It is with great sadness that Pfeiffer University announces the death on July 31 of Lester “Snake” Roberts, 92, who served as the head of security on the Misenheimer campus, for 27 years before retiring from that position in 1994. Unable to stay idle, though, he signed on as the head of security at nearby Uwharrie Point, serving 20 years there before retiring for good. Beloved in both communities, he was a respected officer of the law, enriching the lives of students, colleagues and friends with his sense of humor and humble character.
Roberts grew up in McAdenville and Belmont, NC, the youngest of ten children. He enlisted in the US Navy at the age of 17, and after his stint in the service, he joined the Gastonia, NC police force. He trained on the job and spent eight of his 15 years on the force as a motorcycle cop in the traffic division. Until just the last couple of years, local residents could still spot Roberts riding his white 1966 police special Harley Davidson around Misenheimer and Richfield.
In 1967, he was invited to become the head of security at Pfeiffer. He also coached tennis at the College for several years. Most Pfeiffer students between 1967 and 1994 have a “Snake story” about the man who made a memorable impact on their lives. When Roberts retired from Pfeiffer, the Lester F. “Snake” Roberts Endowed Scholarship was established in his honor, to support students from Stanly County who are majoring in criminal justice.
Roberts is survived by a son Ryan Roberts and wife Lisa of New London, NC, and a daughter Terri Roberts Errington of Simpsonville, SC. He had six grandchildren: Justin Roberts (Sarah), Jason Roberts (Erika), Jamie Roberts (Brittany), Jessica Butner (Brandon), Matt Errington, and Erin Errington ’18, and 9 great grandchildren. His wife, Joyce, passed away in 2006.
His funeral service will be at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, August 3, 2020 in the Stanly Funeral Home Chapel, Albemarle, NC. Rev. Sandy Young will officiate. Burial will follow in the Wesley Chapel UMC cemetery. The family will receive friends on Sunday afternoon, Aug. 2nd, from 5 until 7 p.m. at Stanly Funeral and Cremation Care of Albemarle. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the Lester F. “Snake” Roberts Endowed Scholarship or the Athletic Department at Pfeiffer University c/o Adv. Office PO Box 960, Misenheimer, NC 28109.