Age 75, of White Bear Lake.
Loving, Mom, Grandma, Great Grandma, Sister, Aunt & Cousin, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on April 26, 2018. Preceded in death by husband, Vance; brothers, Jack & David Roberts. Survived by sons, John (Georgia), Brian (Lori), David (Dana) Matt; grandchildren, Shavon (Shawn) Sutherland, Chet (Julia), Derek, Haylee, Jacklyn; great grandson, Jackson; brothers, Gerald "Swede" & Mick (Sandra) Roberts; sisters & brothers-in-law; nieces, nephews, & dear family from Ireland, the Glackins & McHughs.
With brother, David passing on January 17, 2018, a celebration will be held for both David & Mary Pat
6 PM Monday, April 30th with visitation one hour prior at Roberts Family Life Celebration Home, 555 SW Centennial Drive, Forest Lake.
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As individuals we are the sum of our experiences; our adventures, relationships, the good times and the bad. The mosaic of my grandmothers life created a very unique individual. She touched the fringes of many spectrums and occupied the space between. She was an activist and a recluse, a progressive and a fuddy duddy, a leftist Democrat with tyrannical tendencies. She was a musician, a book worm, an academic, a baker, a philosopher and a free spirit. She was a hippie before it was cool, she recycled before anyone gave a shit about the environment, smoked like a chimney and sang like no one was listening. She lived.
When I was young grandma chapped my behind. She always had something to say, at me. Typically it went something like this, “Ya know Chester, when you swear too often it makes you sound dumb and you’re not dumb, are you?” Or “Ya know Chester, the men in our family have a bit of a drinking problem, keep an eye on that.” During these cautionary comments she would ever so gently place her frail, gold dipped hand on my shoulder. With the other, she might be sipping a chilled glass of Hennessy. I can almost smell it on her breath now. As a younger man it felt judgmental, condescending and oppressive. I now know she was communicating her love the best way she knew how. A bit of advice, a requiem of a life lived. Perspective is everything. You are what you choose to see.
Every person we encounter in our lives is a teacher. They teach us how to live, what to avoid, what to do and what not to do. My grandmother was one of my greatest teachers. Her final and greatest lesson came in the twilight of life. Without going into great detail, she showed our nuclear family a powerful message. A message of humility and ownership. That it is never too late to apologize, an old dog can learn new tricks and that becoming the best version of yourself is a life long journey.
Her convicted, particular, passionate and artistic nature lives within us. She lives and she is loved. While I await our next Scrabble game, I’ll miss her raspy baritone laughs and her hugs the most.
This is an Irish prayer for the departed, which was read at my grandfathers celebration of life.
“Death is nothing at all
I have only slipped away to the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other, That, we still are.
Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes, we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me. Pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect.
Without the trace of a shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same that it ever was.
There is absolute unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you.
For an interval.
Somewhere. Very near.
Just around the corner.
All is well.
Nothing is past; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before only better, infinitely happier and forever we will all be one together.
I am so sorry to hear of Mary Pat’s passing. I am glad all her suffering is over. She is one of those people who come into our lives and leaves footprints of kindness and generosity on our hearts forever. Keep all the wonderful memories alive in your hearts and she will be with you forever! Hugs to you all.
No more suffering. I can’t imagine the reunion you and grandpa are sharing. While we’ll be missing you, we’ve gained another guardian angel.
To my wonderful friend and partner in crime, Mary Pat, I will always remember our time together on the road during your gigs. I know God is happy to have you in His heavenly chorus, but I was blessed to have your friendship first 💕
Love Shari Fleischaker
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