Elizabeth Pauline Roberts King
September 21, 1920-December 2, 2020
Elizabeth Pauline Roberts King was born to Pauline Hayes and George Wesley Roberts on September 21, 1920, and passed away on December 2, 2020, two months after celebrating her 100th birthday.
She was born in Madison County and graduated from Union University in 1941 and Peabody College in Nashville in 1950. She began her teaching career in 1941 in the Jackson City Schools and was the librarian at Alexander School from 1950 until she retired 1981.
During the summers of 1947 and 1948, her inquisitive spirit of adventure took her and her brother, Will Hayes Roberts, to Chicago, where they found housing and jobs and attended every free or inexpensive cultural event they could find. In their later years, that same spirit led Elizabeth and Will to travel around the country attending Elderhostel programs.
She married Lowell King in 1957. Together they attended Lambuth Memorial Methodist Church, where she served the church in many capacities for over 60 years. Both of them loved to travel and they enjoyed many trips prior to Lowell's death in 1993.
Ziba, as she was known to her many nieces and nephews, was the quintessential aunt. We all loved spending time with her and she always had an exciting activity planned for us. During one visit, she helped the children make a time capsule and bury it in the backyard. Despite many hours of digging, the capsule has not yet been found. As the great-nieces and nephews became teenagers, she set up lunch tables in her basement and put a rock in the center of each table, creating her own version of the Hard Rock Cafe.
She was the family historian and loved to regale us with stories of growing up in her very lively, multi-generational home on North Liberty Street. She passed on so much to each of us - her love of antiques and beautiful tables set with fine china and cloth napkins, traveling and education, and her very deep faith.
She shared her great love of books and reading and inspired a family of readers. She bragged that Lowell had built shelves that held 80 linear feet of books in their attic, and she cherished at least that many books in the rest of her house. When she was 97, she read a book a week for a whole year. She also read the complete Bible many times. She never lost her sense of humor or her love of learning. She found a joyful side to every one of her long life's experiences.
She was such an amazing presence and aunt and is sorely missed. Her family is deeply grateful to Valerie Love and Pearlie Matthews, who made it possible for her to remain in her beloved fairy tale cottage until the end.
Published in The Jackson Sun from Apr. 29 to May 2, 2021.