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On 8 July 2013, Edward E. Roberts, Master Sergeant, U.S. Air Force (ret.) “slipped the surly bonds of Earth, put out his hand, and touched the face of God.” His wife of 67 years, Olive, was at his side in their home in Bena, Va.

A proud member of the “Greatest Generation,” Ed served his country during three war periods, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. He was extremely proud of his record as an American serviceman, which was evident by his license plate, 3 WAR VET.

Born June 5, 1924 in Framingham, Mass., Ed began his military career in 1943, when he entered the Army Air Corps as an Auto Equipment Operator. Cross-training later into the Air Force Electronic Systems Repair career field, his assignments took Ed and his family to duty locations in the Philippines, Germany and Labrador, and to various AF bases in the United States. He culminated his AF career at Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Vietnam, during the height of that conflict, retiring from active duty on Dec. 1, 1971. Among others, his military awards include the WWII Victory Medal, American Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Air Force Good Conduct Medal (3) and the Air Force Longevity Service Medal (6).

One of Ed’s prouder military experiences evolved while on temporary duty in the Republic of Korea when Ed helped found and maintain an orphanage home for abandoned Korean children. His efforts there and elsewhere during his remarkable 27-year military career will long be remembered.

Ed is survived by his wife, Olive, whom he adored more than life itself. They have three surviving children, Virginia Hess of Shalimar, Fla., Timothy Roberts of Pembroke Pines, Fla., and Jeffrey Roberts of Achilles, Va.; seven grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

Ed was a life member of the Air Force Association, the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and a recurring contributor to the Air Force Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Mrs. Roberts wishes to extend her heartfelt appreciation to all those who assisted her and her husband during this trying period, especially those from Riverside Walter Reed Hospital who made significant contributions to his home health care and hospice programs. Special recognition must go to the family members who live nearby and were always there, immediately available, to care for her and her husband.

A celebration of Ed’s life will be held at 11 o’clock on the 25th of July at the Church of St. Therese, 6262 Main Street, Gloucester, Va., with the Rev. James Cowles (“Father Jim”) presiding. Burial with honors will take place in Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.

The family requests donations in memory of Ed be made to the veterans’ service organization of choice.

Arrangements by Hogg Funeral Home and Crematory, Gloucester Point. You may go online at to offer condolences.