Roberta Urban, long-time Galt resident and owner/broker of O’Hara Realty for over 35 years, passed away peacefully on July 21, 2020 after a long illness. She was 83 years old, and was born in the small desert town of Trona, Calif., at the edge of the Mojave Desert, where her father was an engineer at China Lake. Her parents were N. Stanley and Margaret (McDonald) Barski.
The family relocated to the Los Angeles area when she was 9 years old and Roberta was in the first graduating class of Hawthorne High School in 1954. She worked at Douglas Aircraft while going to college and was also part of a small theater group in Manhattan Beach, known as the Manhattan Players. She thoroughly enjoyed acting, but opted to settle down and have a family instead of chasing the bright lights.
Roberta started her real estate career at Archer Finch Properties in Southern California in 1971. A family move led her to the Sacramento area in 1973, where she was an agent with DWR Realtors in their famed Sierra Oaks office. It was there that her career really took off and she earned the first of 11 Master’s Club Awards.
In 1977, when it was almost unheard of, Roberta went out on her own, starting her own company in Carmichael with “$2,000 and guts”, as she put it. It was quite rare for a woman to own a brokerage in those days, but she never thought twice about it and just did what she was born to do – sell property and help teach new agents how to do the same.
Her friend Lee O’Hara decided to move on to sell real estate in the big city of L.A., so Roberta bought O’Hara Realty from him in 1979. At first, she ran the two offices but decided to permanently move to Galt in 1982. Galt had just under 6,000 people then and the small town and friendly atmosphere was definitely her cup of tea.
Working with her daughter Liza and later adding her son-in-law Mike, she proudly served the Galt and surrounding communities until her retirement in 2016. She loved her work and her customers, helping generations of families find their dream homes. She also helped launch the careers of many successful agents throughout the Sacramento area. She was a Lifetime Member of the Sacramento Association of Realtors Masters Club.
Though usually preferring to work rather than be idle, she did enjoy a few pastimes, like reading great writing or a fierce game of Scrabble, at which she excelled. She loved movies and music of her era, knowing every word of every hit song from the 1940s and 1950s. She loved to travel and loved the Tahoe area. And she always loved time spent with her cherished family, especially at holidays. She helped many, many people throughout her life, and she was very loved in return. Roberta will be dearly missed by all.
Preceding Roberta in death were her parents and three beloved siblings, Arleen, Mary Lucinda and Eugene. Surviving her are three daughters, Cindy (Andre) Daoust of Calgary, Canada, Liza (Mike) Klagenberg of Galt, and Suzy (Joe) Riley of Los Angeles; granddaughter Michelle (Matthew) Jackson and her bonus grandchildren, Courtney, Ryan and Brandon (Samantha) Klagenberg, plus two great-granddaughters. She also leaves behind beloved nieces and nephews and many dear friends, including her best friend of almost 70 years, Darlene Deitsch. Roberta was an active member of the Church of Scientology for over 45 years and a generous supporter of their educational, drug-abuse prevention and human rights programs.
Due to COVID-19, a memorial service will be held, when allowed, at a later date.