Hill Funeral Home

11723 South Saginaw Street, Grand Blanc, MI


Marvin Joseph Roberson

September 22, 1935January 13, 2020

Joe Roberson passed away January 13, 2020 at the age of 84. Joe was born in Flint, Michigan, on September 22, 1935, to William and Hazel Roberson. He attended Flint Northern High School and became a notable local athlete, but most often tended to describe himself as a significantly less notable student. He had an outstanding career in both baseball and basketball at Northern. He signed as a left-handed pitcher with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1953. After an arm injury ended his professional baseball career, Joe returned to college, eventually earning a Ph.D. He spent the majority of his career on the Flint campus of the University of Michigan, where he held a variety of administrative positions, ending his tenure as acting chancellor. He then moved to the University’s Ann Arbor campus, where he served as Associate Vice President for Development before being named Athletic Director. A hallmark of his career at both campuses was his steadfast focus on supporting the growth and success in all students, as well as emphasizing the “student” aspect of “student athlete.” Though not a particularly religious man, Joe believed that for those who are given much in this life, much is expected. Throughout his life, he remained grateful to those who extended a helping hand to him in his youth, repaying that debt by helping young people whenever possible. Joe is survived by his brother Jerry Roberson (Jan) and brother-in-law Al Wood; daughter Kimberly (Carroll Baker) and son Marvin; step children Kim Black, Gordon Black, and Lee Black (Kelly); and nine grandchildren (Madeline, Molly, Jane, Lindsay, Kate, Robbie, Connor, Fiona and Emma). He was preceded in death by his parents William and Hazel Roberson, brother Robert Roberson, and sister Barbara Wood. He also was preceded in death by his beloved wives Barbara Roberson Perry and Carolyn Conklin Black Roberson. Funeral Services will be 11:00 A. M. Saturday, January 18, 2020 at the Hill Funeral Home, 11723 S. Saginaw St., Grand Blanc, MI. Visitation will be Friday from 4:00 to 7:00 P.M. and Saturday from 10:00 to 11:00 A.M. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial tributes to the Joe Roberson Scholarship Fund at the University of Michigan-Flint.


  • Memorial Visitation Friday, January 17, 2020
  • Memorial Visitation Before Service Saturday, January 18, 2020
  • Memorial Service Saturday, January 18, 2020


Marvin Joseph Roberson

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Nancy Nelson

January 20, 2020

I had the pleasure of working for Joe when he was Associate Vice President for Development at The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He was a wonderful mentor and always ready with a joke or a story to liven our meetings. I was so sorry to learn of his passing. My sincere condolences go out to his children and family. —Nancy Nelson

Keith Bailey

January 18, 2020

Kimberly, Colette and I offer our condolences to you and your family
If I remember correctlty you were very close to your dad. Our only memory of him is the time we were invited to your cottage at Higgins Lake and your dad made shishcabobs . Not sure if I spelled that correctly. We are praying for you.

Keith and Colette Bailey.

Julie Drury

January 18, 2020

To my old friend Kim,
I just wanted to reach out with sympathy. I remember your pride in your Dad even as a young girl. I want to say how good it made me feel at your home, because he treated me with respect. Even when I came over without any shoes for your Birthday. I tell that story a lot. My heart is with you.
Julie ( now Julie Jewell)

Chuck Dafoe

January 15, 2020

I worked at U-M Flint in Plant Operations, while "Joe", as he preferred to be called, was Vice Chancellor, there. He always had time to say "Hi", and asked how things were going. He never looked down on you, and always treated you as an equal. To those who knew him well, he had a mischievous & fun side. Once he asked your name, and would always remember it.

HAMP Morris

January 15, 2020

Thanks Coach for all you did help me on my journey....may you Rest In Peace forever....my condolences to the family🙏🏿🙏🏿

Rob Nicks

January 14, 2020

I made Joe’s acquaintance at our Country Club in Venice, FL and immediately liked him. Joe was affable, friendly, and shared some great stories in the clubhouse. He was one of the good ones and will be sorely missed.

With deepest sympathy to the family.

Rob & Terri Nicks

Ward Chapman

January 14, 2020

It was my privilege to have known Joe since we were schoolmates at Northern High. He was a great person, a great athlete and a great educational administrator. We chatted briefly a few days after he had been appointed Athletic Director at Michigan. He told me that on his first day in the AD office he looked out the window at the sprawling M athletic complex and said to himself, "Joe, don't mess it up." That struck me then, and still does, as reflecting the kind of solid grounding that is an excellent start for one taking on new challenges.

Maria (Micki Siller) Hope

January 14, 2020

“Dr. God” is what we called him when he was Dean of Students at UM-Flint back in the 70’s. I was a work study student in his office. Incredible man, support and leader. Such fond memories. My sympathies.