Gordon Leroy Roberts

Gordon Leroy Roberts, 91, of Overland Park, Kansas, formerly of Chanute and Osawatomie, Kansas died peacefully Wednesday, May 13, 2020 in his home at Stratford Commons. 

Gordon was born December 19, 1928 in Savonburg, Kansas. He was the eldest of two born to William Leroy and Una Mary Jane (Floyd) Roberts. Gordon grew up and attended various rural schools and then graduated from Chanute High School in May 1946. He attended Neosho County Community College for one year. During his high school years he played football and made several pieces of furniture in wood working class.  He belonged to several clubs while in high school. 

On August 9, 1949, Gordon and Evelyn June Cox, daughter of Lloyd and Golda Cox of Elsmore, were united in marriage in Bronson, Kansas. To this union came three children Michael, Fredie and Cynthia. They made their home in Erie, Humboldt, Moran, Parsons, Sheldon, MO and Chanute. Then in 1994, Gordon and Evelyn moved to Osawatomie. In August 2015 they moved to Olathe area.

Gordon sold cars in the early 1950s, and then worked for Co-Op Grain Elevators in most of the places that he lived from 1953-1965. He then became a salesman for Jewel Tea and then Wonder Bread for about 2 years each. In April 1970, Gordon and Evelyn opened Roberts Double T (Tastee Freeze), in Chanute. They owned and operated this restaurant for the majority of 24 years. 

He loved meeting the public, serving everyone and counting change in hundreds just to see the customer’s smile. If you were ever looking for him, try the back room under the table with his head on a roll of paper towels sound asleep for his 15 minute nap! He also supported the football team by taking frozen slush to the players frequently after practice. During this time, Gordon was also a full-time school bus driver in Chanute for 15 years. In 1985 he worked for Naff Ace Hardware in Chanute as a salesman.

In 1994 Gordon and Evelyn sold the restaurant and moved to a farm house outside of Osawatomie, to be closer to their children and grandchildren. Gordon went to work at Brown’s Hardware Store in Osawatomie and started driving a school bus again. In 2004, Gordon and Evelyn both went back to work in restaurant business again, as employees, at the Whistle Stop Restaurant in Osawatomie. This time, Gordon worked in the kitchen making various salads, cutting up fruit and especially making crab salad while Evelyn worked the cash register. They both worked there until they fully retired in 2011 at the age of 83.

In 2015 they sold their home in Osawatomie and moved into an apartment in Olathe close to their family. Gordon and Evelyn became Welcome Ambassadors and enjoyed many activities at the independent living faciltiy in an apartment. In 2018 when Gordon’s heath began to fail they moved into Stratford Commons Nursing Facility where they again became involved in all activities. Gordon lived a very happy life and was always “As Fine as Frog’s Hair” and would always tell you “Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do!”  

In his free time, Gordon enjoyed gardening, fishing, hunting, camping, wood working, and spending time with friends and family. He worked with Boy Scouts for several years and was in the Order of the Arrow in Sheldon. He was a member of the Lions Club in Chanute. Gordon and Evelyn were also members of the 1st United Methodist Church of Chanute and Osawatomie. 

He was preceded in death by his parents and beloved “Sis” Lavon Luan (Roberts) Wells. 

Survivors include his sweetheart of 70 plus years, Evelyn, of the home, children Michael Roberts, wife Jean, of Olathe; Fredie Roberts, wife, Becky, of Frisco, Texas; and Cynthia Schooley, husband David, of Olathe. He had four grandchildren, Tammy Kelly, husband, Kevin, of Shawnee, Kansas; Daniel Roberts and Rachel Serafin of Olathe; Aaron and Tyler Schooley of Olathe. He also had four great-grandchildren: Kira Harwood, Kristen and Kyle Kelly and Shane Serafin. In addition, he is survived by many cousins, nieces, nephews and their children.

A celebration of life will be held for Gordon at a later date when we can all be together to celebrate. Memorial donations can be made to First United Methodist Church in Osawatomie send c/o the Eddy-Birchard Funeral Home P.O. Box 430 Osawatomie, KS 66064.

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