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Gail W. Roberts - Year Entered 1964 VIEW PROFILE

Gail W. Roberts

From Gerald Bronkar


Today, August 17, 2020 at approximately 4:00 AM, Gail Roberts died at his brother Kevin's house in Lake Havasu, Az.  He had been on morphine and unconscious for several days.  He was hoping to get stronger so the doctors could repair a heart valve, but it was not to be.

My emotions are mixed, as it is sad to know Gail is gone, but also relieved to know his pain and problems are over.  His quality of life has been poor this entire year, and even before.  He is at rest, and I am thankful that his friends can be assured that he is no longer in a battle.

For Gail, as I saw him, life was almost always a battle.  It was normal for Gail to think the world and circumstances were against him and all the "little people".  It bothered Gail to see the weak trodden under foot by the strong.  It may have often been invisible, but Gail was a kind and compassionate warrior for the little guy.  I believe John Schroeder recounted on the Forum, several issues Gail tackled at Ambassador in an effort to stand up for the average employee.  He would go straight to the top and not take no for an answer.  He was a bold reformer, which often put him at odds with his superiors at the college. 

Gail was also an outstanding team player on the basketball court.  I could play him ten games, one-on-one, and he would beat me ten games, unless he eased off and let me win one.  I might win 3 in 10 in HORSE.  He may already be stealing the ball from GTA.  He didn't give any Evangelist any slack, not even GTA ...I don't believe in hell, and I'm not sure about immortal souls going to the great basketball court in the sky when we die, but  today, I believe anything is possible.  Maybe I will hear or see a vision from Gail in the near future giving me some insight.  His opportunity to report on an NDE has passed.  (That was for Jim Lea and Roy Hunter).

Gail's fighting days are over, and he is now at peace.  I now have a little more peace too.  To me, Gail will always be a great friend and a very human hero.  I will miss him.

Gail was born September 20, 1942 and died August 17, 2020 of congestive heart failure.  He was 77 years of age.

Gail is survived by his half-brother, Kevin Skahan of Lake Havasu, AZ, a nephew Patrick Skahan, his wife Sharde and daughter Keria of Winchester, CA, and his good friend, Armanda Allen-Mitchell of Hemet, CA.

Gail was cremated and Kevin will be transporting the ashes back to a family plot in Metropolis, IL, Gail's hometown and the home of Superman.



From Bob Gerringer


Gerry has just lost a best friend, and that is very, very hard.  Gerry, thank you for your tribute to him – Gail would have approved!

I first met Gail Roberts the summer before I came to AC in 1967.  Gail was sent out that summer, before his senior year, to our church area -- Modesto/Fresno, California.  The minister, who will go nameless, was not a nice guy, and Gail was a very honest, frank guy.  When the minister explained his softball responsibilities, Gail told him he liked basketball, but he did not particularly care for baseball.  The minister emphasized that the church would play softball and so would his assistant.  Softball Sunday arrived and Gail showed up in street shoes, pleasantly visiting with everyone, but not setting foot on the diamond.  I was not privy to their next conversation, but I really wish I had been.

Gail returned for his senior year, and made it clear to GTA that he was no longer interested in a ministerial career.  When dealing with the AC brass, Gail was the least intimidated person I knew.

I was impressed with Gail as soon as we met that 1967 summer in Modesto, and we have been friends ever since.  And he was the only upper-class basketball star I, a lowly freshman, really got to know!

Gail and I butted heads a few times as I administered this website -- Gail would post his extremely candid thoughts, but whether or not I felt his comments were appropriate was entirely inconsequential to him.  We spoke privately often, and occasionally agreed to disagree, but one could not talk long to him without his deep humanity coming through.

He kept in touch with many, many in the AC diaspora, and provided Jean and me with a significant jump-start as we were building the email list needed to contact former students so they could join this website -- which Linda also mentioned in her touching tribute to Gail.  Although we may not have always heeded him, he constantly prodded us for brevity in our GMF posts; and before Bill Damm, there were Gail Roberts' jokes.

Gail was a kind, generous man of character.  One example: he was a good friend of Richard Plache, and volunteered to drive Richard to the 2017 AC All-Campus Reunion in Las Vegas and to finance his stay there -- unfortunately, Richard was not physically able to take advantage of Gail's offer – and now, sadly, they are both no longer with us.

I respected Gail Roberts, and valued his friendship and counsel -- and his honesty.

Rest in Peace, Gail.

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03/12/21 06:32 AM #1    

Bill Hughes (1966)

After the start of planning for ACR2013 in 2011 for band director Joe Bauer, Gail would call me late at night (we were night owls) as he would keep in touch with lots of alumni.  He had a list of 100 email addresses which he shared with Carol Stephenson so we could find people to notify for that reunion.  It was really tough finding classmates because in the early 1970s the WCG would not allow the creation of an official Alumni association.  Gail attended all the latter day (3) AC Reunions  [ACR2013, ACR2015, ACR2017].

Some time around 2016 Gail told me that on the internet he had discovered a slide show of the Pasadena campus set to music, which he downloaded but has since disappeared.  He said he enjoyed watching it often.  The author and date of it is unknown but as you can see, it was after the college removed the lush velvet dark green Dichondra grass that was so beautiful.  The author's pictures were taken pristine without people or vehicles; there is nothing else like it.

The original slide show was in 'mov' format.  I removed the annoying vertical blue borders (which Gail appreciated) and added 4 slides at the end.  To no avail Gail lobbied to have this slide show made available to all alumni.  I agreed.  The original title was "Ambassador Walking Tour".  You can watch and download it for yourself to retain here.

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