March 6, 1927 – June 12, 2015
Roberta Hayes Webb was born in Burdine, Kentucky in 1927, to Nettie Lipps Hayes and Augustus Hayes. Roberta passed from this earth on June 12, 2015, and joins her husband, Dr. James B Webb (Jim), where they will view beautiful sunsets and moon rises forever. Roberta or "Bert" as she is known, was one of six children, five sisters and one brother. She attended high school in Jenkins, Kentucky and graduated in 1945. After high school, Roberta spent a brief stint in Oak Ridge, TN as a lab technician on the team that developed the atomic bomb. In 1949, she completed a degree in psychiatric nursing at Knoxville General Hospital. After leaving Knoxville, Bert and Jim lived in Virginia, Florida, and North Carolina. In 1958 ,Bert and family moved to Ottumwa, Iowa. She was involved in PEO and the Junior League. Most of her time was, as always, devoted to her family. Her children remember early morning swim workouts and swim meets every weekend with Bert hauling a station wagon load of kids all over the state. Winters were wet and cold, but Bert never complained when everyone tracked snow in the house or left ice skates in the hall. From the beginning, Bert made sure her kids understood responsibility, keeping your word, and the value of a job well done. She also loved each of her children unconditionally. In 1967, Bert and Jim moved the family from Iowa to Lubbock, Texas. Bert saw all four kids finish school and go on to college and post graduate work. She was always her kids greatest supporter. Until the day she died, a success or accomplishment by one of her kids or grandkids was sweetest when shared with Mamaw. In 2008, when Roberta was 80, her granddaughters Caroline and Whitney took her to Ireland. They kissed the Blarney Stone, viewed beautiful cliffs, and made memories for a lifetime. Mamaw was always ready for the next big adventure. The latter part of Bert's life was spent on a ranch close to the White River Dam. There, she and Jim built an underground home, planted a pecan orchard, and raised a few cattle. She thought nothing of killing rattlesnakes with a hoe, shooting porcupines and raccoons out of her trees, or plotting to trap wild hogs. She also made the ranch "home" to her children and grandchildren. For many years, it was the gathering place for holidays, birthdays, or just to visit and relax. It was while she lived at the ranch that Bert wrote a fictional novel entitled the Dark and Bloody Ground. It is a fictional account of the early discovery and settlement of the uppermost reaches of the Big Sandy River Valley near what is now Jenkins, Kentucky. Most importantly, Bert or Mamaw, was loved unconditionally by her family. Even as she fought her final battle, she maintained her optimism. In the face of a terminal diagnosis, she simply stated it was now time to show the family how to die with dignity and grace…and she did just that. Her last few months at Carillon House were spent still smiling and making the most of her time left. The family wishes to express to the Carillon House our deepest gratitude and thanks. The love and care shown to our mother was simply incredible, and we will be forever grateful. The family who will carry on Bert's wonderful optimism and love of life include daughter Connie Wharton(Larry) of Lubbock, sons Dr.Edwin Webb(Lorraine) of Georgetown, Dr. Robert Webb (Jackie),of Smithsburg, Maryland, and James Allen Webb. Grandchildren include Dr. Whitney Wharton of Atlanta, Ga., Caroline Prescott (James), of Houston, Texas, Kaitlin Webb of Georgetown, and Joshua Shaun, William, and Joseph , all of Smithsburg, Maryland. Bert also treasured her two great granddaughters, Scarlett Hayes Prescott and Gwendolyn Vail of Houston. While she died just before her third great grandchild, Kate Wharton Prescott was born, the family will make sure "mamaw" is known to her. Her surviving sister, Donna Matherly, lives in Virginia. Roberta's life will be celebrated with a visitation/memorial on Saturday, August 29th, from 1pm-3pm at Resthaven Funeral Home , 5740 West 19th Street. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to The Carillon Foundation, 1717 Norfolk Avenue, Lubbock,79416, or a charity of your choice. Online condolences may be made at www.resthavenfuneralhome.com
Saturday, August 29, 2015
June 29, 2015
Forgive me for not writing earlier, but Bert's passing honestly floored me. I didn't know what to say. Coming on the heels of the death of my darling wife Joan, it shook up my world.
First, she told me on the phone a few days earlier that her illness was terminal this time. Bert was very lucid and matter of fact and wanted to have me hear it from her, personally, rather than my learning about it elsewhere. However, Connie, I simply couldn't accept it. Although, as I look back on our conversation, I subconsciously grasped a tone in her voice that was different. And I guess it frightened me.
To me, and to Joan, Bert was like a sister. That may sound strange because I had known her for only a few years. Though she and Joan met years ago in the League of Women Voters, their lives, until recent times, had crossed only formally.
Why did Joan and I come to feel so close to her? Her brilliant mind, her open and accepting personality, her delightful sense of humor, her genuineness in everything she did; these were captivating qualities that are very, very rarely found wrapped together in the same individual.
I can tell stories about the swell times that Joan and Bert and I had together. However, they would only repeat what you've heard and known many times over.
The "divine" question that can be asked of all of us is this. What does it really matter that we were born and lived on this earth? In a sense, our contribution, "so what". For all of us that knew Bert, we realize that her being here did make a difference, and the world is a better place because of it.
We knew how much she loved you, and loved the other members of her family. And I am certain that she's looking down on us from heaven and saying, "Martin, don't be silly. I never did anything special. Come on now."
Connie, I really don't know you very well. But if Bert thought you were a good guy (which she often did say) you, too, must have many of her qualities.
To you and to Bert's memory. Hooray.
June 16, 2015
I am so sad and sorry to read about Bert. It was my great privilege and pleasure to work with her on her novel and become fast friends thereafter. She was a very talented writer, and I had hoped she could plunge into a second novel about the ancient Amazons, a group of women who, for obvious reasons, teased her imagination. My husband, Jim, and I have wonderful memories of our visits to the vast pecan grove, spending lovely times with Jim and Bert in their special kind of country place. I loved Bert's rich and wonderful company and will forever miss her. My heart is heavy, and I send my deepest sympathy to the wonderful family she held so dear.
Pam Brink (Lubbock, TX)
June 14, 2015
Bert greatly enriched the lives of those she touched. She was a kind, steadfast friend who taught me many things - especially how to appreciate life. My condolences to her family and friends who will certainly miss her very much.
June 14, 2015
Dear Connie and family, so sorry to read of Bert's death. She was such a delightful and amazing lady whom we all grew to love during her stay with us at Trustpoint Hospital. Our prayers are with you and your family. She was an inspiration to everyone who met her. With love, the staff at Trustpoint.