Friday, November 5, 2010

Memories of Roberta

15 comments:

Carole Riedinger said...

One of my favorite recent memories is of an outing. One weekend Joe and Sara Morgan and Norm and Roberta were supposed to sail with Dan, Danielle, and me out of Channel Islands. When the day came to sail, the sea was lumpy and there was too much wind. We couldn't see wasting a perfectly good day reserved for our friends, so we changed the event and went to the Griffith Park Observatory. We met at the Morgan's and rode together in Joe's van. Norm and Roberta got the two seats at the back of the van, and Norm made sure Roberta didn't miss any of the conversation as he relayed any part of the stories she might have missed. It was a perfectly clear day, and we went to see the northern lights. Well, a lazar version. We all spent the day discussing the wonders of science, looking at the city and quizzing each other on which streets we were seeing, and enjoying each other's company. Roberta and I left the others looking over the city, and we went to watch the movie of how the new Getty section had been added. We touched the meteor rocks, checked our weight on other planets, and looked at the sliver of universe on the wall that would be blocked by Einstein's finger if he held it in front of his face. It was then time for dinner. We all took our picnic dinners to the tables overlooking the city. Roberta added a touch of class to our picnic with a white table cloth. We sat watching the bright orange sun set changing to purple and black, having a hard time pulling ourselves away from the beauty that our God created. We sat for so long that we missed our opportunity to look through the large telescope, but we were the last ones able to look at the rings around Saturn through the smaller telescopes set up on the sidewalk. It was not one event from the day that was so special, but the comfort of long time friendships where you could share stories, challenge each others local knowledge, and stand side by side in silence enjoying each other's company.

Anonymous said...

I became close friends with Roberta about 29 years ago. My husband, Randy, and I were newly married and living in close proximity to the newlyweds, Norm and Roberta. We met regularly for a couple's Bible Study which often included a potluck meal, singing, prayer for each other, and study. We would rotate meeting in each other's homes. Often, new couples would come to the Bible Study as well as some international students who were visiting.
Norm and Roberta lived in a cute older home in Monrovia near the foothills. Roberta was excited about decorating and fixing-up the house. She made it a real home.
Our Bible study group was active for at least 5 years. During those years, our families grew. One family, The McMoylers had 3 children, my husband and I had 2, and Norm and Roberta had 1, Christiana. I remember my daughter, Hannah, holding Christa for the first time and being enamored with her doll-like appearance. Roberta greatly enjoyed the children and the interaction between the mothers and families. We would share parenting techniques, recipes, clothing, books, etc. She was always personable and thoughtful.
We also had the opportunity of belonging to Sierra Madre Congregational Church at the same time as the Herrs. We were active in Hugh Ross's Sunday School class. It was there that we met the Ormes, who were training to become missionaries to Pakistan. I always looked forward to seeing and visiting with Roberta on Sundays. Her positive outlook and genuine concern were evident.
My family moved to Ventura in 1987 and from that time on, our families would mostly see each other on holidays or other selected occasions. Not only were we friends, but we were also kind-of related (Norm's brother is married to my sister). Over the years, we would visit at these time, catching-up on our lives. Mostly, we would share about the kids and what they
were doing. Roberta really cherished her family and was so proud of all of her kids and husband. She of course was also a ready listener and asked pertinent and thoughtful questions. Earlier this year, Norm and Roberta stopped-by Ventura to see us. We enjoyed a lunch at a local taco place. Again, we had a chance to catch-up and share. I remember her saying how she missed her kids and was excited to be on her way up to Santa Barbara to see them.
Even though Roberta has only departed to glory recently, I miss her already. I am thankful for the opportunity that I had to know and spend time with her.
Carrie Guzik

Helga Redondo said...

