Former head of Pfeiffer security dies

Published 7:40 am Sunday, August 2, 2020

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For 27 years, one person watching out for all the students of Pfeiffer College got his nickname for his ability paying attention to everything in his sight.

Lester “Snake” Roberts, former head of security for the school, died Thursday.

Pfeiffer University’s official website announced his death.

Lester “Snake” Roberts

Roberts, 92, served at the Misenheimer campus as head of security from 1967 to 1994. Roberts also served for 20 years at Uwharrie Point as head of security before retiring.

He was the youngest of 10 children, growing up in McAdenville and Belmont. He served his country with the Navy when he was 17. Later, he spent 15 years on the Gastonia police force, including eight as a motorcycle officer.

Roberts coached tennis at Pfeiffer as well for several seasons.

After his retirement, the Lester F. “Snake” Roberts Scholarship was established to support Stanly students at Pfeiffer majoring in criminal justice.

Terri Roberts Errington, Roberts’ daughter, issued the following statement on the passing of her father:

“Dad was a father to more than just Ryan and I. Since his passing so many Pfeiffer students have said he was a father, mentor, friend to all his Pfeiffer family.

He loved his job, his motorcycle, his tennis game and his family. He never met a stranger and treated everyone with respect.

He will he missed by his family and so many others. He lived a full and blessed life we could all hope to live.”

Pfeiffer and the Community React

On social media, reactions to Roberts’ passing have been numerous and heartfelt.

Elizabeth Marshall, who attended Pfeiffer from 1991-96, said she remembered Snake as early as freshman orientation.

“I remember at new student orientation he told the parents if they called their kids and couldn’t find them, to call him because he would know where they were. We were lucky to have him,” the post read.

Another post came from Kristen Carter Cooper, who spoke of one day when she was playing tennis at Uwharrie Point.

“He impacted the lives of many! Once when we were playing tennis at Uwharrie Point an actual snake slithered on our court….”Snake” let the ladies remove it and we continued playing…he brightened everyone’s life,” the post read.

Lea Ann Huneycutt Thomas, who attended Pfeiffer from 1988-92, said at first she was a little scared of Snake because he rode a motorcycle.

“I never wanted to do anything that he would have to address me. The fact that he rode his motorcycle made me think he was probably part of some secret biker gang,” Thomas wrote.

However, like so many others, Thomas said “his presence alone was memorable to me.”

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio has served as the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press for more than 16 years and has written numerous news and feature storeis as well. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also won an award from Boone Newspapers, and has won four North Carolina Press Association awards.

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