On Monday evening on his way home from an RTM meeting, Democratic Town Committee (DTC) Chairman David "Dave" Roberson died at age 42 in a tragic car accident. At the intersection of Riverside Avenue and the Post Road Roberson's car veered out of control according to an eye witness and crashed into Greenwich Aquaria, opposite St. Catherine of Siena Church.
Roberson died of multiple blunt traumatic injuries, according to the state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Farmington. Whether or not a pre-existing medical history of cardiomyopathy, a heart muscle disease, may have caused Roberson to lose control of his automobile is being looked into along with other contributing factors, reported Lt. Daniel Allen of the Greenwich Police.
Roberson's death came six months after the death of his father, John Roberson, and 10 days before the next election of DTC officers.
He leaves behind his mother, Charlene Roberson ,with whom he lived in Old Greenwich, and his sister, Kathryn. His death has left a void for those with whom he shared his life and interests. To gain some measure of that loss, the Citizen spoke to some who knew him well.
The Rev. William Evertsberg -
When I heard the shocking news, the first thing I thought of was his brilliant mind, but then I remembered that he also had a deep, deep soul. His walk with God was lively and winsome. God had blessed him with far more than an awesome mind capable of swift, accurate and complicated calculations. There are a lot of intelligent people around, and there are a lot of people with beautiful spirits, but to find someone who has both of those gifts in combination is rare, indeed, and precious.
One of the reasons I admired David so much is that several years ago, when David grew weary of all the politics and bureaucracy in a huge government organization like NASA, he just quit and came back home to Greenwich and, ever since, he's worked almost full-time for the people of our town -- for free. He was tireless at church, he served on the RTM, he was, of course, the Chairman of the Democratic Town Committee, he volunteered at the library and worked on its Oral History Project. There is a huge hole in our town where David Roberson and his vast contributions used to be, and it's very empty right now, and it won't get filled up properly for a long time to come.
I knew and greatly valued Dave as a personal friend, a member of our church, and a committed, erudite but prodigiously funny participant in our men's book group, The Walrus and Carpenters Club. He will be greatly missed by many.
David Roberson was such a great person. I had known him since he was a boy. He was kind, friendly, and witty with a good sense of humor. He was so easygoing, but such a clear thinker and very articulate. He was brilliant, of course, having graduated from MIT, and worked for many years for NASA, traveling to Russia and Japan for them. When he returned to Greenwich, he joined the Greenwich Library Oral History Project in 2005 as its office assistant. Of course, he was extremely overqualified for the job. Dave used to say he reconciled working 10 hours a week for the OHP by thinking it really wasn't such a bad job for someone writing a novel, as he was.
While Dave did the usual things you might think an office assistant at an oral history project might do, such as processing interviews, and filling orders, he did so much more. For one thing, he was a superb writer, and he wrote all of our publicity - newspaper articles and library flyers.
I think that Dave enjoyed working with our group and that he developed a love of local history. He was scholarly; he was a superb copy editor, and served in that capacity on our book, "The Bruce Museum, a Century of Change." For our most recent publication, "Teacher and Conservationist," by Daniel V. Barrett, he served as illustrations editor and enjoyed that immensely, since it meant that he worked with the narrator, Dan Barrett, who was one of his favorite high school teachers.
The Oral History Project members will miss Dave very much. I, particularly, worked with him two days a week, and we had a close friendship. One of the things I enjoyed about Dave was discussing politics with him, and though he was Democratic Town Committee chairman, in a way he was above politics, I always thought, with the good of the town and the country more important to him than politics. I will miss him greatly.
When I was teaching at GHS I had a summer program teaching at Greenwich Point. We did a study of Eagle Pond and he (David) signed up to be one of my summer students. We had made a classroom out of an old school bus and would collect and examine things we found. When he was recently working on my oral history for the Oral History Project he remembered that summer and revisited that time when we used to do inventory and some cooking, making glasswort pickles and periwinkle soup. He was a fifth- or sixth-grader then. He cherished those moments. When any of my students went into science,I was so pleased.
Congressman Jim Himes
"I am deeply, deeply saddened by Dave's untimely death and extend my sympathy to Dave's friends and family. Dave was my friend, my colleague, and my fellow parishioner. He was a good, thoughtful man, a dedicated activist and a faithful citizen committed to bettering the world around him."