James Scott McRoberts
James "Scotty" McRoberts of Bolivia, North Carolina took his final flight at 2:37AM on the morning of May 2, 2023 as he "slipped the surly bonds of Earth to touch the face of God".
Scotty's love of flying began with his graduation from the Naval Academy in 1968. From then until his last day, flight held a special place in his heart. For 25 years his wife Diana held down their homestead through many long deployments around the world while raising their three children Bryan, James, and Erin. It's no secret that the boys were more than a handful, and while her attempts to discipline were honest, little did more to get them in line than Diana uttering the phrase “wait until your father gets home!”. Bryan inherited Scotty’s love of flight, James his interest in building, and Erin his humor and creative streak. Scotty beamed with pride when telling others of his wonderful children.
Over the span of a 26 year career in the Navy, Scotty’s sense of humor, confidence, and outgoing personality drew those fortunate to cross his path into his orbit, from which many enduring friendships flourished. Walt Spearman, Jimmy Sinz, Billy Squires and countless shipmates from his early days as a Midshipman at the U. S. Naval Academy as a member of the Class of 1968, and as a Junior Officer flying P-3s out of Brunswick, Maine. Later in his career, he met the likes of Pete Rose and Frank Dahlinger as Commanding Officer of Flight Training Squadron Two (VT-2) in Pensacola flying the mighty T-34C Turbo Mentor with the next generation of Naval Aviators in the skies over the panhandle of Florida.
Ultimately his path led him to San Diego, CA which is where he met his perfect match Luly. Unlike most things in his life, it took Scotty 3 attempts at marriage to get it right, but that he did. He was never happier than the last 20 years of his life spent with Luly and her daughter Ashley. He also cherished his time with the extended Loza and Gallegos family in Mexico, his adopted Lopez Family, and friends in San Diego; Blanca, Doug & Aurora, Sinmo, Al, Ed, Tim, Bob, all who remeber his rendition of "My Way” sung when they were together. Then there were those that helped him transition to civilian life as an executive in the Government IT Services contracting business working for MANTECH and CACI. The love of a wonderful woman and friends, an accomplished career combined with endless golf- Scotty definitely lived his best life ”Living La Vida Loca!” in sunny San Diego.
Scotty’s Mai-Tai’s were always a crowd pleaser. His beef wellington - maybe not so much. As a father he was a man of few words, but those that did pour forth were poignant, direct, memorable and often hilarious. When the boy’s report cards didn’t meet muster he would say “Keep it up- the world needs ditch-diggers, too!”. Scotty’s wit, charisma, and commanding presence was unparalleled.
In 2021 Scotty, Luly, and Ashley moved to Bolivia, North Carolina to be closer to family. During the final few years of Scott’s life, he reminded those close to him that he was too much a person for any one thing. While his life was filled with family, friends, and his oldest mistress golf, a new love entered his world: the airplane. On a whim, Scotty embarked on a journey with his son Bryan to build an experimental plane in his garage. The plane would go on to provide both men with countless hours of joy, frustration, and a sense of anticipation of future adventures in the sky.
The most unfortunate news came in late April 2023 that Scott had cancer and, shockingly, had only weeks left to live. His children and friends rallied by his side. Some of which worked feverishly to get the plane to a state where Scotty could turn the engine for the first time. True to Scotty’s outlook of “It is what it is”, that anticipated moment never came as Scott passed short of getting it running. While he didn’t get to see the plane fly, Scott managed to leave behind a tremendous legacy as his love of aviation will live on with Bryan in the pilot’s seat and his grandson, Matthew, following in his footsteps.
Scotty survived by his “Amor” Luly, and her daughter Ashley, his boys Bryan and James, his ‘little girl” Erin, three grandsons Jason, Will, and Matthew, a soon-to-be granddaughter due October of 2023, and countless other family members, in-laws,friends, and colleagues.
Guests are invited to join the family for a cookout Celebration of Life Saturday May 13th, 2pm at the family’s residence inBolivia. Contact 619-370-2232 for details. Military honors will be held at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland in July.
“Salud, Dinero, Amor, y el Tiempo Para Disfrutarlo / Health, Wealth, Love, and the Time to Enjoy It.”.
Peace be to Scotty.
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