Louisville sophomore Sarah Pettinato remembers meeting Alex Roberts in her anatomy class her freshman year at WKU.
“He had a very dear heart,” she said. “I noticed his faith in God. He wasn’t afraid to talk about going through anything. God was his friend.”
Roberts, who suffered from several bouts of pneumonia, died on Jan. 20. He was 22 years old.
Pettinato said Roberts was one of her best friends.
“He was always willing to go out of his way for others,” she said. “He’d sit down and we’d talk it out if I had a bad day.”
Pettinato said Roberts was fluent in Spanish, and laughed as she recalled him using Spanish in their conversations.
“He just threw in random Spanish words when we would talk,” she said.
Roberts was hard-working and passionate about his future career in nursing, she said.
“He encouraged me and knew I would be a good nurse,” she said. “I want to make him proud.”
Alumnus DJ Vieu said he and Roberts had been good friends for two years.
Vieu said they attended the same gym and were involved in mixed martial arts together.
Roberts held a black belt in the sport.
They were also roommates until two months ago, Vieu said, when Roberts became ill again and moved back home.
“At first we thought it was the apartment,” he said of Roberts’ returning illness. “So he moved back home so his parents could take care of him.”
Roberts died at his home on Thursday after going to take a nap, Vieu said.
Brenda Roberts remembers her son as a compassionate man of God.
“He did a lot of encouraging,” she said.
Brenda Roberts said her son worked at Rivendell Behavioral Health Services for two years and at the Medical Center as a transporter.
He was a member of Christ United Methodist Church and was part of the college program there, she said.
Roberts travelled to Monterrey, Mexico in summer 2009 to help build a church, she said.
“The church needed computers put together, and Alex helped with that,” she said. “He was good with computers.”
Brenda Roberts said her son was called by God to become a nurse. He was accepted into the program and was to begin classes Monday, she said.
“He had an infectious smile,” she said. “He loved being around people.”
Roberts also leaves behind father Tom and sister Katie, 16.