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John Emlen Roberts Jr.

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John Emlen Roberts Jr. Obituary
Roberts, John Emlen Jr.
82, of Chandler, Arizona, passed away on April 1, 2014. With a song in his heart, and peace in his soul, John passed doing what he loved - traveling the seas with his beloved wife, Pamela. He and Pamela had prayed that they would only leave this earth in God's timing, not a moment before or after. They asked God that it would not be a lingering illness, but just quickly go into the arms of Jesus. Even better, they asked that they would be doing something they loved. God answered their prayers. John was born in Acosta, Pennsylvania on November 27,1931. John lived his childhood in Canton, Ohio, until he enlisted in the U.S. Army at the age of 18. John was a Korean War veteran and recipient of the Purple Heart. Upon returning from the Korean War, John settled in Detroit, Michigan for the next 40 years. John's life was filled with the love of his family, success of his electrical contracting business, and what would be the first of his missionary work with the Church of the Nazarene. John's first missionary calling was to build a parsonage in Swaziland. This opened his heart to God's purpose for him for the next 30 years. He came to know Jesus on his second Work and Witness Trip in Peru, where he was baptized in a river. In all, John led over 60 mission trips to 15 countries. Ten years ago, John and Pam were called to lead a Work and Witness team to Tapachula, Mexico, where he continued his work each year until 2013. Many churches have been built and countless lives have been touched because of the calling that God made upon John's heart. In addition to his Work and Witness ministries, John spent time reading to 3rd grade children, serving the Indian Reservation community in areas of need, and being a rock of strength, love, and comfort for his wife, children, grandchildren and friends. John loved the Lord with all of his heart and walked the walk of Jesus. John is survived by wife Pamela, four children Michael (Tammy) Butka, Eric (Kristen) Roberts, Lauren (Dennis) Fuchs, Nicole (Bowen) Johnson, eight grandchildren Jalynn, Ethan, Jordan, Payson, Logan, John, Cooper, Nina, brother Harold(Nancy)Roberts, sisters Jane Looman, Leliah (Chester) Elliott, Bonnie(Donald) Dentler, Linda(Larry) Hearn), brother-in-law Richard Manly, sister-in-law Judy(Daniel) White, numerous nieces and nephews, and countless friends. John is preceded in death by his parents, John and Alma Roberts, sisters Betty Kathleen and Louise, and wives Dolores and Barbara. A celebration of his life will be held at 11:00am on April 15, 2014 at Crossroads Church of the Nazarene, 2950 W. Ray Road, Chandler, AZ 85224. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made in his name to Crossroads Church of the Nazarene Work and Witness Program.

Published in The Arizona Republic on Apr. 13, 2014
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