LAKELAND - Eugene Roberts, 81, passed away on Wednesday, December 11, 2013 due to congestive heart failure. He was born in Key West, Florida on November 22, 1932.
Mr. Roberts was extremely active in our community; he was truly a man that loved his city, state, and nation.
He had served in and led many charitable organizations. He served on the Central Florida Human Services Inc., as Chairman and Board Member, President of Lakeland Scottish Rite Club, President of Lakeland Shrine Club, member of Imperial Polk Lodge #345 F&AM, Venerable Master of the Tampa Consistory Lodge of Perfection, President of the Florida Southern College National Alumni Association, member of First United Methodist Church serving as Lay Pastor, member of Finance and Building Committees and Administrative Board, President of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, served on the Board of Historic Lakeland, Inc., member and Vice President of Lakeland Sister Cities, International, served on the Board of Directors of Lakeland Imperial Symphony Orchestra, President and Program Chair of the Republican Club of Lakeland, President of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Polk County, fund raising committee of Gulf Ridge Council of the Boy Scouts of America, served on the Board of Directors of Paint Your Heart Out Lakeland, served on the Lakeland Code Enforcement Board, Polk County Historical Commission, Lakeland Vision Task Force, United Way of Lakeland, Vice President of Volunteers in Service to the Elderly, President of the Citrus Center Kiwanis and received the Kiwanis Distinguished Service Award, past President of the Lakeland Heart Foundation, member of the YMCA, Lakeland Elks Club
, Chamber of Commerce, Lakeland Neighbor Housing Service, and the Green Swamp Task Force.
Mr. Roberts also served on the State Licensing Board for Florida Independent Colleges and Universities, Polk County Citizen Review Panel, also served as a delegate to The World Methodist Conference held in Brighton, England. He was selected as Lakeland 2002 Citizen of the Year by the Lakeland Elks Lodge.
He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Florida Southern College and a Masters of Education degree from the University of Mississippi. He loved teaching and followed his students long after graduation. He was a classroom teacher in Key West and Lakeland, Assistant Director of Admissions for Florida Southern College and Director of Admissions for the University of South Florida. He received from the Florida Association of Private Schools most valuable member award, he also served as President. He served as President of the Region 18 Coordinating Council for Vocational Education, Adult Education, Adult General Education and Community Instructional Services.
Even though many of the positions mentioned above were in the past Mr. Roberts continued to serve his community and nation with great enthusiasm and commitment.
Mr. Roberts was preceded in death by his wife of 50 years, Judith Cole, his parents, Eugene L. Roberts, Sr. and Dell Lowe Roberts, and two brothers, Al and Kermit Roberts.
Mr. Roberts is survived by his brother, Harry W. Roberts and his dear friend, Suzanne Hazleton. He was blessed by the presence of many nieces and nephews. He loved his pet cat, Sasha, who gave him great comfort.
A celebration of Mr. Roberts' life will be conducted at 11am on Monday, December 16, 2013 in the Sanctuary of First United Methodist Church, 72 Lake Morton Drive. Interment will take place following the service at Oak Hill Burial Park.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the SPCA, 5850 Brannen Rd. South, Lakeland, FL 33813, Gene and Judi Roberts Scholarship Fund at Florida Southern College, or Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Lakeland, 201 N. Kentucky Ave., Lakeland, FL 33801.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.heathfuneralchapel.com