Mary Elizabeth Nugent Roberts, 88, of Radnor, died Thursday evening (Dec. 27, 2012) at Wexner Heritage House in Columbus.
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She was born March 25, 1924, to the late William Michael and Kathleen (Ryan) Nugent. She was also preceded in death by her brother, William Nugent.
Mary had a deep spiritual commitment to her faith as a Catholic, which guided and informed her throughout her extraordinary life. She had vivid, clever humor enjoyed by her friends that continued to amuse caregivers even in her final days.
She grew up in Sioux City, Iowa, where she met her future husband, Capt. Edgar Roberts, while he was stationed nearby for training during World War II. Edgar went overseas to war as a B-17 pilot, and during that time, Mary earned her first degree, a B.A. in English from Briar Cliff College. After the war, she began her marriage to Edgar that was to last until his death more than 54 years later. The adventure and extraordinary productivity of her marriage began as Mary moved from the city life she knew to life on the Roberts farm in Radnor. She not only learned the vigor of farm life, but also brought to both her family and the Radnor community her commitment to excellence in education that was so deep a part of her for her entire life.
While raising five children and managing her part of the farm activities such as hand-making clothes and preserving farm-grown foods, Mary was able to earn her Master Degree in Guidance and Counseling from The Ohio State University and at the same time pursue her career in education that included teaching at Radnor High School and Buckeye Valley High School, administration as Assistant Director for Student Services at OSU, and guidance counseling for the Delaware City Schools and Buckeye Valley. She also donated her professional skills to the community serving on the Buckeye Valley Board of Education, the Delaware Mental Health Board, the Advisory Committee of the Delaware City-County Joint Vocational School, and numerous state committees appointed to study various means of improving education state-wide.
Mary's stubborn insistence upon excellence in her own life was instilled in all aspects of her children's lives. As one example, with respect to the education that she cherished, that commitment produced in her children five undergraduate degrees and four master degrees. That same stubborn insistence had an immeasurably positive effect upon the numerous students and young people with whom she worked. Many of those students cite Mary's influence as a significant factor in positive choices that they have made throughout their lives.
Mary is survived by her five children, Thomas Allen (Joan) Roberts, Mary (Tom) Fernald, Daniel Edgar Roberts, John Emery (Tammy) Roberts, and Joseph Nugent Roberts; seven grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; her sister, Kathleen Nugent Lowndes; and the innumerable people whose lives she improved through her life-work. Those who survive Mary admire her for her care of people, her insistence upon quality, and her countless contributions to her community, which is a better place as a result of her well-lived life.
A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, at St. Mary Catholic Church in Delaware with the Rev. James P. Black officiating. Burial will follow in Prospect Cemetery. Friends may call from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Stofcheck-Ballinger Funeral Home, Prospect, where a Rosary Service will be held at 7 p.m.
Memorial gifts may be made to the Heinzerling Foundation, 1800 Heinzerling Dr., Columbus, OH 43223-3698.
Condolences and remembrances may be expressed at stofcheck-ballinger.com.
Published in The Delaware Gazette on Dec. 31, 2012