Charles L. RobertsAugust 18, 1924 ~ August 28, 2017 (age 93)
Dr. Charles L. Roberts died in his home in Niceville on August 28, 2017. He was 93 years old.
Dr. Roberts was the son of John W. and Edna Pearl Roberts of St. Joseph, Michigan. He is survived by his wife of thirteen years, Doris Camp-Roberts, one son, Scott Roberts and a daughter, Holly Morgan, both of Virginia, six grandsons, one great grandson and 3 great granddaughters.
Following graduation from High School he enlisted in the U.S. Navy during World War II, serving four years as a musician and band master in the Pacific Fleet Naval Air Force Band at Pearl Harbor. He enrolled in Michigan State University in 1946, receiving B.A. and M.A. Degrees in Clinical Psychology with minors in Physical Education and Music. In 1950 he became a psychologist with the Ohio Workers Camp Rehabilitation Hospital at Ohio State University.
In 1955 he founded and was named Executive Director of Craig Rehabilitation Hospital in Denver Colorado. The hospital was begun as a facility to treat tuberculosis and was no longer needed. In 1959 he was hired as Administrator of the 400 bed Pennsylvania Rehabilitation Center in Johnstown, Pennsylvania where for eight(8) years he instituted innovative rehabilitation concepts. During this time he held faculty positions at the University of Colorado, Penn State University, the University of Pittsburgh and was awarded a Doctorate in Psychology and Letters. In 1967 he became Executive Director of the International Association of Rehabilitation Facilities moving their offices from Chicago to Washington, DC. Here he helped develop “The People with Disabilities Act”, and working with Senator Bob Dole and other members of Congress was instrumental in having rehabilitation included in Medicare coverage.
In 1975 he was recruited to develop the Rehabilitation Institute of West Florida in Pensacola, obtaining funding, planning and opening the Institute for the severely handicapped. During this time he established Robert's Associates, a consulting firm which developed Rehabilitation Hospitals all over the USA. The Institute became part of West Florida Hospital and he established the Rehabilitation Foundation of NW Florida where he was responsible for awarding over $20 million in services for the severely disabled to remain in the community. He ran the Foundation until retiring in 2000.
Chuck loved life and kept looking for “another dragon to slay”.
He was an accomplished musician, playing the flute, piccolo, trombone, directing bands and smaller musical groups and singing with dance bands. He played with symphony orchestras in Honolulu, Denver, Johnstown and Pensacola. He was extremely proud of his theatrical endeavors, especially “Inherit the Wind” at the Pensacola Community Theatre. He has loved his family and friends, been an inspiration to many. He was competitive and enjoyed completive sports and especially sailing which was a life-long joy.
During Chuck's battle with metastatic melanoma support, expertise and kindness was provided by Dr. Ponder, Emerald Coast Hospice, Walmart pharmacists, Eglin VA Center friends & members of the community.