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A Tribute to The Avon Lady
Willie Roberts was born August 28, 1923 and died March 14, 2013 at the age of 89. A Christian and faithful member of Bay Street Presbyterian Church since 1948, Mrs. Roberts was former president of the Women of the Church and Chairman of the Ladie's Circle. Miss Willie was an "Avon Lady" from 1963 - 2013 and an Avon President's Club Award recipient since 1969. Together with her husband, Charles, they were instructors for the Dale Carnegie and Dorothy Carnegie Leadership Training Courses.
Below is a poem written about Miss Willie which truly captures the essence of who she was:
When I came to an Avon meeting five years ago, I was on pins and needles. I came to the meeting not knowing what to do, and most of you know this is very true. I didn't know whether to sit or stand, and to tell you the truth I almost ran. Then this kind sweet lady with a smile on her face gave me a hug and took me to my place. She said, "I'm Willie and I'm so glad you're here," and right then my heart was filled with cheer.
As I progressed along in Avon sometimes I got in a dilly, I'd just go to the phone and reach out and touch Miss Willie. She gave me encouragement when I was down and out, she'd bring me out of the doldrums and make me want to shout. And when I'd win something she'd be so proud. Just being around her makes you want to sing out loud. Sometimes she wouldn't be at the meeting and then I would say, "Why did I have to miss my sunshine today?" Through the years I've known her, sometimes we'd talk a while, but sometimes when things were hectic I'd get that great big smile. Some days just a glance across the room would chase away the very deepest gloom. I know a lot of people, I like most of them too, but there's one someone special, Miss Willie, our Avon Lady.
(Written by Thelma Coaker 2/11/1982)
Willie was preceded in death by her husband of 60 years, Charles L. Roberts and a son, Joey Roberts.
She is survived by a son, Robin Roberts and his wife, Kathy, of Mobile, Ala.; a daughter, Nancy Ruth Roberts Blakely and her husband, John, of Brandon; four grandchildren, Jennifer (Jere) Dominescy and Alexa Roberts, both of Mobile, Natalie Blakely and Nick Blakely both of Brandon; and one great-grandson, Jonah Dominescy of Mobile.
We love you dearly Mama.
Published in the Hattiesburg American from Mar. 15 to Mar. 17, 2013