Family: Murphy Roberts, 22, lived life to the fullest
August 18, 2016
Steamboat Springs — Siblings of Murphy Roberts remember the 22-year-old as a determined young man with a bright future who accepted any challenge.
Roberts, who grew up in Steamboat Springs, died Sunday at a Utah hospital. While hiking Saturday in southern Utah with his sister Cassady, he had a diabetic seizure, fell and hit his head. This caused a series of complications. Family members said Roberts was never in pain. Throughout his life, Roberts made it clear that he wanted to be an organ donor, and he was able to do that.
“It was incredible to grow up as an older brother and watch your younger brother face life with so much heart,” Hig Roberts said.
All four of the Roberts siblings grew up participating in the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. Murphy Roberts was a competitive skier but played every sport possible.
“He embodied the idea of living life to the fullest,” Hig Roberts said. “I’ve never met a kid with more vibrancy or enthusiasm.”
Murphy Roberts was entering his senior year at Middlebury College in Vermont, where he was on the ski team. Hig Roberts said his brother had no trouble expressing his Steamboat pride to his classmates.
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“There were several times when I would have to tell him to cool the jets,” Hig Roberts said.
The college notified students of the death Thursday.
"Murphy brought passion and intensity to all of his efforts,” Alpine skiing coach Stever Bartlett said. “His soul was happiest when he was chasing adventure, competing as a member of the ski team, supporting a teammate or showing his spirit for Middlebury. He loved his family and his home state of Colorado.”
Murphy Roberts majored in political science with a focus on nonproliferation and terrorism studies.
"Murphy was deeply engaged with some of the foremost problems in the world, and he displayed the seriousness, personal motivation and idealism we hope for with all of our students," said his academic advisor Orion Lewis.
Murphy Roberts’ interest in politics started at an early age. When his brother Dylan Roberts was working for the 2008 Barack Obama campaign in Steamboat, 14-year-old Murphy Roberts volunteered by making phone calls and knocking on doors to support the presidential candidate.
Murphy Roberts, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was 11, supported Obama because of his pledge to expand stem cell research with the hopes of curing disease.
“He never let up,” Dylan Roberts said. “He was just incredibly bright and cared about public service and serving others.”
In June, a letter to the editor written by Murphy Roberts titled “Make America change again” was published in the Steamboat Today.
“America, for all its problems, still has the means to amend itself,” he wrote. “It is time for us to realize that change is inevitable and the best way to adapt to such change is by being the ones who initiate it. We must remind ourselves that this is precisely how the United States became the greatest country in the world.”
The family has asked those wanting to express their condolences to consider donating to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund at jdrf.org.
In addition to his siblings, Roberts is survived by his parents Stuart Roberts and Lulu Gould, who still live in Steamboat. An event to celebrate Murphy Roberts’ life is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Aug. 25 at Olympian Hall.