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Richard “Dick” Roberds

On Friday, September 11, 2020, Richard “Dick” Roberds, Loving husband and
father of three children passed away at age 86. Dick was born in Lawrence
Kansas to Wesley and Dorothy Roberds June 22, 1934. In 1956 he graduated
from the University of Kansas with a Bachelors degree in Physics. On August
8, 1958 he married, the love of his life, Marian “Marcy” Lanyon. They
raised a son, Michael and two daughters, Catherine and Wendy. In 1956, he
was commissioned in the United States Air Force where he became a highly
decorated combat pilot and academic scholar. In the Air Force, he flew the
F-102, T-33, T-37, T-38, and O-2 aircraft. He served a flying tour in
Vietnam from Nov ’70 – Sep ’71, as the commander of the O-2 Night “Rustic”
squadron, and flew over 100 combat missions. While in the Air Force Dick
earned a Masters Degree and PhD (Doctorate) in Nuclear Engineering.
Following his tour in Vietnam, he worked in the AF weapons Lab, Kirtland
AFB 1973-‘76, the applied Physics Branch, Kirtland AFB, 1976-‘77 and the
Avionics Lab, Wright Patterson AFB 1977-’80. In 1980, Dick retired as
Colonel, after 24 years of distinguished service. During his time in the
Air Force, he was highly decorated; awarded the Silver Star, Legion of
Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross (2), Air Medal (8), Meritorious Service
Medal and Air Force Commendation Medal. He was very proud of his
accomplishments in the Air Force and would jokingly request to be addressed
as “Colonel/Doctor”. After his retirement from the Air Force, Dick decided
to go into academia, fueled by his love of teaching and working with
students. This included stints as the Head of the Engineering Technology
Department, Clemson University, 1980-’84, Clemson S.C. Dean of the School
of Engineering, Univ Tenn Martin 1984-’86, Martin Tenn. Associate Dean
Academic affairs, Acting Dean and Professor of Engineering Science, Univ
Tenn Space Institute, 1986-’93, Tullahoma Tenn, and lastly, Head Integrated
Science and Technology, James Madison Univ, 1993-2004, Harrisonburg VA.
Dick retired in 2004 and moved back to Tullahoma Tennessee to be close to
his brother, Donald Roberds, sister, Sharon Baxter, and friends. He was
very active in the church and loved spending time with family and friends.
He had a big heart, loved to laugh, meet new people and socialize. One of
his favorite pastimes was to play and sing church hymns on his piano.
Always making the list was “How Great though Art” and it’s befitting last
verse; When Christ shall come With shouts of adulation And take me home
What joy shall fill my heart Then I shall bow In humble adoration And then
proclaim, my God, how great Thou art. Dick is survived by his wife Marcy,
his three children, Michael, Catherine and Wendy, five grandchildren, his
brother Don and his sister Sharon and several nieces and nephews. A funeral
service will be held for immediate family, due to Covid restrictions,
Saturday 19 Sept 2020 at 11:30am at Rose Hill Cemetery in Tullahoma
Tennessee. In lieu of flowers please send donations to Tullahoma First
Christian Church, 120 W Grundy St, Tullahoma, TN 37388 or The Alzheimer’s
Tennessee Association, South Central Tennessee Office, 309 N. Jackson St,
Tullahoma, TN 37388.

Please visit our website at to leave
online condolences. Daves-Culbertson Funeral Home is in charge of

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