Getting to know Roberta at the L.A. Baptist Cross-Country meets was something I will always treasure. She was never shy and came and talked to anyone who was near by. You could tell she cared genuinely about everyone around her and was the most encouraging person I think I have ever met. As her son John was ending his last season of cross-country during his senior year we were all very excited that the team had made it to the state finals (which included my son Matt). Roberta started crying and she told me that she was very sad that there would be no more cross-country meets for her family. John was her baby and that part of her life was coming to an end and she fondly told me that being part of the cross-country team at LAB was one of her favorite things during her kids high-school years. Her tenderness, compassion and love for others has been and will continue to be an example to me whenever I think of Roberta.

Anonymous said...

we were so happy to meet Roberta at Jamie O'Connor's wedding in New jersey, Roberta accompanied her Father in law, Herb Herr, to the occasion and took such lovely care of him.
We had a great time visitng with Roberta during the weekend, and since she, Paul and I are therapists, we had to talk 'medical talk'. Roberta was telling us about her hearing impairment and how she planned to manage in the future. Her special concern was when she would at home alone and her inability to detect unwelcome visitors of any kind. She had things pretty well thought out and did not complain, she was just planning.
We visited about many other matters, travel, family, our family patriarch, Herb, and Norman who she declared to be wonderful.
She sounded very content with her life and very happy with Norm and her children.
Paul and I were impressed with her ability to communicate , her valiant and brave spirit and lovely ways.
We are so sorry our family has lost such a treasure.
With love to you all,
Honey and Paul O'Connor

Sally Reiser said...

To gaze into the pool blue eyes of Roberta, I would find peace, a timeless space that she could bring to you because of her ability to make you feel so very important. Roberta always had time to find out about what was happening in my life, and she was so gracious in her praise and encouragement to me. She was a calming influence to me, always sharing God's purpose in whatever we discussed. I am humbled by her footprint on so many lives. We were so very blessed to have been a part of her walk, her faith and her focus on God, on family, and on friends. I was overwhelmed at the slideshow I saw at the memorial. How could the Herr family be everywhere on Earth, and also be in church on Sunday, hold bible studies, excel in school, whether teaching, or attending, and become disciples of God, preaching the Gospel, and helping the needy all over the world. I am humbled by the power of the Holy Spirit...Roberta is going to have the best seat in the house when it comes to what is going on; in not only her families lives, but in everyone that had the amazing privilege of being touched by Roberta's love. I look forward to seeing her again and sharing the love of our Christ and Savior. May we all rejoice in the life and love that Roberta gave us.

Ratna Liem said...

When I first arrived in the U.S. in August 1983 as an international student from Indonesia, Roberta and Norman were the first Americans that I got to know. I met them through Rudy, now my husband, who attended a weekly International Bible Study led by Norman & Roberta. They were very kind to accommodate me to their home in Monrovia for a few weeks until they found me a permanent place to stay with Norman’s parents.

Roberta was a genuinely kind, compassionate, and caring person. I first thought that culturally all American women are like Roberta, but soon I learned that the source of her kind heart was from heaven. I could see it from her smiles and her actions. Her deep love for Christ reflected in her daily life in how she treated people around her: friends or strangers. Her strong faith for God was contagious and so my faith grew as I spent more time with Roberta. We became friends and she taught me many things about American way of life. She showed me how to cook American food and shared many of her recipes with me. One of her recipes, Chicken Divan, became my family’s favorite dish to this day. I can never forget what she gave me for my first Christmas in America: a Betty Crocker’s Cookbook which I still use. That’s how thoughtful she was about each of her friends.

Roberta’s life exemplified how a wife, a mother, and a friend should be. In many ways she made me a better person. She was there on every occasions of my life. She celebrated with me when I passed my exams, rejoiced with me when my sons were born, grieved with me when my mother passed away, prayed with me when I worried about things, etc. Roberta was and will forever be my American sister.

Roberta was a beautiful person in and out. I wish that I could have spent more time with her. I thank God everyday for the blessings of knowing her. She was a source of inspiration. One can only be better around her. She made the world around us a better place to live in. My family dearly loves her. We will forever cherish our friendship. We miss her and are still deeply sad that she is far away, but rejoice that she is in a better place, in the presence of our loving Father.

