This site is dedicated to the memory of Thomas McRoberts.

Thomas McRoberts was born in Morris, Minnesota on February 20, 1946. He is much loved and will always be remembered by all his friends and family. “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.” St. Francis of Assisi quote Thomas McRoberts Funeral services for Thomas McRoberts will be held on Saturday, Oct. 23 at 11 a.m. at Assumption Catholic Church in Morris. Published October 14 2010 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.


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I'll miss Mr. Mcroberts. To me, he was always such a affable,polite man who always took an interest in even if he was busy. His politeness/kindness struck me and he was so humble; I never felt below him as a student or even as fast food employee. He made me feel important. I'll miss him.
Eric Bergeland
23rd October 2010
I knew Tom many years as a UMM student (95'-99') before getting to know him more as one of his many "residents" at this place (Summer of 99' to Spring of 01'). I was able to see his many hidden "acts of kindness" for many years after wards. I really got to know him more as we would "keep in touch" after I moved out in 01' through various activities (e.g. help him at his "cabin", take each other out in our birthdays, etc..). Tom encouraged me to continue using my gifts and talents (e.g. author of websites and community "advocate") that made me the person I am right now. His passing encourages me continue his legacy to finish what he inspired me to do. I hope to continue his work he encouraged me to do. He will be certainly missed! I would like to share a quote from one of his favorite "religious" historical figures that he personally gave me.. “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” St. Francis of Assisi quote
Salvador Monteagudo
23rd October 2010
Tom and I were classmates at UMM entering in the freshman class of 1964. He was an outstanding student, majoring in history, but I'm guessing he did well in all his classes. In Jim Gremmels' year long sequence in the Intro to American Literature, I had two excellent study pals. The only parts of Gremmels' tests we had trouble with were the identification of obscure one-line quotations from the several required texts. That brought our grades into the A- or B+ range. We complained to Gremmels, but he explained there was a student who had no trouble identifying author, character, and name of the work: McRoberts. We weren't happy about our grades, but began to hold Tom in higher esteem. Tom and I worked together on many projects over the years while I was Registrar and he was an administrator in Continuing Education. Tom could face heated opponents in UMM's key committees with a disarming smile, or a light remark that would get even those engaged in the argument to laugh and begin to work together. Tom was able to identify our shared concerns and common goals so people on opposing sides would work arm in arm to help UMM become even better for students. We forged new territory in financial aid packaging at state and national levels to help UMM become a leader in the percentage of students studying abroad. Tom and I tried to be sure courses that were in high demand for general education could be packaged in alternative ways for students needing to graduate through his continuing education enrollment options. Although Tom wasn't excited about computerization, he made technology serve his students' needs, serving as the statewide director of distance learning for the University of Minnesota system during the time learning centers were being linked around the state with university faculty through TV and internet. The side of Tom I appreciated most, however, was his love and servanthood. Tom loved students, faculty, and staff, and made it his primary objective to find solutions for their problems if a solution could be found. Tom inspired people at all levels in higher education and the legislature and congress to find those solutions. I once said that Tom was very special. He could hold a person's heart without ever trying to hold their hand. He looked out for what was best for them, without trying to serve his own interests. We will certainly miss Tom McRoberts!
Ruth Thielke
22nd October 2010