Obituary for Michael Robards
Michael Alan Robards, smart, kind, hard-working rock of a man, died on Tuesday, August 8, 2017.
Mike had skills. The kind of skills that everyone wishes they had or, that a good friend of theirs had. He could fix anything and solve most of the problems that plague your daily life. Whether it was a car, a boat, a house, a machine or programming your smart TV – he was your guy. He was always watching Do-It-Yourself shows and catching their mistakes. He even converted his Chevy truck to run on propane… who does that? Mike Robards did.
When you have so many skills, you are naturally going to be loved and appreciated by women. Michael had more than his fair share. His wife Loretta was by his side for 36 years and gave him four incredible and diverse daughters, Tracy, Jamie, Angie and Jessie. He adopted the first two and they felt more loved because of that fact. Those four young women have given him three more beautiful girls, Nova, Nya and Scarlett. That is an awful lot of hormones and drama for such a man’s man, but he was always inexplicably happy about that coincidence. He protected them and always made them feel as if no harm could come to them. They all believed him to be their own personal knight in shining armor, and he came to their rescue time and again. He not only took care of his girls, he took care of their friends, and his brother and sisters, and of course his mother Ellen. He was one of those guys.
He was steady. He was reliable. He was brave. He worked for the power company for most of his career. When the rest of Florida was fleeing a storm, he drove his crews right into the middle of it. Even a hurricane was no match for his unwavering tenacity, experience and grit.
He liked to have fun in the most quintessential American ways. He had a RV and liked taking his family on road trips, to air shows, and camping. He appreciated a good long float down the Rainbow River. He would take his girls to amusement parks and gently coax them onto roller coasters that he knew would scare the hell out of them. Although his Fu Manchu mustache screamed “beer man,” Mike preferred Hard Lemonade, and he was not shy about it – a hint towards the soft-on-the-inside kind of guy that he was. You can drink whatever you want to when you drive trucks the size of Montana into the middle of a storm.
Michael loved telling a good bad joke, and would laugh even when no one else did. He loved steak and potatoes, his mother’s pumpkin pie, and drinking chocolate milk. Not necessarily in that order. He also liked vegan spaghetti and meatballs, as long as you didn’t tell him it was vegan. He loved his gadgets and tools. He always had the latest technological gadget and a substantial collection of yesterday’s technology too. For the late adopters of technology, you could certainly take your pick from his unintended collection of old satellite dishes and DVRs.
Mike hated braggarts, bullies and HGTV hosts that didn’t know what they were talking about. He despised people standing in front of his television even though it covered nearly the entire wall. He hated John’s always broken boat Tuk-A-Wil (and he loved it too, because it belonged to his dearest friend). Other than that, he didn’t hate much. He was much better at love.
He learned about love from his big, loving family as one of six children. His brother Billy, and sisters Sue, Fran, Judy and Janet didn’t mind so much that he was Ellen’s favorite child. He earned that position honestly by showing up first and putting her needs first. There were rarely things on “Mikey’s to-do list” left undone. You could say that about his life, too. We should all be so lucky.
Sergeant Michael Robards served in the United States Air Force, both on active duty and then in the Reserve for many years. He was never a fan of the short hair requirement, but that was because he had such beautiful golden locks. Services will be held at Florida National Cemetery on Friday at 2:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, the family would prefer that you make a donation to Wounded Warrior Project. You should also take a minute and go check the air in your tires and check your oil. Mike would have liked that.