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Harley-Davidson enthusiast from Jeannette lived for open road

Jeff Himler
| Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017, 12:33 a.m.
Terry Roberts Sr.
Submitted
Terry Roberts Sr.

The journey was just as important as the destination for Terry “Slick” Roberts Sr., whose favorite way to get between two points was astride a motorcycle.

Mr. Roberts collected and rode several Harley-Davidson motorcycles as a young man during the 1950s and '60s, winning trophies in drag races, said his son, Terry Jr.

He got rid of the bikes when he married but eventually settled on a new model — a Honda V65 Magna — that he bought in 1989 and rode for more than 100,000 miles over two decades.

“He found it in Pittsburgh,” his son said. “It was practically new, and it was pretty fast. He always liked the speed.”

Mr. Roberts usually took road trips by himself instead of with others, his son said. “When he was with other people, they wanted to stop everywhere. He just liked to get on his bike and ride.”

His morning routine involved riding from his home in Jeannette for coffee, a doughnut and a chat with friends at a restaurant on Route 22 east of Delmont.

On other occasions, his son said, “He'd find a road he'd never been on before, to see where it went.”

Mr. Terry D. Roberts Sr., 79, a resident of Nature Park Commons, Greensburg, died Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017. He was formerly of Jeannette.

Born in East Pike Run Township, Washington County, on June 24, 1938, he was a son of the late Harold and Viola Roberts.

A veteran of the Air Force, Mr. Roberts worked at the Walworth valves plant in Greensburg and at several machine shops before landing a job as a machinist at Jeannette's Elliott Co., where he retired.

He helped his wife, Dolores, with her ceramic crafts business and constructed the family's wood-and-stone home, collecting river rocks for the decorative exterior.

“He built our house from the ground up,” daughter Lisa Roberts recalled. “It took four years.”

He enjoyed visiting with friends at the Arlington Sportsman's Club in Jeannette and spending time with his family.

The swimming pool he installed at their home became a popular summertime spot. “On the weekend, out of the blue, there could be 20 people hanging out,” his son said.

After the children were grown, Mr. Roberts and his wife enjoyed playing cards with friends, eating out at restaurants and vacationing at Myrtle Beach.

One family activity remained a must. “We watched every Steelers game with him,” Lisa said. “We never missed one.”

In addition to his parents, Mr. Roberts was preceded in death by his wife, Dolores, in 2008.

He is survived by children Lisa Roberts and Terry Roberts, both of Greensburg, and Jeannette Podlogar of Uniontown, with whom he recently reunited; and two grandchildren.

A blessing service will take place at 10 a.m. Thursday in the chapel at John V. Graziano Funeral Home, 228 N. Second St., Jeannette. Interment will be in Twin Valley Memorial Park, Delmont.

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-6622 or jhimler@tribweb.com.

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