HURON - James Roberts, 89, of Huron, set off for his final sailing adventure in the early morning hours of April 4, 2020.
Jim was born in Chicago, but spent his childhood sailing Lake Michigan from their home in South Haven, Michigan. In 1953 he graduated from Purdue University as a metallurgical engineer and as a highly ranked intercollegiate racing sailor. He began his career at Union Carbide and soon after, he married the first love of his life, Carolyn, who he met on the Purdue sailing team. They were married and settled in Ashtabula, Ohio and started their family. In 1966 the family moved to Huron, Ohio where Jim designed and helped build the Huron Lime Plant. He traveled the world as a consultant and was eventually joined by his son, Bruce.
In 1977, Jim and Carolyn started Harbor North ship store at Battery Park Marina and eventually moved it to Huron, Ohio where it is still located. Jim was well known on the Great Lakes for his sailboat racing accomplishments from small 18 foot sailboats to 45 foot racing yachts. Jim and Carolyn spent many years cruising the Bahamas, Cuba, the Caribbean, Venezuela, and Trinidad on their 42 foot sailboat “Revery”, until Carolyn’s health brought them back home. After Carolyn passed away in 2007 Jim headed back to the boat where it was stored in central Florida. It was during this time that Jim met the second love of his life, Nancy Abbott. Nancy shared Jim’s love of adventure, his love of the arts, and his strong faith in God. When Jim was 80 and Nancy was 82, they took a trip of a lifetime helping another couple sail their 48 foot boat from Trinidad to Australia. After selling their sailboat, Revery, they began to split their time between Cocoa Beach and Huron. They never stopped, becoming very involved in local charity work, attending concerts and plays, and active in their churches. Spending any free time with their families from California to Massachusetts and Ohio to Florida, never letting their spirit of adventure wain.
Jim is survived by his son, Bruce (Brenda) Roberts, his daughter, Patty (Tim) Balde, son-in-law, Jack Meyers, and this grandchildren, Ben Meyers, Emily and Matthew Roberts, and Madison, Carolyn, Jill and Claire Balde. He is also survived by Nancy and her family who have welcomed Jim into their lives with open arms.
Jim Is preceded in death by his parents, his wife Carolyn, daughter Ellen Meyers, and grandson David Roberts.
Cremation has taken place at Foster Funeral Home & Crematory, Huron, with interment in the columbarium at Christ Episcopal Church, Huron.
The family would like to welcome guests to a celebration of life to be announced at a later date.
A special note of thanks to the staff at Admirals Pointe, Huron, and Stein Hospice of Sandusky.
Memorial contributions can be made to Donate Life of Ohio, Christ Episcopal Church in Huron, Stein Hospice of Sandusky, or the Purdue Intercollegiate sailing team.
“To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure ***”
J. K. Rollins
Online condolences may be shared at fosterfh.com.
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