Harlow "Pete" Roby

February 12, 1932 ~ January 17, 2020 (age 87)


Harlow Scammon Roby, Jr, 87, known as Pete to friends and family, died on January 17, 2020 surrounded by his children. Pete was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Harlow Scammon Roby and Elisabeth Rolph Clark. The family lived in Winona, Minnesota but soon moved to the Madison area, living for a time in Oregon and then moving back to Madison. Pete was an active member of the Boy Scouts, which continued into his adult life. He attended Madison West High School where he excelled as a quarter miler on the West track team. Pete attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and briefly ran on the UW track team. He was drafted and served a stint in the US Army where he spent time in Japan and then South Korea. He later joined his father in business. He met Shirley Jansen in Madison, and the two wed and raised five children

Family was important to Pete and his children always knew when he was in the stands at their various athletic competitions. Pete had been a member of the Madison Jaycees and later Madison Lions Club. He was a baseball fan and as a child followed the Cubs, listening to games on the radio. When the Brewers began playing in Milwaukee, he became a Brewers fan and continued to follow them until his death. Pete was also a Badgers football fan, attending many bowl games.

Pete took over his father’s business, The Wissota Dynamite Company, in the 1960s and worked all aspects of the business, including sales, driving truck, and blasting quarries for road construction. He later worked at Jacob’ s Electric and then turned to a career in real estate. He retired in 1995.

Pete is survived by his five children David (Karen) Roby, Janice (Scott) Peters, Barbara James (special friend Tim Gavigan), Linda (Don) Meier, and Susan (Dan) Schlichting; ten grandchildren, Nicholas and Elizabeth Roby, Emily (fiancee Bryant Hagen) and Matthew Peters (girlfriend Zoe Radspinner), Kendra James, Erik and Ruth Meier, Declan, Conor and Bridget Schlichting, great-grandchildren Aubreigh and Luka Peters, his sister Virginia (Sandy) MacNeil, brother-in-law Bob (Bernie) Jansen and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife of 60 years, Shirley Jansen, his parents, Bud and Betty Roby, and his sister, Joan Roby Lowe.

The family extends a special thank you to the wonderful caregivers at the Agrace inpatient facility.

A visitation will be held at CRESS FUNERAL AND CREMATION SERVICE, 3610 Speedway Road, Madison, on Wednesday, January 29 from 4:00 - 7:00pm.

To send flowers to Harlow's family, please visit our floral section.


January 29, 2020

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Cress Funeral Service - Speedway
3610 Speedway Road
Madison, WI 53705

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