Celebration of Life held for Garvin Roberson

NOW: Celebration of Life held for Garvin Roberson

ELKHART, Ind. --- Family, friends, and the Elkhart community came together to celebrate the life of Garvin Roberson, brother of Elkhart Mayor Rod Roberson. Roberson was found in his car submerged in a body of water on December 2nd after days of being missing.

“There’s so many reasons why everyone here before me knew of the legacy he created,” says Garvin’s brother, Elkhart Mayor Rod Roberson.

The legacy of Garvin Roberson, one that will be remembered by the entire Elkhart community.

“Garvin kind of embodied everything we love about Elkhart,” says Elkhart native, David Thomas.

As family and friends put it, he left his heart and soul in Elkhart; it’s where he fueled his passion for teaching others.

“You know he always tried to coach us as we go, and we didn’t want to hear it, but when we listened to him, we turned out okay,” says Joe Williams, one of Garvin’s cousins.

For over 30 years, Garvin taught and coached multiple sports at Elkhart Community Schools.

“He gave me my first ring thirty-two years ago, I still wear it on the same finger, state track and field ring,” says a former Elkhart High School track athlete under Garvin’s coaching.

Before that, he was a superstar athlete in football and basketball at Elkhart High School.

“Every time he played I was here, and just like now, all these bleachers you see, he would pack the house when he played,” Williams says.

“I came to all the games here when I was a kid. You would see him at Rice Field then you would see him at North Side Gym,” Thomas recalls.

“Me and my father, we shared some special moments together. We won championships together, right here in his favorite place,” says Garvin’s son, Daimon Beathea.

That’s why his loved ones felt it was most appropriate to hold his celebration of life at North Side Gym; the very gym he shined in, and still holds a record in, with his career best at 51 points a game.

“For an athlete like Garvin, if he had to be recognized would he pick a church or would he pick North Side Gym? He’d pick North Side Gym,” Thomas says.

Family and friends of Garvin, as well as those who only knew of him, say they will feel the impact of his loss in the Elkhart community as a father, brother, athlete, coach, and leader in more ways than one.

“A piece of the community kind of dies with him, and you want to see that kind of person when you’re at a corner gas station, or church, or grocery store,” Thomas says. “When somebody like that passes away, it has a profound effect.”

“I know everyone will miss you, but I’m convinced I’ll miss you the most. You were my rock and my best friend,” says one of Garvin’s granddaughters, Michaela Whitaker.

Instead of flowers, Garvin’s family asks that donations are made to the Humane Society of Elkhart County.

Share this article: