HOLMEN — Virgil D. Roberts, 88, of Holmen died April 6, 2011.
He was born on the Roberts family farm in Mindoro, to Eva and Earl Roberts on April 13, 1922. Virgil attended Burr Oak primary school and graduated from Mindoro High School in 1939.
With the onset of WWII, Virgil attempted to enlist in the military but was unable to join due to a mild heart ailment. He then trained as a telegrapher which was also considered a critical function of the war effort and began a successful 37-year career as an operator and dispatcher with the Milwaukee Railroad.
On Jan. 20, 1945, he was married to the former Alice Evenson at Zion Lutheran Church in Galesville.
Virgil’s positions on the railroad involved family moves to several cities. With great pride in the family heritage, Virgil and Alice purchased and created many fond memories on one of the family homestead farms in Mindoro before moving to Holmen in 1963. While taking a course at Winona State College, he became interested in politics which led to a life of community service. He was actively involved and held leadership positions in many organizations including several school boards, the Holmen Lutheran Church, Holmen Lion’s Club, and the La Crosse Democratic Party. In addition to his public service, Virgil also served as a director for the Bank of Holmen/Park Bank for 27 years.
Virgil will probably most be remembered for his 22 years representing the 94th Assembly District in the Wisconsin State Legislature where he served on several committees including Joint Finance. Among his many accomplishments were the creation of several area bike trails, the Hwy. 53 corridor between Holmen and Onalaska, and countless hours spent visiting classrooms to educate on the importance of government.
Virgil is survived by his devoted wife of 66 years, Alice; daughter, Ann (Tim) West; grandson, Randy Campbell and his son, Max; granddaughter, Angie (Bart) Goley and their children, Ben and Blair; granddaughter, Dani (Gregg) Christensen and their daughters, Sydney and Peyton. Daughter, Joan Roberts, grandson, Derek Schaller, grandson, Kent (Ann) Schaller and their children, Kylie, William and Katelyn. Son, Gordon (Barbara) Roberts, stepgrandson, Andrew (Dayna) Bosshard and their daughters, Avery and Brynn. Daughter, Janet (Dave) Kostka and their daughters, Karissa and Kalina. The family members reside in Morris and Dwight, Ill., Dallas, Texas, La Crosse, Sun Prairie and Madison, Wis., and Springfield, Mo. He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and four siblings, Gyle Roberts, LaVerne Roberts, Ruby Nelson Skorstad and Keith Roberts.
Virgil will long be remembered for his love of family and friends and his enjoyment of music, dancing and storytelling.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday at Holmen Lutheran Church, 228 Morris St. The Reverend Dan Henderson will officiate and burial will be in the Farmington Cemetery in Mindoro. Friends may visit with the family from 3 to 5 p.m. on Sunday at the church, and again from 10 a.m. until time of services on Monday at the church. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to Holmen Lutheran Church, Alzheimer’s Association for Research, 1525 Rose St., Suite 8, La Crosse, Wis., 54603, or the fund of one’s choice.
The Dickinson Family Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Information and on-line condolences may be given to the family at www.dickinsonfuneralhomes.com.