1935 – 2024

Ronald David Roberts, 89, passed away peacefully surrounded by family at the BeeHive Assisted Living Facility in Hamilton, MT. He was born in Hamilton to Fred and Pats Roberts. Growing up on 5th Street with his older brother, Fred and younger sister, Joan, Ron worked the soda fountain at his parents Bookstore on Main Street. After graduating from Hamilton High in 1952 he was off to college with summers spent timber cruising and fighting fires for the Bitterroot National Forest. Ron earned a Bachelor’s degree from Gonzaga University in 1956.

He then joined the Navy spending eight years during the early phases of the Vietnam War, serving on the U.S.S. Yorktown before honorably discharging at the rank of Lieutenant CIC Officer in 1966. He returned to school to earn a Master’s degree in History from the University of Portland.

In 1966, Ron married his true love Jane Heckathorn Collins and began the lifelong adventure of raising their five children and moving the family throughout the Western U.S. with stops in Oregon, Washington, and Alaska. Ron began his professional career teaching history and coaching tennis at Mt. Angel College near Portland. He eventually settled into a long productive career in the insurance business.

Retirement and the good life led Ron and Jane to stops in San Diego, Palm Springs, and Phoenix spending many hours together on the golf course, poolside, and in the company of the countless friends they made wherever they went.

In 2007, Ron and Jane returned to the Bitterroot Valley surrounded by the beloved mountains of their childhood. Happy to be back home and close to family, Ron enjoyed gardening, golfing, reading (he was very well-read) and tinkering with anything and everything around their home in Grantsdale. Ron was a member of the Elks, American Legion, VFW, and Eagles.

Ron is survived by his wife, Jane, of Hamilton; five children: Jim (Carrie) of Laurel, Joe (Leona) of Billings, Kym (Eric) of Lawrence, KS, Kellie (Eddy) of Hamilton, and Mike (Shannon) of Helena; eight grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.

A memorial service and reception will be held Friday, May 17, 2024 at 1:00 p.m. at Daly-Leach Chapel in Hamilton. Private family interment will follow at Riverview Cemetery in Hamilton. Condolences and memories for the family can be made at

The family would like to give special thanks to the staff at BeeHive for their love and support.