Paul Roberts


(Feb. 22, 2004)

Paul Roberts, 88, of Pryor Creek, Mont., died Sunday, Feb. 22 at home of natural causes during his afternoon nap.

He was born June 29, 1915 in Reed Point, Mont., son of Rex and Anna Gilchrist Roberts. He attended elementary school at the Spring Creek rural school near Reed Point. He also attended Broadwater School in Billings and graduated from Roundup High School.

After working eight years for the Forest Service near Bozeman, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. While in boot camp in Whapeton, N.D., he met his future bride, Grace Kapaun at a dance. After a short courtship they were engaged before he was deployed to the Pacific Theatre for the duration of WWII. He served as a Chief Machinist's Mate on the U.S.S. Bradford. After being honorably discharged from the Navy in November of 1945, he and Grace were married in Frazee, Minn. on January 8, 1946.

After their marriage Paul and Grace moved to Pryor Creek where they farmed, gardened, and raised their children in the home that Paul and his brother, Vic, built. Paul was successful and respected by fellow farmers. He was an active member of St. Charles Mission, the Billings Knights of Columbus, the Elks, and the Central High School Booster Club. He served on the boards of both the Western Bank and the Morin Elementary rural school. After retirement he and Grace enjoyed traveling to China and throughout the United States.

He is survived by his wife, Grace, and his three children Sharon (Steve) Bailey of Powell, Vernon (Kay) Roberts of Helena, and Venieta (Dave) Cox of Billings. He delighted in his six granddaughters, teaching them all to drive on the farm long before they were 16. They are Sara Bailey of Lyons, Colorado, Laura Bailey of Bozeman, Angela Roberts of Ithaca, New York, Beth Roberts Nave of Bozeman, and Melanie and Michelle Cox of Billings. Paul's sisters-in-law also survive him. They are Irene Roberts and Helen Roberts of Helena, Bernadette Roberts of California and Frances Roberts of Billings. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents and step mother, Irma Roberts and by all his brothers and sisters. They were Byron, Don, Dean, Joe, Vic, Margaret (Mugs) Cormier and Eloise Cormier.

Paul's vigil service will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 26 at the Dahl Funeral Chapel, Billings. Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Friday at St. Charles Mission near Pryor. Interment will follow in the Holy Cross Cemetery, Billings. Memorials in Paul's name may be made to Billings Area Catholic Education Trust (BACET), St. Charles Mission, or charity of choice.