MADISON – Dan Roberts, age 66, died on Friday, December 28, 2012 at University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics. After living years with myeloma, Dan was stricken with an unrelated, rapid-onset infection. He was surrounded by his family at the end.
Dan was the youngest of three boys born to Frank and Marjorie Roberts. For one year brother Dan, Rich and Phil rode together to Madison Central High School on a motorcycle and sidecar. After graduating from the UW, Dan's professional career was devoted to public service and unionism. As a research analyst, he organized other state professionals and served as president of Professional Employees in Research Statistics & Analysis. Under his leadership, the union affiliated with AFSCME and became AFSCME Local 144. He served as research director for AFSCME Council 24. It was during that time, in 1980, that he organizing a rally at the State Capitol in reaction to Ronald Reagan's election. While organizing the rally, Dan met Carol who became his friend, and 23 year later, his wife. He returned to state service, where he became an early member of the Wisconsin Professional Employees Council, chartered in 1993 as AFT Local 4848. He later served on the Local's Executive Council.
Dan's other avocations included photography, freelance writing and tinkering with his VW Vanagon. He kept his extended family united in spite of where the family members located. He provided them support and regular contact throughout his life and often travelled to visit, driving and camping with Carol in the Vanagon. His loyal dog Buddy was always by his side.
Dan was generous to those in need - - inviting the homeless to stay in his home for a bit, or take a shower. He also contributed to local and international agencies. He was a regular contributor to the Human Rights Campaign, PLAN international, WPR and Progressive Dane.
Dan is survived by his wife Carol Weidel; son, Cory Roberts (Robyn Acker); brothers, Richard Roberts (Susan) and Phil Roberts (Sharon); stepdaughters, Laurel Redmon (John Thuesen), Kristin Redmon (Bernadette Rappold); granddaughter, Maeve Redmon Rappold; and Buddy.
His parents Frank and Marjorie predeceased him.
Memorials can be made to support housing for the homeless. Donations can be made online at omhouse.org or by check to "Occupy Madison Inc." 30 N Hancock St, Madison WI 53703
Friends and family will share memories at a memorial gathering at BUNKY'S CAFE, 2425 Atwood Avenue, Madison at 3:00 pm on January 1, 2013.