Jerry Roberts, 69, of Indialantic, died peacefully with his family by his side Sept. 13, 2021, following complications from COVID-19.
Fully vaccinated, Jerry spent 46 days at Holmes Regional Medical Center after contracting the virus, 36 of those on a ventilator in ICU fighting a valiant battle his body could not overcome.
Born on March 17, 1952, in Bridgeport, Conn., Jerry grew up in a tough neighborhood but tried hard to stay out of trouble. At a very early age, he vowed to work hard to build a life for himself that he could be proud of.
Jerry graduated from Central High School in Bridgeport, Conn., attended Norwalk Community College in Norwalk, Conn., then served in the National Guard before earning one of the final spots in his class at the Connecticut State Police Academy.
Jerry served as a Connecticut State Trooper for the next 20 years, working the early part of his career undercover in the narcotics unit.
Jerry married his late ex-wife of 32 years, Jo Ann (Solusky), on Sept. 1, 1973, and lived in Newtown and Southbury, Conn., before moving to Melbourne, Florida in 1993 following his retirement from law enforcement.
Jo Ann passed away from cancer just seven months before Jerry in February 2021.
The couple raised two children, Ryan, 40, and Tammy, 37, and owned and operated more than two-dozen businesses throughout their life together, including a diner, pizza place and multiple health clubs and restaurants in Connecticut; and in the Melbourne area, the Metro Cinema Café movie theater; JR’s Stampede; and Path Super Foods; before Jerry opened his own real estate company, Dragon Point Properties in 2005.
Jerry’s children have such fond memories of spending their summers and late nights helping out at their parents’ businesses, inviting their friends to join them for the “behind-the-scenes” fun and ordering whatever they wanted off the menu.
Whether it be a house, boat or car, Jerry could never pass up a good deal and it wasn’t a shock to his family when he would come home in a different vehicle than he left in or would walk in the door and say, “Start packing! I bought us a new house!”
Needless to say, growing up with a father like Jerry was never boring and always an adventure that his children would not trade for the world.
Family vacations were a favorite of Jerry’s, and it wasn’t uncommon for him to drive 22 hours straight from Connecticut to Florida so not a second was wasted on his family’s annual trip to Disney World.
Jerry’s favorite piece of advice to his kids was, “Walk in like you own the place,” as shown in his confident, easygoing nature which proved to get him very far in life.
It wasn’t until 2008 when Jerry met his devoted fiancé, Karie while owning and operating the Cove in Satellite Beach. The two then ran the business together for the next three years, and owned and operated multiple other restaurants, a nightclub in Downtown Melbourne and a health spa in Indian Harbour Beach.
In his “free time,” Jerry enjoyed renovating and reselling houses and was an avid poker player at Club 52 in Melbourne, where he was fondly referred to as a “dear friend and local poker legend.”
Jerry was in fantastic health and worked out almost every day of his entire adult life. Before his feet would even touch the ground each morning, he would roll out of bed and do at least 100 push-ups and sit-ups.
In December 2020, Jerry suffered two small unexpected strokes and following only 10 days of rehab, made a full recovery much to the surprise of his doctors who were amazed by his fast progress and strength, saying he had an “athlete’s heart.”
Jerry loved music and played piano by ear and enjoyed going to the gym and playing tennis with his close friends who he lovingly referred to as his “brothers.” He also had his private pilot’s license and enjoyed flying his private plane while still living in Connecticut.
Always quick with a joke, Jerry was patient, hardworking, knowledgeable and forgiving and never raised his voice or said a bad word about anyone, even if they treated him unfairly. He would drop everything to help his family and friends when they needed him.
In recent years, Jerry had sold all of his businesses and was enjoying life alongside his loving fiancé, Karie, and her daughter, Isabel, while spending quality time with his children and two grandsons. Karie never gave up hope the entire time Jerry was sick and spent every moment possible at the hospital holding his hand and giving him positive words of encouragement.
Since June 2016, Jerry has worked as a successful real estate agent with Curri Kirschner Real Estate Group, where he made many lasting friendships and left a profound impact on his colleagues.
Jerry helped and guided so many people throughout his journey on Earth and truly lived up to his vow of building a life he could be proud of.
Jerry is survived by his brother, George Roberts, and wife, Doris, of Wallingford, Conn., and his mother, Mary Roberts, of Indian Harbour Beach, Florida.
He is also survived by his son Ryan Roberts, and wife, Kristen, of Satellite Beach, Florida; daughter Tammy Farmer, and husband, Josh, of Indian Harbour Beach, Florida; and grandsons, Brady and Cody; as well as his fiancé, Karie Mancini, and her daughter, Isabel, of Indialantic.
Jerry was preceded in death by his sister, Kymberly Dennis, of Indialantic, Florida; his father, Fred Roberts; of Monroe, Conn; and ex-wife, Jo Ann Roberts, of Indian Harbour Beach, Florida.
A memorial service for Jerry will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021, at Ascension Catholic Community in Melbourne.
He will be intensely missed by all who knew and loved him.
In lieu of flowers, cards for the family of Jerry Roberts may be sent to the address below:
Beach Funeral Homes
Attn: Family of Jerry Roberts
1689 South Patrick Drive
Indian Harbour Beach, FL 32937