Joseph Roberts, an authority in special education who taught hundreds of San Francisco Bay Area students, died Friday night in his home in Pacifica, California, after a long illness. He was 73.
Born in Los Angeles to Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe, he was raised in Long Beach, California. He put himself through college in the shipyards during WWII and later as a bus boy.
He wanted to be an actor but decided teaching was a more stable profession. He landed his first teaching job at Washington High School in Fremont, California, in 1951, but was drafted a year later. When he returned, he eventually moved from teaching to administration and served as vice principal at Newark High School for 10 years beginning in 1962, and then moved on to roles in the district office.
In his later years, he started a new career as a college professor, teaching education classes.
Roberts was active in community groups including community theater groups and the Jaycees which helped found Lake Elizabeth at Fremont’s Central Park.
He is survived by his wife of 27 years, Sandra, and a blended family of children and grandchildren including daughters Jennifer Roberts of Arcadia, California, Fran Golden of Rohnert Park, California, Rachel Barrett of Berkeley, California, Rebecca Roberts of San Jose, California, and stepson, Stuart Merrill of Santa Fe, New Mexico.
The family suggests donations by made to Parents Helping Parents.
* This obituary was submitted by a Solace employee. Joe passed away prior to the launch of Solace.