John F. Roberts, 83, of Grafton


John F. RobertsGrafton – John F. Roberts, 83, passed away January 23, 2024 peacefully at home with his loving family at his side.

He leaves his wife of 61 years, Nancy E. (Wicke) Roberts, his daughters Mary Ellen Gleason and her husband Frank and Helen “Tootie” Benoit, his grandchildren Krystal, Amanda and Ryan Gleason and Nicole and Matthew Benoit and Jaime Kolka and her husband Tim, great-grandchildren Jenna, Grace, Richard, Natalie and Lindsey, his sister Mary Ann “Sis” Keaney and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his brothers Daniel and David Roberts and his sister Kathleen Mulcahy.

John was born October 2, 1940 in Worcester, son of the late Mary Ellen (Doyle) and Patrick Roberts. His roots were in the city before his family moved to Shrewsbury. He graduated from Commerce High School and went to barber school in Boston where he received his barber’s license. He met and married Nancy before moving to Grafton where they called home. He was a barber by trade as a younger man and went on to work at Worcester State Hospital as a barber, head painter and maintenance worker. After working there for 35 years, he retired in 1999.

John enjoyed tending to his home, working in his yard and spending time with his family and friends. Being Irish, he loved St. Patrick’s Day; especially his wife’s corned beef and cabbage dinners and her Irish bread. His grandchildren were very special to him as well as his nieces and nephews. They all loved their Grampa and their Uncle John.

He and Nancy traveled extensively with their life-long friends both at home and abroad. Their summers were spent at York Beach Maine with their dear friends where he was known for his friendly hellos to everyone and his willingness to lend a helping hand. Closer to home, each morning you would find him holding court at The Donut Star in North Grafton, always with a friendly word for everyone. He also loved to fish and was a voracious reader who enjoyed a great mystery novel.

All are welcome to gather with John’s family and friends Monday January 29th from 4pm to 7pm at Roney Funeral Home 152 Worcester St. N. Grafton, MA 01536. His Funeral Mass will be celebrated Tuesday January 30th at 11:00am at St. Mary’s Church 17 Waterville St. N. Grafton, MA 01536.

In lieu of flowers please honor John with a donation to St. Jude Children’s Hospital at

A Book of Memories to share a special message with his family is available at

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