William Lee "Bill" Roberts
HAMBLETON, WV - William Lee "Bill" Roberts, 94, a resident of Hambleton, W.Va., passed from this life Wednesday afternoon, July 9, 2014, at Granville Manor in Parsons, W.Va.
Bill was born Wednesday, Dec. 12, 1919, in Hambleton, W.Va., a son of the late Charles Ashton Roberts and Lucille Hagerty Roberts. On July 4, 1943, he was married and became devoted to Juanita Lee Hall Roberts who preceded him in death.
Bill is survived by his five children: John Roberts (wife, Nancy) of Nashville, Tenn., Dan Roberts of Laramie, Wyo., Emily Whitaker of Hendricks, W.Va., Coni Crocher (husband, Doug) of Springfield, Ill., and Glen Roberts (wife, Lucy) of Madison, Ala.; one brother, David Roberts of Hambleton, W.Va.; 12 grandchildren: Joe Roberts, Matthew Roberts, Jason Roberts, Ryan Roberts, Sarah Lucas, William Whitaker, Joe Zock, Andrew Mitchell, Courtney Mitchell, Melissa Precise, Justin Richards, and Lacey Reinoehl; and five great-grandchildren: Taylor, Tanner, Keil, Ella and Olivia.
Bill attended the schools of Tucker County, W.Va., and earned his bachelor's degree from Berea College. He had just started graduate school at Vanderbilt University when he was called to active duty in the U.S. Navy. He served in the South Pacific on the USS Virgo where he was a shipmate with Thomas Heggen, the author of the book and screenplay "Mister Roberts." Bill remained on active duty in the Navy until 1953 and retired as a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy Reserve. He settled in Springfield, Ill., after leaving active duty and was a Field Underwriter for the New York Life Insurance Company. He was a member of the Lions Club, the Masonic Lodge, many bridge clubs, and the Presbyterian Church. In retirement Bill and Nita moved to Perry County, Ky., where Bill worked in adult literacy programs, planted black walnut trees, and entertained grandchildren.
Bill's request for cremation was honored. Memorial services for Bill will be held at a later date in both West Virginia and Kentucky.
Memorial contributions in Bill's honor may be made to: Berea College, ATTN: Amy Shehee 209 Chestnut St., Berea, KY 40404 or contact Berea College at www.berea.edu/give-to-berea/.
Summerfield Funeral Home in Parsons, W.Va., has been entrusted with the arrangements for William Lee Roberts. Send online condolences to the family at summerfieldfuneralhome.com.
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