Penelope Roberts

Profile Updated: November 5, 2014
Penelope Roberts
Residing In: Ashburn, VA USA
Teaching or Occupational Field: Systems & Security Eng; Process Engineering
Spouse/Partner: None.
Children: Adriano Abraxas. Born In Heidelberg 1981
Penelope Roberts


Yes! Attending Reunion
Where and when were you involved with UMUC's programs (scroll down to see all)?

Heidelberg. 1981-1997

I fetched up in Heidelberg without a clue that there were any more than a handful of American troops in Europe. I met 4 women in the restuarant where I was working as a barrista, and they were all working for the DoD. They set me straight.

That night, on AFN, I heard an advertisement for a secretary position at The University of Maryland. I applied the next day, and started working on 2 January 1981.

I remember there was a snow storm and I didn't know how to get to the im Bosseldorn. I had also had to buy a pair of working shoes as I was a vagabond with only sneakers. I started work with Emily Russo, who also was hired for Planning and Development, and shared a birthday with Joe Arden. The rest, as they say, is history. 16 years of history.

I worked in Planning and Develoment with Adelynne H. Whitaker until she retired. Then went to Computer Studies where I worked on student systems, taught weekend seminars, and Information Systems Analysis and Design. I finished my B.S. and an M.S. all with the prestigious imprimatur of the University of Maryland.

What roles did you play? Faculty (Full-time; part-time) Staff Accompanying spouse

full time staff, part time faculty

List the specific locations where you taught or worked for UMUC:

Heidelberg, Holland, Stuttgart, Wurzburg, Italy. others I can't remember.

Penelope's Latest Interactions

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Penelope Roberts has a birthday today.
Nov 22, 2020 at 4:33 AM
Mar 26, 2020 at 12:29 PM

I was always a day dreamer. When I was a little kid, I would try to imagine being 50. I would picture the year 2000...unimaginable.

Now that I'm in the population vulnerable by age to the pandemic, I guess it would be a good idea to let everyone know how things are going here in Virginia. Despite all my daydreaming, reality has been very much more interesting, if more fraught, than I could have imagined.

Adriano works at the local grocery store. I am retired but run a shop (see earlier posts), one more family member is retired, and one works for defense contractors.
So only Adriano really is at risk.
We made ourselves cloth masks. (excellent patterns on the internet) and bought vacuum cleaner bags for their hepa filters and cut them to the right size to go in the masks.

Last year someone gave us a 1936 Buick (Adriano will probably correct the date...I get confused!) and so we had a huge stockpile of coveralls and gloves and stuff from rat rodding it. We contacted as many friends over 70 that we had and are passing them out since there are none available in stores.

We talk a lot about the pandemic. My stance is multi-faceted.

1 - I have been fortunate to be born and live in the piece of the earth that provided me with anti-biotics, sanitary living conditions, and excellent education. While I was enjoying the fruits of my good fortune, people were (and still are) living on garbage heaps.

2 - I worked in this paradise such that I can live a comfortable retirement. In addition, I am in good enough health to run a business and continue earning without any stress.

3 - Adriano has grown into a hard working friendly guy. He is the neighborhood ambassador for dogs and known by everyone who shops at his Giant (local grocery conglomerate).

Even with the Orange Peril next door in DC, I have benefited from the accident of my birth.

Our home is an oasis of laughter, TV crime shows, dogs and cats, and cooking.

I/we plan to see what kind of world is at the other end of this. I sincerely hope many of you are there with me/us.

Stay well. Stay home. Don't believe what the orange peril says...keep track of Anthony Fauci!!!

Mar 26, 2020 at 12:07 PM
Dec 31, 2019 at 12:43 PM

Adriano opened a store on Etsy about 2 years ago. He got a bit overwhelmed, so I took over. We have a January sale going on right now and are putting up new stuff every week.


After 20 years in engineering, and about 4 years of retirement, this shop is just a great second career for me. I had a hip replacement in October and didn’t miss a day at the shop!

Come in and visit...see what a 2nd career in commerce can do!!

