(03/10/2007)
By Bob Weaver

Hundreds and hundreds of friends stood in line in the parking lot at Stump Funeral Home in Arnoldsburg yesterday evening, waiting an hour or more to pay their respects to the Gary Roberts family, hundreds of cars was parked along US 33-119.

His wife Sue, his children, grandchildren and siblings must have surely been emotionally charged by such an outpouring.

The Millstone-Sycamore man, well-known to the county for many years as "the telephone man," died at his latest workplace in Glenville, where he returned for another round of employment after his phone company retirement.

Gary was the telephone man who helped bring the modern dial phone to the county, replacing those antique crank jobs and grapevine wires strung through the woods. The county was late developing such technology in the 1960s.

"He was the kinda guy who would always go out of his way to help you, a good friend, and neighbor," said a mourner. Last night's funeral wake spoke loudly of that kind of life, well-lived.

He was of this sod, a person of place, woods and community.

Those of us near his age will remember him as a young boy at his parent's restaurant and garage near the old Calhoun County High School.

During the fabulous 50s, you could dart across the street at lunchtime to the Robert's place and get a 10 cent hot dog and a nickel soda.

Go rest high, neighbor, on your mountain.


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