Dr. Edgar Donald Roberts
March 23, 1931 – April 4, 2022
Edgar Donald Roberts, B.S., M.S., D.V.M., Ph.D. was born in Odessa, TX to a wildcatter and a housewife, Frank and Mabel Roberts. His family moved to Plainview, TX in 1937 where he attended Plainview High School and graduated in 1949. Don played basketball and football while his future bride Bobbie cheered him on from the sidelines. Don then attended the University of Idaho on a football scholarship for one semester, then Wayland College. Don and Bobbie were married July 1, 1950. That December, Don enlisted in the US Navy and served honorably during the Korean War, first in Washington, DC as a Navy Ceremonial guard, and then he completed his tour of duty as a Seabee on Midway Island and in the Philippines. Upon his return Don enrolled at Colorado State University in Ft. Collins and received his B.S. in 1957 and D.V.M. in 1959. Don then earned his M.S. in 1962 and Ph.D. in Veterinary Pathology in 1965 from Iowa State University. Later that year, he joined the field staff of the Rockefeller Foundation in Bogota and Cali, Colombia, where he conducted research on tropical animal diseases and trained veterinary medicine students at the National University in Bogota. In 1971, Don returned to the US where he became the first head of the Department of Veterinary Pathology at the newly-minted Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine. In 1989, Don retired from LSU and began a new research project on simian AIDS at the Delta Regional Primate Center in Mandeville, LA (Tulane University). Don was named Professor Emeritus by the American College of Veterinary Pathologists in 2006.
When Don returned to the States in 1971, he settled his family in Baton Rouge and so began his lifelong love affair with all things Louisiana, especially the LSU Tigers. An avid hunter and fisherman, Don loved to fish for bass with his family on Lake Verret and speckled trout at Grand Isle, and he spent many pleasurable hours on Tunica Island hunting deer with his sons. Don was also an accomplished painter whose work has been admired by many and cherished by his family.
Don is survived by his beloved wife of 71 years, Bobbie Golden Roberts, his two sons Dr. Rodney Roberts (Eugene, Oregon) and Dr. Ryan Roberts and wife Cherie (Nashville, TN), six grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. He is also survived by a sister, two brothers, and many nieces and nephews.
His family and friends celebrate his productive life of service to the betterment of his fellow man and society, and all will fondly remember his broad smile and friendly demeanor with which he greeted everyone. We will miss him, always.
Don will be laid to rest with military honors at 2 PM, Thursday, April 14, 2022 at the Middle Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery, 7931 McCrory Lane, Nashville, TN 37221.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to The Nature Conservancy in his name.
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