With lots of love and hugs,
Ratna Liem

Melissa said...

I have many precious memories of Roberta, but one is so very fresh in my mind. The moment Roberta knew I was going to be married, she told me that she wanted to have a bridal shower for me. A shower where some older and wiser woman, who have been very present in my life, could gather to encourage me, pray for me, and give me some words of godly wisdom. Walking into her house, I was overwhelmed by her graciousness, creativity, and love. She made a lovely dessert, places for everyone, and had toys for my nieces to amuse themselves with. She gathered us all in the living room, because she wanted to know “our story.” Every detail was important to her. Having not met Kevin yet, she wanted to know all the aspect of why I loved him. She genuinely cared. She had every person in the room share how they knew me and have been blessed by me. I wanted it to be the other way around, but Roberta was a great encourager. She gathered some of the most influential women in my life to encourage me as I began a new adventure of being a wife. Little did I know that would be my last conversation with her besides a quick word at our wedding a week later. She could make my worst day, or my most uncomfortable moment become one of the best. She loved. That is what she did that day and almost every day I knew her…

Always giving, always sharing,
Always loving, and always laughing.
She was an encourager, an exhorter,
A teacher and a learner.
She taught me how to care for others.
She showed me how to love one another.
But most of all, she demonstrated Christ’s love to me.
Like a mother, she prayed for me, blessed me, and loved me.
She gave to me whatever she could be it advise, a ride, or a meal.
I will miss her cheerful smile, her warm embrace, and her constant encouragement.

You will be continually in our prayers. Love you guys so much.

Melissa (and Kevin)

Greg Garabedian said...

My family and I have been attending Valley Presbyterian for a little over a year and were fortunate to have met Norm and Roberta. Not only did my wife Veronica and I have a fondness for them but so did our children Will and Cate. To them they were Mr. Norm and Mrs. Roberta. Our family had lunch with Norm and Roberta the Sunday before she was diagnosed with her illness. Our family had such a wonderful time at their home and I can still see Roberta sitting in her house reading a book to my children. Driving home my wife and I kept talking about how much fun it would be to have Norm and Roberta over to our home for lunch and who we would want to invite to meet them.

Later that day after we were home my kids were playing and I noticed Cate reading a book to Will. I looked at Cate and said "Cate, what are you reading?" She said "no daddy, I'm not Cate I'm Mrs. Roberta and I'm reading Will a book." I was so impressed with the love and impression Roberta had left with my children; she was a very special person.

Norm, you and your family hold a special place in our hearts and I look forward to our continued friendship.

Heidi Hershey said...

Roberta is a friend I will always treasure in my heart. Whenever her name comes up I have nothing but fond memories of her. I don't really have one event that stands out in my mind but it is the "essence" of Roberta I will always remember. I first met Roberta through the friendship of our children, Stephen and Joshua. Roberta reached out to me and she was so genuinely interested in me, and I knew that she would be a wonderful friend.

I got to know Roberta through school events, field trips and spending time in each other's homes with our boys. One thing I learned about Roberta right away was her love for God, her family and anyone that came into her life. She genuinely cared about people. Roberta always had a calming effect about her, however I did see her get a little worked up over Stephen's antics at times! That boy sure kept me in stitches through the years!

I remember driving somewhere with Roberta once and I have the bad habit of turning my head to talk to people while driving. Roberta touched my arm and very gently said that I could keep my eyes on the road because she could still read my lips. I don't think she realized I do this with everyone, but she wasn't going to let me get away with it!

Another fond memory I have is getting together on our birthdays. There were three of us, Roberta, Karen Hayes and myself. We would visit in each other's homes, or sometimes have a special lunch out in a restaurant. We would bring gifts for each other, talk about our families, school, church and ministries. They were very special times for me and I believe all of us felt we could confide in each other and openly share our hearts. I was always amazed at Roberta's gifts; she just seemed to know me so well. I think of her every time I put on a pair of earrings she bought me one year. As our get togethers would wind down Roberta always asked how she could pray for me, our family and ministry, this was just her way, always thinking of others.

