Lawrence "Buck" Roberts 1933 - 2017
Lawrence C. “Buck” Roberts, age 83, of Wibaux, Montana, passed away on Tuesday, August 29, 2017, after a brief illness. A gathering to honor the memory of Buck will be held on Sunday, September 24, 2017, at 3:00 PM on the family ranch located at 201 Dry Creek Road, Wibaux, MT. A supper will follow. Guests are invited to share their memories of Buck Roberts.
Buck was born in Cawood, Missouri, on October 3, 1933. He was the second child of seven born to Lawrence W. and Opal (Vanfossen) Roberts. After enduring eight years of school he started breaking horses and mules in Arizona and then Wyoming.
He enlisted in the Marines in April of 1952 and served in two campaigns in Korea as a rifleman in the 1st Division, 7th Marine Regiment, 3rd Battalion, Item Company. He was wounded in February and again in July of 1953. He received numerous medals including the Korean Service Medal with two battle stars and a purple heart for wounds suffered in combat. He was honorably discharged in April of 1954.
Although Buck was raised on a farm, he always had the dream to be a cowboy. While serving in Korea, he sketched pictures of horses, mules, longhorns, and cowboys for his three little sisters. Once home, he returned to Wyoming to ride colts. He then moved on to Boyes, Montana, in his old pickup with stock rack, his blue mustang mare, and $265 in his pocket. There he met his future wife, Donna Denzien. They married in 1957 and worked in various places, including the Mizpah, Powderville, Wibaux, Missouri, Mildred, and Jordan. Their son, Dave, was born in 1959. The family moved to Dry Creek north of Wibaux in 1965 to lease a ranch they eventually purchased in 1971. Their daughter, Kate, joined the family in 1970.
Buck and Donna’s first house at Wibaux was a stock trailer covered by a canvas tarp. In 1972, they built the current ranch house using some of the lumber salvaged from buildings in Missouri. No matter how small or large their home was, company was never turned away. Family and friends came to experience ranch life and the hospitality that was found at their ranch. Buck’s sisters, nieces, nephews, and other children spent anywhere from a few days to months during the summers at “Buck and Donna’s.” Neighbors frequently dropped by for a visit which included coffee and baked goods. When Donna’s health failed, Buck cared for her until she passed away in 2001.
Following is an excerpt from Buck’s writings: “I was blessed with a good family, good friends, and a good life. I valued freedom and open spaces and good country-covering horses. I held an undying enmity for tyrants and oppressors. Government of men I considered a curse ‘Because the people clamored for a king like the heathen nations had’ (I Samuel 8:20). The Creator God and Christ the Redeemer were the only kings I ever served. I will rest for a while in a place where the wind blows free until the resurrection. All Glory to God.”
He was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife Donna; daughter Kate; and infant sister Kay.
He is survived by his wife Pam; his son Dave (Bobbie) and their children, Jessi, DJ, and Danny; his brother Bob (Joyce) of Rea, Missouri; sisters Marilyn (Waylon) Holbrook of Belle Fourche, South Dakota, Carolyn (Dan) Harrington of Hammond, Montana, Barb (Ken) Jones of Columbus, Kansas, and Karen (William) McGaughey of Savannah, Missouri; step-children Michelle (John) David and family, Jesi (Charles) Thiel and sons, and Newly (Jenny) Burman and family.