Edward “Ted” Roberts, Jr.

June 26, 2018
Edward “Ted” Roberts, Jr.

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Edward “Ted” Roberts, Jr., died June 26, 2018 at Brookdale Williamsburg, at the age of 98. He had a 34-year career as a golf course superintendent and was the first superintendent of the new Kingsmill Golf Club in Williamsburg.

The son of Betsy Young and Edward Roberts, Sr., Ted was born on Sept. 18, 1919, in Abington, PA. He literally grew up on a golf course, as his family lived in a house on the grounds of LuLu Temple Country Club in North Hills, PA, where his father was superintendent. He graduated from Springfield High School in 1937 and worked for his father at the golf course until entering Penn State in 1940 to study agronomy. World War II interrupted his schooling, and he enlisted in the Navy. He became a Norden bombsight technician and managed a bombsight shop at Barbers Point Naval Air Station in Hawaii, later transferring to Banana River Air Station, FL. After the war, he worked for his father, now at North Hills Country Club in North Hills, PA, and took over as superintendent in 1951 when his father retired.

In 1947, he married Helen O’Hara. They had two daughters, Kathleen and Eileen. In 1954, he moved the family to Louviers Golf Course, a DuPont Country Club in Newark, DE, during its construction. His expertise in turf management was tapped by Bob Carpenter, then owner of the Philadelphia Phillies, when the field at Connie Mack Stadium was being renovated.

In 1962, he became superintendent of Fairmount Country Club in Chatham, NJ and later (1967) Canoe Brook Country Club in Summit, NJ. He capped his career serving as the first superintendent of Kingsmill Golf Club in Williamsburg, VA from 1973 until his retirement in 1985. He was responsible for turning the course from a new course into one of the caliber to host a PGA tournament, the Anheuser-Busch Golf Classic.

Ted was proud of his service in his professional organization, beginning with his local Philadelphia Association of Golf Course Superintendents, where he served as an officer and later as president. The national Golf Course Superintendents Association of America then recruited him, where he served as secretary-treasurer, vice president and, in 1967, as president. He had also been a member of the Green Committee of the United States Golf Association.

Following his retirement, Ted took up golf again and enjoyed many years playing the Kingsmill courses with his buddies in the “Odd Lots.” He also delighted in his grandchildren, whether playing games or videotaping them, taking them to Busch Gardens or teaching them how to mow the lawn. He was a longtime member of the Crown Colony Club.

He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Helen Roberts; daughter Kathleen Drupa (John) of Woodbridge, VA; daughter Eileen Jinks (Mark) of Alexandria, VA; four grandchildren: Andrew Drupa, Matthew Drupa, Lauren Jinks Coffey (Francis) and Nina Jinks (Damián); and numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held on Monday, July 9 at 11 a.m. at Bucktrout Funeral Home, 4124 Ironbound Rd., Williamsburg, VA 23188. Inurnment service will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the Parkinson’s Foundation, 200 SE 1st St., Suite 800, Miami, FL 33131 or online at www.parkinson.org.

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