Penelope Roberts has a birthday today. New comment added.
Nov 22, 2019 at 3:39 PM

Posted on: Nov 22, 2019 at 4:35 AM

Penelope Roberts has left an In Memory comment for Fabian Schupper.
Jul 08, 2019 at 8:33 PM

After chatting with Fabian one time, someone said “Fabian’s inner life is sooo much more fascinating than anyone’s I’ve ever known.”  I didn’t know him that well...just from hanging around HQ, but was drawn to him nonetheless. He was a true gentleman and scholar.

Penelope Roberts has a birthday today.
Nov 22, 2018 at 4:33 AM
Penelope Roberts posted a message. New comment added.
Mar 15, 2019 at 11:23 AM

Posted on: Mar 08, 2018 at 12:03 PM

Happy Birthday my dear dear friend! Penelope and Adriano!!!

Penelope Roberts has left an In Memory comment for Samuel Thompson.
Jan 05, 2018 at 4:33 PM

My memory may be faulty, but I believe Sam agreed to be Santa one year.  Dressed in a red suit, he sat in the library and took gift requests from children and adults alike.  If I am correct, then I have a lovely photo of Sam with a 7 year old Adriano on his lap.

This event was a strong contributor to Adriano’s lifelong belief in Santa...after all, they have met!

Thanks Sam!


Penelope Roberts has a birthday today. New comment added.
Nov 22, 2017 at 8:25 AM

Posted on: Nov 22, 2017 at 4:33 AM

Penelope Roberts posted a message. New comment added.
Sep 08, 2017 at 5:47 PM

Posted on: Sep 08, 2017 at 2:26 PM

Bob! A very happy birthday today.


Penelope Roberts has left an In Memory comment for Manfred Deckert.
Sep 04, 2017 at 4:33 PM

Wulf and Adriano, being about the same age, Manfred and I hung out quite a bit when they were young.  He introduced me to the square pizza. 

I'm not sure where we went,(memory fades), except for one trip to Speyer.  I was calling out directions and Manfred was driving.  I said, "turn left," and he drove into the intersection and turned left.  The honking and confusion soon sorted itself and we carried on.  Manfred was shocked that I didn't tell him to stop at the stop sign. I was shocked that he thought he had to be told to stop when the sign was obvious.

This mishap didn't seem to have much of an impact because i can still recall driving around to some scenic forests, museums, and walking in small towns around Heidelberg.

He was sweet and very gentlemanly and never asked me anything about Adriano, accepting him as who he was.  My condolences to Wulf. 

Penelope Roberts added a comment on her Profile.
Jan 07, 2017 at 12:49 PM
Penelope Roberts has a birthday today.
Nov 22, 2016 at 4:33 AM
Penelope Roberts posted a message. New comment added.
Mar 16, 2016 at 8:45 AM

Posted on: Mar 14, 2016 at 5:46 AM

I've thought of you so often, Kelly's, and wondered if you were still in Detroit.

I hope all is well.

Mar 06, 2016 at 6:02 PM

Oi!! Still at it!!

I retired and am busier than ever...just no income :(.

I keep in touch with the Ezanvillestr. Things move along there yet remain the same.

Impressions of China?

Mar 06, 2016 at 5:54 PM

Ah, toddy! Remember studying at the food court? My favorite part was buying fries from BK and ice cream from Baskin-Robbins and using the fries as "spoons."

Penelope Roberts added a comment on her Profile. New comment added.
Mar 07, 2016 at 8:38 AM

Posted on: Mar 06, 2016 at 5:47 PM

Penelope Roberts has left an In Memory comment for Ray Ehrensberger.
Dec 21, 2015 at 8:33 PM

This is an interesting discussion but it will probably be missed by a lot of people who either don't look up this particular person or who don't read the comments.  I for one would not like to see a time limit on memorial postings as people are joining all the time.  Letting death notices expire would create a knowledge gap that a site such as this is designed partly to mitigate.

I also think that we should not let our community sink into the muck that some on the internet find acceptable: shaming, vitriol, misogyny, anti-"subject/people of the day."  It seems to me that richard's reply was pretty good in terms of defusing the situation, and Chris' a close second.  Perhaps when necessary, comments can redirect to the discussion threads?


Penelope Roberts has left an In Memory comment for Ray Ehrensberger.
Dec 21, 2015 at 12:33 PM

Well said, Chris.