Roberta Fries, known as Bobbi, was Queen of the SAGE Spring Fling a few years ago. (SAGE is a social service, and advocacy organization for LGBT seniors.) But she was more widely known for her adoption work. She died Oct. 9 following surgery, while still recovering from a previous fall.
Bobbi founded her Adoption Option agency in 1985 and over the next quarter century was instrumental in the placement of babies and children in many lesbian and gay families, as well as in numerous other families. Until recently Bobbi hosted a picnic each summer to bring adoptive families together.
In addition to her services for adopting families, Bobbi was actively involved with the Equality Wisconsin adoption committee, working to change state laws on behalf of lesbian and gay adopters and children.
Born Dec. 8, 1934, Bobbi grew up in Racine and graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She earned her master’s degree in social work from UW – Milwaukee. Her passions included country line dancing, classical music, bridge, Sudoko, and the Cubs.
An open-hearted and nonjudgmental person, Bobbi had many friends in the women’s community and beyond. She is survived by her son John, his wife Karri, her sister Arlene and her husband Steve, her sister-in-law Diana and her husband Carter, and numerous other relatives. Bobbi’s husband
David and son Robbie preceded her in death.
A memorial service will be held on Sat., Oct. 19, at Church and Chapel Funeral Home, 1875 N. Calhoun Rd., Brookfield (visitation at 1 p.m., service at 3 p.m.).