OBITUARY

John Aubrey Roberts

March 24, 1925January 26, 2019

John Aubrey Roberts, 93, of Columbia, Missouri, passed away on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Columbia. Visitation will be held on Tuesday, February 5 from 5:00 to 7:00pm at Memorial Funeral Home in Columbia. Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, February 6 at 2:00pm, also at Memorial Funeral Home.

John, the sixth and last child of Elizabeth Jones and Robert Evan Roberts, was born March 24, 1925 in Sharon Township, Iowa. After graduating from high school in 1943 he helped his father maintain the family farm until early 1945, when he volunteered for military service during World War II. He entered the U.S. Army in June of 1945 and served for two years in the quartermaster corps, and was stationed in Marcianese, Italy. John entered the University of Iowa in 1947 and earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1951, and then accepted a teaching and coaching position at Seneca Township High School in Illinois for two years before returning to the family farm and the University of Iowa. He earned his master’s degree in physical education in 1956, and his doctorate in 1958, and then relocated to Pittsburg, KS to begin his collegiate teaching career as a professor at Pittsburg State College where he served for four years. John then took a leave of absence to join the Peace Corps, serving for two years in Colombia, South America. He returned to Pittsburg State for under a year before accepting a position at the University of Missouri in 1965. He taught at Mizzou for 27 years, including 21 years as the Director of Graduate Studies for the Physical Education Department. In his retirement he enjoyed working at Strawberry Hill Farms, reading about the Civil War and other historical periods, listening to Cardinal baseball games, and spending time with his family.

He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Kay, two daughters, Sherrill Roberts of Liberty, MO and Stacy Schroeder (Kevin) of Columbia, MO, three grandchildren, Avery, Colt and Ethan, one brother, Wayne Roberts of Iowa City, IA, two nieces, Nora Noellsch and Mary Roberts, and nephew Paul Roberts. He was preceded in death by three sisters, Hilda, Joyce and Gleanna, and one brother, Don.

Memorials or tribute donations may be sent to the American Battlefield Trust, 1156 15th Street NW, Suite 900, Washington D.C. 20005 or www.battlefields.org or Boys Town of Iowa, 1702 West Broadway, Suite 17, Council Bluffs, IA 51501 or online at www.boystown.org.

  • FAMILY

  • He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Kay, two daughters, Sherrill Roberts of Liberty, MO and Stacy Schroeder (Kevin) of Columbia, MO, three grandchildren, Avery, Colt and Ethan, one brother, Wayne Roberts of Iowa City, IA, two nieces, Nora Noellsch and Mary Roberts, and nephew Paul Roberts.

Services

  • Visitation Tuesday, February 5, 2019
  • Funeral Service Wednesday, February 6, 2019
REMEMBERING

John Aubrey Roberts

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Kay Murray

February 5, 2019

Dear Kay and girls.
Please except my condolence in the passing of John. With his many achievements and helping raise a family he truly lived two lifetimes. Kay, will always hold dear working with you in County Government and hearing all about John. I know he was truly a wonderful partner, husband and parent.
Sincerely and with Love,
Kay Murray

Gale Gibson

February 2, 2019

John was my leader when I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Colombia , South America (1962-64). It was more than 50 years ago but I still have wonderful memories of him. He was knowledgeable, helpful and always steadfast in spite of the difficulties we faced. ( Among them cultural differences , inexperience, language and more) I consider myself lucky to have know him and to have been the beneficiary of his wise guidance and assistance. I still think of him with great respect and admiration.

My heartfelt condolences to the family.

Norman Olsen

February 1, 2019

Dear Kay
I am sorry to learn of John’s death. John was a key element in what was a seminal experience for many of us. Fifty plus years on from our days in the Peace Corps most of us still vividly remember the experience. John was a key part of many of those memories. John was an exceptional role model when most of us were only vaguely aware of the concept. On a daily basis his service demonstrated remarkable leadership, professionalism, and above all, integrity.

With Sympathy
Norm

Jim Brown

January 31, 2019

All of us have had a few special people who made a real difference in our lives. John was one of those people for me and I think for others in our Peace Corps group. He was a colleague, friend, teammate, mentor, and leader, and his example had a profound influence on what I did with the rest of my life. On behalf of our entire group, we express our sympathy to you, Kay, and to the rest of your family. John's spirit will live on in your lives and ours.

Jim Brown, Colombia IV

Jim Brown

January 31, 2019

All of us have had special people who made a real difference in our lives. John was one of those people for me and I think for others in our Peace Corps group. He was a colleague, friend, teammate, mentor, and leader, and his example had a profound influence on what I did with the rest of my life. On behalf of our entire group, we express our sympathy to you, Kay, and to the rest of your family. John's spirit will live on in your lives and ours.

Jim Brown, Colombia IV

Dan Friedman

January 31, 2019

John and I were in the same Peace Corps group in Colombia in 1963 and 1964. John was that rare, extraordinary leader who inspired others just by being himself. He was modest, funny, and instinctively inclusive.

In the decades since, he and Kay have had a significant impact on heir family and their state. John's was truly the life well lived. We have reached a point in our lives where death is an increasingly frequent event. That doesn't make it less sad.

It was a privilege to know John. My best wishes and condolences to Kay and your family.

Dan Friedman

Dan Sprague

January 31, 2019

I was in the group of Peace Corps Volunteers that followed John’s group by one year, and I followed him as a leader in Cali at the university. Those were really big shoes to fill!! John was such a wonderful talented leader, so knowledgeable, disciplined and compassionate. Moreover, he inspired those who worked with him and was unassuming, always walked life’s path with dignity! He had a major impact on many of us. May he rest in peace and thanks, Kay, for sharing him with us.
Sincerely,
Dan Sprague

Mike Town

January 31, 2019

John was a welcome and needed part of our Peace Corps Colombia IV group. He quickly became a vital part of the team. Many of us were young, wild, and enthusiastic, and worse yet, from California. He guided and corralled this crew mightily. His quiet and strong faith impressed me a lot. He gained our trust. He was a man of family and a patriot. I remember John fondly and regard him as a key influence. May God bless him and his family and the Peace Corps. I continue to labor in the vineyards of social justice due to folks like John, Eliseo, and others. — Mike Town

DAN FARRELL

January 31, 2019

KAY,
SORRY TO HEAR OF JOHNS DEATH.
DAN AND MARY LOU FARRELL
PITTSBURG, KS.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY