I last saw “Auggie” last month on the night Woodland String Band celebrated its first prize finish. He had had surgery the same day and still showed up. You knew he wasn’t feeling great and used a wheelchair to get about, but, as usual, he made everybody laugh, everybody smile, everybody feel better. Frank “Auggie” Roberts had this effect on me and I knew him the least of all the hundreds of people in the room. Maybe it’s what you should expect from someone born on St. Patrick’s Day.
Losing someone who loved life so much and losing them so young is difficult for those close to him. Auggie was only 50 when he passed away on May 7th. My condolences to Franny, Annie and Jessie and the Woodland String Band family.
Auggie was at the heart of Woodland String Band and you could argue, what Mummery is all about. He was a Mummer through and through. As his friends tell you, even as he fought cancer, he just kept winning, and making others happier. He was a show-stopper and scene-stealer and you loved every minute of it. And, if this wasn’t all so damn serious, you’d half expect him to walk, or roll, through the door tomorrow and say, “You didn’t really think I’d left, did you?”
Woodland String Band President, Tom Loomis, said it best Monday night when he wrote, “This evening, the world of Mummery, the Woodland String Band and the Roberts family lost a true champion. A fighter until the end. We love you, Frank “Auggie” Roberts. Rest in Peace, brother, and thank you for all that you have given us and the great memories you left behind. One Heart-One Spirit!!!”
The first viewing for Frank “Auggie” Roberts will begin Friday evening at 6:00 p.m. at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church on Moyamensing Avenue in South Philadelphia. A second viewing will take place Saturday morning at 8:00, followed by the Funeral Mass at 9:45 a.m. There will be a proud Mummers send-off.
Thank you and farewell, Frank “Auggie” Roberts. Everyone who knew you is singing, “We’ll Meet Again.”