including six very special grandchildren. His greatest joy was spending time with family and friends.
He began his teaching career at Riverside School District in 1962. In 1965, he moved to Walla Walla to teach, counsel and coach at Pioneer Junior High. In 1968, he went to Garrison Junior High as the assistant principal. In 1970, he moved to Walla Walla High School as assistant principal, then back to Pioneer Middle School as principal in 1988. He finished his career moving back to Wa-Hi as principal in 1990. He retired after 40 years in education in 2002.
Abe was a member of Pioneer United Methodist Church for the past 45 years where he taught Sunday school, assisted as a youth leader, helped with church maintenance, served on numerous committees and operated the sound system. He was blessed to go on mission trips to Mexico and Jamaica during his lifetime.
Abe served on several education committees locally, statewide and nationally. A few include National Education Association, Washington Education Association, Washington Association of Secondary School Principals, YVIAA Leadership Committee, YVIAA Sports Eligibility Committee, Phi Delta Kappa, Big Nine Principals, WIAA Blue Ribbon Task Force and numerous other Walla Walla School District Committees and PTSAs.
Abe was also a longtime member of the Walla Walla Rotary Club and enjoyed his work within the community as a Rotary Club member. He also served for several years on the Civil Service Commission for Walla Walla County.
After retirement, he continued to serve on the YVIAA Sports Eligibility Board, retiring in 2009 after 24 years. Abe worked for the Principals Association for a couple of years after retirement, mentoring new principal candidates. He also spent time volunteering at the Washington State Penitentiary as a transition counselor.
He is survived by his wife, at home; daughter, Richele, (Michael) Locati, Walla Walla; son, Lonnie (Martha) Roberts, Walla Walla ; two brothers, Robert (Julie) Roberts, Spokane; Howard (Jane) Roberts, Coulee City, Wash.; two sisters: Arlene (Fred) Sheely, Umatilla; Colleen (Terry) Holland, Vancouver, Wash.; and six grandchildren, Spencer, Kyndal, Ethan, and Mariah Locati, Krystal and Kadin Roberts and many extended family members. He was preceded in death by his parents.
Viewing and visitation will be held Friday, Feb. 4, from 3-8 p.m at the Herring Groseclose Funeral Home, 315 W. Alder St., Walla Walla. The memorial funeral service will be held on Saturday, Feb. 5, at 1 p.m. at Pioneer United Methodist Church preceded by a private family graveside service. Memorial contributions may be made to the Abe Roberts Walla Walla High School Athletic Fund or Pioneer United Methodist Church through the Herring Funeral Home.