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Virgil Kermit Roberts

12/13/1923 - 11/24/2016
Service Date: 12/03/2016
Service Time: 2:00 PM
Service Location: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1550 N. Val Vista Drive, Mesa, Arizona

Virgil Kermit Roberts was born on December 13, 1923 to David B. Roberts and Hazel Comer Roberts in Lehi, Utah.  He passed away in his sleep on Thursday, November 24, 2016.  He was within 19 days of his 93rd birthday.  He married Edith Vivian Richan of American Fork, Utah on June 5, 1942, a day after they both graduated from high school.  Virgil worked at Union Pacific in Salt Lake City for a month and then he and Edith ventured to Southern California where he worked on the DC-3 production line at the Douglas Aircraft Company.  As World War II heated up, Virgil with Edith’s support, enlisted in the Air Force to train as a pilot.  Virgil trained in a variety of training centers over the next year, most of the time Edith resided with him in military housing.  The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki ended the War just as Virgil was ready to graduate as an Air Force Officer.  Virgil was given two choices, graduate and receive his Officer’s commission or receive a discharge from the Air Force.  Exercising their joint agency, they elected “Discharge” and traveled back to Lehi to their family and friends without the threat of further war fare.

While attending flight school, Virgil and Edith attended LDS Sunday services.  In Virgil’s words, “We were glad that I had been able to serve our country in time of war.  Especially for the decisions Ede and I made to return home to raise a family, to serve the Lord and be close to those we loved.”  They never backed away from this decision to “raise a family, to serve the Lord and be close to those we loved.”  Virgil went into his father’s brick mason business.  He worked side by side with his father.  Virgil eventually became the sole owner of their masonry company after his father retired.  He built a good masonry business and served in an Elder’s quorum Presidency, as Scoutmaster and as a member of a Bishopric.

In 1964, he and Ede moved to the Mesa, Arizona area, to find a climate that would be better for Edith’s health.  He started “Roberts’ Builders and evolved from a mason to a builder.  In 1979, he turned Roberts’ Builders over to his son, Dennis and son-in-law, Mike Dubois.  He and Ede then started on a second career working for the LDS Temples & Special Projects as the owner’s construction supervisor.  He and Ede supervised the construction of the 1980 Winter Olympics Visitor Center at Lake Placid New York.  This assignment was followed by the Bishops Store House in Snowflake, Arizona, the Welfare Center and Grain Silos in Mesa, a shopping center and Ware house in Phoenix.  He was then assigned to the Construction Department as the Owners Representative for the construction of the Dallas and Chicago Temples.  They then served as missionaries assigned to the Cambodians living in Florida.  He and Ede became temple workers in the Mesa Temple and served for 20 years.

Virgil is survived by his wife of 74 years, Edith Vivian Richan. They are survived by their six children:  Dennis Roberts (Vicky); Christine Finlinson (Fred); JoAnne Dubois (Michael); Elane Palmer (Rick); William David Roberts (Wendy); and Kelly Dale Roberts (Marci).  Their posterity includes, 6 children, 6 spouses, 28 grandchildren, 75 great-grandchildren and 3 great-great- grandchildren.  A viewing for family and friends will be held Friday evening from 6 to 8 pm at Bunker’s University Chapel, 3529 East University Drive, Mesa, Arizona 85213.  The funeral will be held at 2:00 pm on Saturday, December 3, 2016 at the LDS Chapel located at 1550 North Val Vista, Mesa, Arizona.  A viewing will be held at the Chapel on Saturday, starting at 1:00 pm.    A brief service will be held in Lehi, Utah December 10, 2016 at the Wing Mortuary in Lehi.  Interment will be at the Lehi, Utah Cemetery on Saturday, December 10, 2016.  Special thanks are due to the “care-givers” at the Legacy Care Center in Mesa, Arizona.



  • I am sorry for your loss. May you find comfort from John 5:28,29 and Revelation 21:4.

  • I am so sorry. He and Edith were friends of mine going back to the early 70’s in the old 21st Ward. Never were there better friendships. How I loved, and still love, both of them.

  • I worked for him in my youth, cleaning up around his houses under construction. He was a good man with strong convictions and principals. What a good man.

  • Sorry for your loss, Kelly – sounds like your Dad lived a full life of service –

  • Sorry for your loss. From what I’ve heard he is a great man. Wish I could have met him and known him. He is now free.

  • Those we love don’t go away they walk beside us everyday unseen, unheard, but always near, still loved, still missed and very dear. May the prayers of those who love you carry your family through this time of sorrow.

  • Sorry for your loss. I have so many fond memories of Brother Roberts, although he may have a different point of view of a few of them 😎 He was a great man. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of you.

  • He was such a kind, loving, and wise man. I always loved visiting with him. Our prayers are with your family.

  • Fond memories of an exemplary husband, father, disciple of Christ, softball coach, and member of a bishopric whose influence on the youth in the Mesa 21st ward persists 40 years later. ..Virgil leaves a legacy of a tremendous family and the famous words that still ring in my ears “no pinch runners for the 15th ward”. Everything i know about sporrsmanahip, i learned from brother Roberts. With love and wall wishes, kevin

  • Great man. Never heard him raise his voice. Solid testimony. Great coach, used to hit grounders to me and Kelly to turn double plays! Condolences to you and your family.

  • Chris & Jo, So sorry for your loss. May you find peace in knowing he is now free from pain and his memories have returned. May you find joy in this time as you stop and contemplate what an awesome, man, husband, father, grandfather, and friend he has been to many. Along with the tears, find a place to laugh at those special memories. May our Heavenly Father wrap you all in his love and send lots of angels to watch over you and help you through this difficult time. May He also send comfort to your beautiful mom! I love you two ladies!

  • Sorry for your loss. Love your family. Thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  • Joann, your dad will be with you with every step you take, every decision you make, and each time you smile. He was always a part of you, and always will be. Right now is difficult, I know he had struggled, but now he isn’t. You have been in my prayers a lot lately. We will see you on the 10th. Love you. Wendy and Larry.

  • Claudia Winslow

    Sorry for your loss Roberts family my prayers and love are with you Chris you’ve been a great friend as well as JoAnne how blessed we are for the knowledge of Eternal Life .

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