Roberta also was very supportive of "Ladies Teas" I hosted at our Mission Center. She never wanted to show up empty handed and would come with something delicious that she had baked, always being a blessing! Last year we were honored to have the Herr family as guests at Joshua and Kelsey's wedding and Stephen as one of the groomsmen. We were so blessed that they stayed to the very end of everything and I mean everything, cleaning up the tables and them Roberta insisted on taking leftover food to her freezer and delivering it to us the next day as we had many visiting relatives to feed. Her whole life she gave to others, such an inspiration to so many including me!

As I was sitting reading my Bible this morning, I came upon this passage of scripture that I thought was so fitting of Roberta and I just want to share it with you. It brought tears to my eyes as I thought of my dear friend and sister in the Lord.

Colossians 3:12-17
"Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Anonymous said...

Ratna Liem said...

When I first arrived in the U.S. in August 1983 as an international student from Indonesia, Roberta and Norman were the first Americans that I got to know. I met them through Rudy, now my husband, who attended a weekly International Bible Study led by Norman & Roberta. They were very kind to accommodate me to their home in Monrovia for a few weeks until they found me a permanent place to stay with Norman’s parents.

Roberta was a genuinely kind, compassionate, and caring person. I first thought that culturally all American women are like Roberta, but soon I learned that the source of her kind heart was from heaven. I could see it from her smiles and her actions. Her deep love for Christ reflected in her daily life in how she treated people around her: friends or strangers. Her strong faith for God was contagious and so my faith grew as I spent more time with Roberta. We became friends and she taught me many things about American way of life. She showed me how to cook American food and shared many of her recipes with me. One of her recipes, Chicken Divan, became my family’s favorite dish to this day. I can never forget what she gave me for my first Christmas in America: a Betty Crocker’s Cookbook which I still use. That’s how thoughtful she was about each of her friends.

Roberta’s life exemplified how a wife, a mother, and a friend should be. In many ways she made me a better person. She was there on every occasions of my life. She celebrated with me when I passed my exams, rejoiced with me when my sons were born, grieved with me when my mother passed away, prayed with me when I worried about things, etc. Roberta was and will forever be my American sister.

Roberta was a beautiful person in and out. I wish that I could have spent more time with her. I thank God everyday for the blessings of knowing her. She was a source of inspiration. One can only be better around her. She made the world around us a better place to live in. My family dearly loves her. We will forever cherish our friendship. We miss her and are still deeply sad that she is far away, but rejoice that she is in a better place, in the presence of our loving Father.

With lots of love and hugs,
Ratna Liem
November 16, 2010 10:37 PM

Anonymous said...

