Harold D. “Hal” Roberts, 95, Stevens Point, the founder of Roberts Irrigation in Plover, died Monday, March 19, 2012, at the Stevens Point Care Center.
A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at Pisarski/Dzikoski Funeral Home in Stevens Point, with the Rev. Dee Webber officiating.
Visitation will be at the funeral home from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday and at the church from 9:30 a.m. Saturday until the services.
Memorials should be given to the Wisconsin Society of Ornithology, 2022 Sherryl Lane, Waukesha, WI 53188-3142.
Condolences may be offered online at www.pisarskifuneralhome.com.
Mr. Roberts was born July 26, 1916, in Madison, a son of the late Ray and Louvia Roberts. He graduated from Madison West High School in 1934, the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1940 with a master’s degree and was working on a doctorate when World War II and five years of military service intervened.
He was stationed in Panama and in the Pacific area at the end of the war. He served in World War II as a captain in the Army medical corps.
He was married to Nancy Roberts in 1941. She died in 1995.
He founded Roberts Irrigation Co. Inc. in the early 1950s in Black River Falls. He moved the family and company to Stevens Point in 1958.
In college he was a member of Sigma Nu fraternity. An active “birder,” he was a member and former president of the Wisconsin Society of Ornithology. For many years he and his wife edited The Passenger Pigeon magazine. He was also a longtime member of the Elks. He was inducted into the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association Hall of Fame in 1994. He was recognized for outstanding service to the Wisconsin Cranberry Growers Association in 1985. He received recognition for outstanding support to agriculture by the Agri-Business Committee of the Chamber of Commerce in 1990.
Survivors include one son, Paul (Dawn), Junction City; three daughters, Ann (Doug) Hayner, Omaha, Neb., and Jane (Wellington) Ayensu and Susan Roberts, both of Virginia Beach, Va.; one sister, Velma Byrd, Moundsville, W. Va.; and one grandson.
He was also preceded in death by one sister, Mary Lou Jensen; and a longtime friend, Violet Jurgella.