David Henry Roberts
Jan. 1, 1946-April 4, 2023
David Henry Roberts (Dave) was welcomed into this world on New Year's Day 1946 in South San Francisco CA by parents Benjamin Max Roberts and Eva Daisy Roberts. When Dave was a toddler, his family moved to Tracy CA where his father was a founding partner in the Tracy Garbage Company. Tracy was a good place for Dave to grow up…he could walk into the tomato fields with a salt shaker and eat right off the vine. He would become a pole vaulter at Tracy High, land his first job working at a gas station, remodel a 36 Ford as a very young man, and begin his 40 year career as a mechanical technician at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Dave’s artistry, meticulous attention to detail and ability to build just about anything with elegance was admired by friends and colleagues at the Lab where he made critical contributions to the large laser projects of Shiva, Nova, Beamlet and NIF. When Edward Teller came to the lab to sign copies of his biography Energy and Conflict, a young Dave stood in line to have a copy signed for his dad. He couldn’t believe that Edward Teller actually wanted to chat with him and find out what it was like to be a mech tech at the lab. But he did. And everyone who knew Dave understood why…Dave was just plain wonderful to be around. Whether you were his biking buddy, his golf buddy, his car buddy, his work colleague or his neighbor, he listened, he helped, he offered wise counsel, then he smiled that beautiful smile and you found yourself wanting to stay near him.
That was the case with his wife Candyce, when he captured her heart the first time she saw him at the Hungry Hunter in Pleasanton—she was a waitress and he was the happy, handsome customer smiling “that smile”. The two became one on June 10, 1978 and over the next 44 years they had the most splendid times together running, mountain biking, and backpacking from the Eastern Sierra to Moab. A reluctant foreign traveler, Dave finally gave into his wife’s joy as “travel planner” and they headed off to Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania and Canada where they discovered their favorite golf courses. In the end, all they needed or wanted was a walk in the sun through Pleasanton’s Kottinger Park…right outside their own front door.
A car enthusiast and mechanic at heart, Dave bought a ’67 Shelby 350GT Mustang when he was 21 years old and followed that up with a ’68 Porsche 912, a 1958 Porsche Speedster, and a ’64 356 C Model Porsche he bought for Candyce. When he retired at age 59, he devoted 10 years to creating a 356 Porsche Outlaw out of a rusty 1963 Porsche 356 B. It was the most elegant piece of art he ever made but he rarely talked about it, letting others do that for him. On the other hand, he was never shy about sharing his faith in Jesus and a loving Father. Dave knew where he came from and he knew where he was going—he always said if he had a headstone it would say, “Go home. I’m not here.” Candyce can still hear him singing his own song…“All who believed in him, all who received him, He gave the right to be children of God. He gave us love, He gave us life, He gave us eternity.”
During his 2 year battle with Mesothelioma, Dave was deeply touched by the prayers and love of his wonderful friends, neighbors and nurses…he considered them all a gift from God. Dave’s faith in the God who loved him remains his greatest gift to us.
David Roberts was preceded in death by his father Benjamin Max Roberts, mother Eva Daisy (Rosaia) Roberts, brother William (Bill) Roberts and is survived by his wife Candyce (McCarney) Roberts, nieces Pamela, Stacy and Christina and many loving cousins in the Rosaia family.
A Celebration of Life will be held at Kottinger Park in Pleasanton on June 10, 2023 at 2 pm. Memorial contributions in Dave’s name may be given to Christian Encounter Ranch in Grass Valley or Next Step Pregnancy Center in Livermore.