Cover photo for Maurice Warner Roberts, Sr's Obituary
Maurice Warner Roberts, Sr Profile Photo
1922 Maurice 2012

Maurice Warner Roberts, Sr

February 5, 1922 — May 10, 2012

Maurice Warner Roberts, Sr., 90, of DeFuniak Springs, Florida, began his new life in heaven May 10, 2012, while at Sims State Veterans Nursing Home in Panama City, Florida. He was born February 5, 1922 in Madison Heights, Virginia, to Floy Warner Roberts and Fletcher Alexander Roberts. The oldest of six children, he was raised in Madison Heights. He attended First Baptist Church of Monroe and was baptized by Gordon Crosby. He graduated from Madison Heights High School and attended additional night classes at E. C. Glass High School in Lynchburg, Virginia. After working as a machinist in the Norfolk, Virginia, shipyards, he served in the Merchant Marines – the organization responsible for transporting over 90% of personnel and supplies to war zones. Mr. Roberts witnessed the D-Day invasion at Normandy when he was sent to the upper deck of his ship. He married Virginia Watts of Adsit, Virginia, in 1948, and accepted a job at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida the following year. While he and his wife raised five children in DeFuniak Springs, he was instrumental in the establishment of the Santa Rosa Baptist Mission and later served in the Prison Fellowship ministry, both sponsored by the First Baptist Church in DeFuniak Springs, where he was a long-time member. He was also active with the Woodmen of the World insurance fraternity and sold insurance as a second job. During his later years at Eglin, he was trained in numerical control, computer-assisted design and manufacturing, and served as president of his local union. After helping send his five children to college, Mr. Roberts retired from Eglin Air Force Base in the late 1980s, became a licensed private pilot, and developed the Cedar Lane private airstrip. Mr. Roberts also volunteered with the Florida Baptist Men's Disaster Relief effort. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers, James W. Roberts, William (Billy) Roberts and Paul H. Roberts; his sister, E. Marie Stark and his granddaughter, Elizabeth D. Lightfoot.

He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Virginia Watts Roberts; son, Maurice W., Jr. (Sonny) and wife Kay; and daughters, Margaret R. Brannon, Joyce Roberts Lightfoot, Miriam R. Collins and husband Glenn, and Maureen R. Bush and husband Dennis. He is also survived by grandchildren: Alex Brannon, Matthew H. Collins and wife Caroline, Anna M. Collins, Virginia J. (Ginny) Lightfoot, Bethany G. Lightfoot, Daniel E. Bush, J. Wesley Bush, and Meredith R. Bush. In addition, Mr. Roberts is survived by a brother, Charles E. Roberts, of Madison Heights, Virginia, and numerous nieces and nephews.

In leiu of flowers memorial may be made in Mr. Robert's memory to First Baptist Church, DeFuniak Springs Prison Ministry Fund or to the Roberts Family Association, c/o Ginger Ballard, 448 Cummings Street, #281, Abingdon, VA 24210. A time of visitation will be Tuesday, May 15, 2012 from 9 until 10 A.M. in First Baptist Church of DeFuniak Springs with the service beginning at 10 A.M., Dr. Bobby Tucker officiating. Burial will be at 2:00 P.M. Tuesday, May 15, 2012 in Barrancas National Cemetery, Pensacola, Florida.

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