John F. "Jack" Roberts

  • Born: February 14, 1941
  • Died: April 25, 2020
  • Location: Melrose, Massachusetts

Gately Funeral Home

79 West Foster Street
Melrose, MA 02176

Tel. (781) 665-1949

Tribute & Message From The Family

John "Jack" Roberts, a longtime resident of Melrose, MA, died with his family by his side on April 25, 2020, at age 79. Jack was a loving husband to Margaret "Peggy" Roberts for 31 years until her death in November 2001. He was the son of the late George and Julia Roberts, both of County Kerry, Ireland. Jack was predeceased by his brothers, George and Joseph, and sister, Marilyn; he was also close to his extended family of much-loved in-laws, cousins, nieces and nephews.

Raised in Malden, he was a graduate of Malden Catholic High School and Boston College, where he majored in Economics and Mathematics. While in college, he was a member of the National Guard where he drove troop transports. After graduating from Boston College in 1964, he worked in the insurance industry until his retirement in 2004. A selfless husband, father, grandfather, friend and active member of the Melrose community, Jack was known by many youth sports participants as Coach Roberts. Jack served as longtime president of the Saint Mary's chapter of St. Vincent de Paul Society, assisting those in need. He was an avid fisherman, golfer and reader, and he found the greatest joy later in his life with his roles of "Papa" and "Grandpa Jack."

Jack leaves behind his daughter Katie and her husband, Jim Mannion; his son John and his wife, Marybeth; and his son David and his wife, Kristen. Jack also leaves behind his adored grandchildren, Maura, Jack, Liam and Grace Roberts, and Aidan and Kathryn Mannion. Due to restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the services will be private. A mass and celebration of Jack's life is planned for a later date yet to be determined. As a gesture of sympathy, donations may be made to the St. Vincent DePaul Society c/o St. Mary's Church, 46 Myrtle Street Melrose, MA 02176 or Friends of the Melrose Public Library, 69 W Emerson St, Melrose, MA 02176 (

Condolence & Memory Journal

Dear Roberts Family, I wish to offer you my sincere sympathy on the loss of your Dad. He was a fine person and a true gentleman. May he rest in peace. Respectfully, Mrs Paul Tighe and Family

Posted by Sheila Tighe - Melrose, MA - Acquaintance   May 09, 2020

John, Katie, David,

You have my sincerest of condolences. I always remember your father as a loving and caring individual, a beacon of great knowledge, and always gave me great advice. I wish you all the best during these difficult times. John, please keep in touch and can be reached via email at

Posted by Christopher Costello - Melrose, MA - Classmate   May 08, 2020

Dear Katie and family, Ron and I were saddened to hear about the loss of your father. Deepest condolences to you and your family. Ron and Linda

Posted by Linda Fales - Melrose, MA - Family Friend   May 08, 2020

Posted by usha &abraham joseph - Houston, TX   May 06, 2020

Coach Roberts was my baseball coach at Incarnation for a number of years. He was a caring, kind, and thoughtful mentor. I enjoyed being on his teams and I now use many of his lessons when coaching my own kids or other players today. He was a tremendous leader. Please accept my sincere condolences on your loss.

Posted by Martin Cassavoy - Melrose, MA   May 03, 2020

So sorry for your loss

Posted by Anthony Gaieski - Georgetown, MA - Friend   May 03, 2020

Katie, John, and David

Your Dad will be missed. A true gentleman and the ultimate family guy.

Mike Butler

Posted by Mike Butler - Estero, FL - Family   May 03, 2020

Coach Roberts always taught us about the right way, the right goal and the right method. Fittingly, every time he drove us to one of our away basketball games, Do You Know the Way to San Jose ended up playing on his favorite radio station. A song about what matters most in life and the gentle reminders to help you get there. And thanks to Coach Roberts most of us did.

Posted by Jeffrey Spinazzola - Charlotte, NC, NC - Family Friend   May 02, 2020

Katie, John and David,
We were saddened to hear of Jack's passing. Jack was truly a great guy, always having something positive to say. I know he loved his family very much, especially his grand children. He now will be with Peggy forever. Our prayers are with you all.

Jack, Kelley, Melissa and Scott

Posted by Jack Butler - Bonita Springs, FL   May 02, 2020

Maura and I have been talking about our memories of Jack and Peggy and how they were such an integral part of what we've always called our extended Melrose family. I can see them at our Christmas parties and other gatherings sharing laughter and the joy of all of us being together. We're also glad that Katie gave us the opportunity in the last few years of visiting with Jack at Betty Culbert's home in Hingham. I'm so sorry that our present circumstances prevent us from being together to share memories but you can be sure that Jack, Peggy and all of you will be in our prayers

Posted by Kathleen Buckley - Melrose, MA - Friend   May 02, 2020

Katie, John, and David I wanted to send my heartfelt condolences to all of you. Your dad was an amazing man. I was lucky to have grown up with all of you in our earlier years and Uncle Jack was always there along with Aunt Peggy. So many birthdays, holidays, celebrations, and vacations. I loved seeing the pics of Papa Jack with all of his grandkids for every years themed pic! To all of you and your families I am sorry for your loss. I know he is reunited with your mom and all of your loved ones. There is another angel in heaven watching over all of you.
Cousin Jessica and my daughter Sarah(who lovingly asked about her Uncle Jack often and obsessively had to find him a cuddle bear for his past birthday this year)

Posted by Jessica Doyle - Dracut, MA - Family   May 01, 2020

Our hearts are with all the Roberts during this difficult time. We have many fond memories of seeing Papa our and about in Melrose with his grandson Liam, and at gatherings with his beautiful family. Thoughts and prayers with you all.

Posted by Jennifer Hillery - Reading, MA - Friend   May 01, 2020

Wish I could think of the perfect thing to say, but there are no adequate words to describe how wonderful and fantastic Jack was and how many wonderful memories that we will have from all the times we shared together with Jack and Peggy and your family. I thought I remembered that someone talked about a date might that Jack and Peggy use to have on Saturday night when the family was older, besides being together forever in Heaven. Hopefully, Jack and Peggy have already renewed the date nights. All our love and prayers.

From: Henry and MaryEllen and the whole family

Posted by Henry and MaryEllen Doyle and Family Doyle - Melrose, MA - Family   May 01, 2020

Family Album