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Thomas McRoberts

Funeral services for Thomas McRoberts will be held on Saturday, Oct. 23 at 11 a.m. at Assumption Catholic Church in Morris. Visitation is one hour before the service. Lunch will be served afterward at the church.

Thomas McRoberts passed away Oct. 11, 2010 peacefully surrounded by his loving family and friends.

Tom was born on Feb. 20, 1946 in Morris to Elizabeth and Raymond McRoberts. He attended Benilde Catholic High School and proceeded on to the University of Minnesota, Morris. After college, he ventured west and received a Master's Degree in history from the University of Oregon in Eugene.

He then joined the staff of the University of Minnesota, where in one capacity or another, he would spend the next 34 years.

A man built on a steady foundation of modesty and grace, Tom would never trumpet his many achievements. However, his contributions were vast and far-reaching.

Over the years, Tom worked tirelessly to expand learning opportunities for students. During his career at the University of Minnesota, Morris, Tom served as an administrator, innovative educator, and a mentor.

As a mentor, he served both formally and informally. He was an academic advisor to numerous students who have gone on to achieve great success. But he also served as a mentor for friends and colleagues, a constant example of uncommon poise and strength of character.

At the University, Tom was tireless in his efforts to expand learning opportunities, aiming to broaden the horizons and unlock the world for the students whose ambitions he helped to fuel. He developed programs to connect the University to the local community, establishing the UMM Center for International Programs and creating the UMM Summer Scholars program for gifted high school juniors from around the region.

Tom's family referred to him as uncle, brother, and sometimes Santa. And colleagues referred to him as friend. But Tom's many official titles throughout his career included Director of Continuing Education and Regional Programs, Director of the Center for Small Towns, Director of the Center for International Programs.

Despite his humility, Tom's contributions didn't go without notice. He's been recognized with a number of honors, including the all-University John Tate Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising, the UMM Academic Staff Award, the College of Continuing Education Deans Award for Individual Achievement, and the University of Minnesota Presidents Award for Outstanding Service.

Armed with his flat cap, a scarf, and a glow in his eye, Tom spread compassion and warmth everywhere he went, always with a good dose of wit and sense of humor.

Tom was a wonderful uncle to seven nephews and nieces, and a loving brother to his sisters Betty Rae of Morris, and Merrilee of Minneapolis, and brother Raymond of Rochester. He always brought life, humor and touch of class to family gatherings.

Pedersen Funeral Home in Morris is in charge of the arrangement. Memorials preferred to the International Students Scholarship Fund at the University of Minnesota, Morris or the SCMC Courage Cottage in Morris. To send condolences to the family, visit and click on obituaries.