I’m saddened that I have to share the news that Don Roberts passed away last Thursday. He was a long-time friend of mine. He succumbed to pneumonia complications at the age of 82. That’s too soon an age for a young minded man like Don to leave us.
Don was one of the first people that I made friends with when I moved to Phoenix in 1972. He was always quick to laugh at a joke and if he thought ill of anyone, he kept it to himself. As a couple, Don and Sharon were on everybody’s guest list, because their joy filled a room.
In the later part of the ’80s, I was fortunate to work with Don and other club members tasked to revitalize SCCA’s Arizona Region Solo program. As president, his management style was refreshing. He would listen to and discuss any idea and if he thought they showed merit, he’d let you run with it. He gave encouragement and guidance as feedback and gave credit where credit was due.
Don was a racecar driver of eminence, but other people can tell that story better than me. As a competitor, he was never stingy with his help, but he always managed to do a little bit better than me. Sharon—Don’s better half—shared a link to an article that long-time motor sports journalist Bob Golfen wrote about Don in Classiccars.com if you’d like to read more.
Queen Anne and I both offer Sharon our condolences and best wishes. We’re certain that Don’s already organizing an event for us at the great Malibu Grand Prix in the sky.
It was my honor, Don — jw
P.S. If you have a favorite Don story that you would like to share, you’re welcome to post it here.