I could say many things about Roberta, things you already know, but I wanted you to know how she impacted my life in the last 11 years. The verse of scripture that comes to my mind when I think of her is Isaiah 26:7, The path of the righteous is level; you make level the way of the righteous. Roberta was steadfast in her commitment to family, church and friends. I knew I could always count on her. That may seem like a trite thing to say but to me, one who finds it hard to trust people, it was a huge thing. I not only trusted her to do things, it went farther than that. I trusted her to think things through when I asked her opinion or for help. I might ask a question about parenting and she would not be quick to answer. But she didn't forget either. She would come back to me with her thoughts or advise. She often told me stories about your kids, things I am sure she did purposely to instruct. God is the one who allowed her to be so solid, so
even. I never once felt she was wavering on the side of a cliff. No, her feet were firmly planted.
Roberta never complained to me about anything. I knew the times she had her hands full with different family responsibilities, church work, rental property work. But she just told me what was going on without any drama. I learned to be content with things even if life seemed crazy because Roberta considered all the things in her life a blessing.
You have talked about Roberta's hearing loss and how it affected her. I saw a blessing in it for we never wasted time in trivialities, we just got to the point, went deeper into meaningful conversation. The last year working with her in the nursery afforded us many such opportunities. We arrived a bit early, it was quiet and we were able to talk. One of the last times together I asked to talk to her during SS nursery. But that day 2 babies cried and cried. We never did get to have that talk. Others have said to me during the fall,"I wish I could ask Roberta about that." I will be saying that to myself for a long time to come. I will continue to serve in the nursery but the truth is I only agreed to head it up because Roberta agreed to help me.
Roberta and I both did a lot behind the scenes at church. So there was quite a lot we didn't talk about. But each knew the other was very involved in people's lives and we gave each other silent encouragement. That was one reason I wanted to work with her on the nursery. We were always running on parallel courses. For a short time we were running together.
Roberta and I could talk about so many different things because our interests intersected at many points. We loved to show each other projects we were working on, it was fun having someone to share creative things with.
I especially appreciated the times when Roberta would ask me things about my kids before I had even thought of them myself. She was always way ahead of me, anticipating things they might be going through or things they might need. she tracked the classes they were taking, sports they were playing. I don't have many friends like that.

Norm, I mostly wanted you to know that I miss her too and regret that I didn't tell her all the things I've said here. God gives us good gifts and Roberta was one to me.

In Christ,
Mary Beth

Anonymous said...

I could say many things about Roberta, things you already know, but I wanted you to know how she impacted my life in the last 11 years. The verse of scripture that comes to my mind when I think of her is Isaiah 26:7, The path of the righteous is level; you make level the way of the righteous. Roberta was steadfast in her commitment to family, church and friends. I knew I could always count on her. That may seem like a trite thing to say but to me, one who finds it hard to trust people, it was a huge thing. I not only trusted her to do things, it went farther than that. I trusted her to think things through when I asked her opinion or for help. I might ask a question about parenting and she would not be quick to answer. But she didn't forget either. She would come back to me with her thoughts or advise. She often told me stories about your kids, things I am sure she did purposely to instruct. God is the one who allowed her to be so solid, so
even. I never once felt she was wavering on the side of a cliff. No, her feet were firmly planted.
Roberta never complained to me about anything. I knew the times she had her hands full with different family responsibilities, church work, rental property work. But she just told me what was going on without any drama. I learned to be content with things even if life seemed crazy because Roberta considered all the things in her life a blessing.
You have talked about Roberta's hearing loss and how it affected her. I saw a blessing in it for we never wasted time in trivialities, we just got to the point, went deeper into meaningful conversation. The last year working with her in the nursery afforded us many such opportunities. We arrived a bit early, it was quiet and we were able to talk. One of the last times together I asked to talk to her during SS nursery. But that day 2 babies cried and cried. We never did get to have that talk. Others have said to me during the fall,"I wish I could ask Roberta about that." I will be saying that to myself for a long time to come. I will continue to serve in the nursery but the truth is I only agreed to head it up because Roberta agreed to help me.
Roberta and I both did a lot behind the scenes at church. So there was quite a lot we didn't talk about. But each knew the other was very involved in people's lives and we gave each other silent encouragement. That was one reason I wanted to work with her on the nursery. We were always running on parallel courses. For a short time we were running together.
Roberta and I could talk about so many different things because our interests intersected at many points. We loved to show each other projects we were working on, it was fun having someone to share creative things with.
I especially appreciated the times when Roberta would ask me things about my kids before I had even thought of them myself. She was always way ahead of me, anticipating things they might be going through or things they might need. she tracked the classes they were taking, sports they were playing. I don't have many friends like that.

Norm, I mostly wanted you to know that I miss her too and regret that I didn't tell her all the things I've said here. God gives us good gifts and Roberta was one to me.

In Christ,
Mary Beth

Anonymous said...

