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Obituary: Roberts, Donald Edward

Don Roberts

Donald Edward Roberts, March 30, 1937 –September 17, 2021 Don Roberts, 84, of Woodbine, MD (previously of Beltsville), went home to the Lord on Friday, September 17, 2021, surrounded by his family. He was a loving husband to Mary Ann Roberts for 60 years, a proud father to Kathy (Glenn) Saffran and John Roberts (who passed away from cystic fibrosis in1977), and a beloved “Poppy” to his grandchildren—John, Andrew (Amanda), and Karen Saffran—and great- grandchildren—Coleman and Raelynn Saffran. Born on March 30, 1937, Don was son of the late William and Gladys (Schroeder) Roberts of Cheverly, MD. He was preceded in death by his brother, David Roberts, and sister, Gale Love. Don loved the Lord and his deep faith produced a joy and peace that followed him wherever he went. He overcame many challenges and was always quick to give God the glory.

Don also loved hunting and the spiritual solitude of “watching the forest wake up.” While hunting in 1988, a fall left him paralyzed but not defeated. Despite the limitations of his body, he returned to work full-time as a construction manager at the International Monetary Fund in Washington, DC, where he retired in 2002. Prior to the IMF, he was a superintendent for Corning Construction Co, in Beltsville, MD. He was a member of the Washington, DC Carpenter’s Union and proudly served our country in the U.S. Navy. A farmer at heart, Don loved being surrounded by the rolling farmlands of Carroll County. In his electric wheelchair, he could do most anything he put his mind to: With tools attached to broomsticks, you would find him outdoors planting, weeding, digging, composting, and host of other “farm” chores. More famously, Don was fond of John Deere tractors and owned several restored antique models, as well as an extensive collection of toy tractors. He was a member of the MD 2 Cylinder Club and loved working on his computer, connecting with fellow John Deere enthusiasts and scouring eBay for toy tractors to add to his collection. Many nieces, nephews, friends, and neighbors lovingly called him “Tractor Don,” a title he wore with pride. Despite his many hobbies, what he enjoyed the most was spending time with the love of his life, Mary Ann. Don was an inspiration to everyone - to know him was to love him. He lived well and fought the good fight and is now in the arms of Jesus hearing, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” A Celebration of Life will be held on November 6, 2021, at 1:00 pm at Life Point Church in Reisterstown, MD—masks required. For those wishing to donate, the family requests they be made in Don’s memory to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation online at or mailed to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, 4550 Montgomery Ave., Suite 1100, N Bethesda, MD 20814.

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