Cover photo for Bennett Watson Cowper Roberts, Jr. 's Obituary
Bennett Watson Cowper Roberts, Jr.  Profile Photo
1967 Bennett 2021

Bennett Watson Cowper Roberts, Jr.

September 19, 1967 — November 4, 2021

Bennett Watson Cowper Roberts Jr. lived life like he had somewhere to be and he had to be there yesterday. A serial speeder when behind the wheel, he had phone numbers for just about every traffic lawyer across the entire state of North Carolina, including Durham, where he was born (September 19, 1967) and raised. He adopted this mentality into everything he did, going full steam ahead with every intention to ask for forgiveness rather than permission.


At the age of 16 while attending Jordan High School (Class of 1986), Bennett decided he would skip class (he says for the first time, but we don’t believe that for a minute), and was only caught because he crashed his car into a school bus. He tried to talk his way out of it, but there isn’t much he could have said with a totaled car and a dented piece of government property. Bennett was the kind of person who made friends with everyone, but his tight-knit friend group, the Southwest Durham Posse (SWDP) remained loyal until the very end.


He was most teachers’ worst nightmare, but his patient parents, Snow and Ben, knew he was something special from childhood. Bennett attended college at Elon, where he majored in History because it was the “easiest and fastest” way for him to graduate. While in college, he started dating the love of his life, Angie, — a woman who changed everything — after seeing her at He’s Not Here in Chapel Hill. He married her two years after graduation, and together they had three children, Madison (27), and twins Elizabeth (23) and Nicholas (23).


Bennett started his career as a sales rep for Triangle Beverage, and then worked for Rogers American, a convenience brokerage company with an office in the Triangle. His kids have fond memories of heading to an empty office with him on the weekends, a dozen Dunkin’ Donuts in tow, where they would watch Saturday Morning Cartoons while he knocked out a few extra hours of emails that likely consisted of phrases like “This item is on fire!” and “Trust me, it will sell!” In 2002, he founded Matrix Brokerage and convinced his former boss to work with him, selling dog bones and candy necklaces. A few years later, he was able to persuade his brother Webb to come on board as a general manager.


For two decades, Bennett put his Oakley sunglasses on top of his head and hit the road making sales calls, building Matrix Brokerage into the best convenience brokerage firm in the Southeast. In 2019, he expanded the company, adding a grocery arm, and in 2020, he hired two of his children, Madison and Nick to work in the family business. He served on the board of the SAWD, NCPCM, and CSN and was awarded Broker of the Year and Vendor of the Year multiple times by manufacturers and wholesalers alike.


After he turned 50, Bennett developed an affinity for collecting bourbon, and found joy in making trips to off-the-map liquor stores just to score a rare bottle of Blanton’s. A wildly competitive but very average golfer, Bennett, better known to his friends as “Moe,” somehow always worked his way into just about every golf outing the industry held, and he left his mark on many courses — sometimes in the form of snapped clubs around hole seven or eight.


His competitive nature didn’t stop on the golf course, though. Bennett was always the loudest fan at any of his kids’ sporting events, and at some point, decided he could no longer just spectate, so he became the Assistant Coach of the NC Eagles, Nick’s AAU basketball team. He took the team on trips to Las Vegas and Detroit, and he was best known for yelling “Board!” from the coach’s bench to encourage the team to rebound.


An avid Carolina fan, Bennett also co-owned He’s Not Here — the same dive bar where he saw Angie on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill — and could often be found drinking from a Blue Cup ahead of UNC’s home football games. Of course, Bennett was always the loudest fan in Carmichael Arena as well. He marked his calendar for every UNC Women’s Basketball game to see Liz, who walked on to the team as a freshman and earned a scholarship her senior year.


Bennett was, sincerely, the best type of human. He was generous and kind and loved others with all he had. He pushed everyone around him to be better. He was a passionate leader and was never afraid to make himself the butt of any joke. He was a mama’s boy, a protective brother, a devoted husband, the best father, and a genuine friend. To say his presence on this earth will be missed is a massive understatement. The world was a better place because Bennett Roberts was in it, even if only for 54 short years.


At 53, Bennett was diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer, and he approached this battle with the same passion and competitive attitude he approached everything else with in life. He defied doctors’ odds and endured two different chemo treatments and a clinical trial. He passed away on November 4, 2021.


He is survived by his wife, Angela Lane Roberts; children, Madison Lane Roberts, Elizabeth Loy Roberts and Nicholas Ollen Roberts; mother, Snow Loy Roberts; brother, Webb Loy Roberts (Jennifer); sister, Snow Loy Roberts; nieces, Chloe Elizabeth Roberts, Penelope Parker Roberts, Lane Elizabeth Poag and Rachel Ekaterina Rigsbee; nephew, Leonard Leonardovich Rigsbee; and a multitude of extended family and friends. He was predeceased in death by his father, Bennett Watson Cowper Roberts.


Everyone has a Bennett story, and we want to hear them all. Visitation will be held on Monday, November 8 from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at Hall-Wynne Funeral Home in Durham. A memorial service will be held at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Durham on Tuesday, November 9 at 11:00 a.m. The family welcomes all to attend a celebration of life reception at their home in Governor’s Club of Chapel Hill immediately following the service until 3:30 p.m.


Bennett always used to joke anytime he got flowers that he “wasn’t dead yet,” and even though now seems like the appropriate time to send a bouquet, he would prefer donations to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (pancan.org/donate) and the Boys and Girls Club of Edenton (ecbgc.org/donate-now.php). However, all that he really asks is that you live your life in a way that would make Bennett Roberts proud: full steam ahead.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Bennett Watson Cowper Roberts, Jr. , please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Monday, November 8, 2021

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Memorial Service

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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