Memories of Roberta


I met Roberta my freshman year at UCI at a Navigator event in Middle Earth. She was very friendly, nice, and really cute.
When she was living in Middle Earth, she invited me to go out for ice cream off campus. We rode in her little peach-colored Chevy Vega with a little Snoopy in it. She was Roberta Beagles, after all, and celebrated who she was. I appreciated the fact that she included me, and that she purposefully made time for fun and friendship.

Roberta was a good sport, and participated in our Girl’s Bible Study’s performance of “Good King Wenceslas” at the Christmas Navigator meeting. I sang the part of the king, Pam was the page, and Roberta played the role of the girl “gathering winter fuel”. When we were singing about the “rude wind’s wild lament and the bitter weather”, the cape Roberta was wearing accidentally flipped up, and Kerry said, “That certainly was a rude wind!”

Roberta invited me to her home one summer day in Pacific Palisades. She had sent me her cleverly drawn map complete with a winding Sunset Boulevard and the Pacific Ocean with waves and a sailboat. Roberta was a gracious hostess, serving us tuna sandwiches on her patio overlooking the ocean. On our walk down toward the beach she shared a memory she had of a landslide in the Palisades. A neighbor was entrusted with taking Roberta to safety, and wanted to shield her from seeing a house slide down the hill. But Roberta said the sight didn’t bother her because she was so young and didn’t realize the significance. She showed me slides of her Girl Scout canoe trip. I had paddled down the Colorado River numerous times with my Girl Scout Troop, and it was fun to share these common interests.

What I appreciated about Roberta in college was her reaching out and including me. She was non-judgmental and I really appreciated her acceptance.

These past years it has been a joy to reconnect with Roberta. I was touched at her willingness to come to Arcadia to meet with Carol and me. It was an honor to have her in our book club. I appreciated her insights on what we were reading, and her input in the selection of books. I am so glad she was able to give Carol and me a tour of the renovations she oversaw on the Monrovia house just last April. The project was a reflection of her creativity and prudent decision making. After our tour we ate Cuban food at a restaurant in Monrovia, and talked for hours.

I especially valued Roberta’s wise counsel on life and parenthood. I will miss her caring exhortations, and her affirmations of me and my family. I will miss being able to talk with her about life’s challenges. I am hoping enough of Roberta rubbed off on me so I can think and act more like her. She was a wonderful, Christ-like example to follow.

Love,
Carol Misakian

Susan said...

Roberta is my friend from OT school at San Jose State University. We were both studying to be Occupational Therapists. We graduated in 1981. As I looked at the slide show of photos so many had familiar scenery. We both grew up in California, went backpacking and skiing in our young adult years. We were both about the same age. I am so glad I was able to know Roberta. We were roommates, and she always had a positive attitude. She was calm and kind no matter what, and did not seem to worry. She was very trustworthy and honest. We have kept in touch over the years through Christmas letters. I have always enjoyed reading Roberta and Norm's Christmas letter with the photos included. We have kids similar ages, so it was fun to see what her kids had done the previous year. She and I both considered our most important career to be that of "Mom". Reading their family Christmas letter I could tell that she treasured that role. Hearing about their family trips and other adventures I could tell that her children were growing and blossoming with lots of love from their mom and dad. You have a precious family. Roberta gives me the desire to be more positive in my outlook, to look for the blessings from God, and to bring out the best in others. Thank you for your friendship.
Love,
Susan Marler
(I was Susan Sauter in OT school:)

Marci said...

There are so many memories I have of Roberta - they all involve her smile, her laugh, her gentle voice.
When I think of her, I have a set of memories that have to do with when our younger children were in choir and Christiana and Matthew were too old to be in there with Cheryl. The two of them would take turns bringing a game and playing on the floor in the narthex - sometimes sharing a snack Roberta or I had brought. Roberta and I sat on the bench by the water fountain and visit and laugh. She was such a good conversationalist - funny and encouraging.
Those were really special days for us as moms and children.