Mr. John Archie Roberts, age 84 of Douglas, passed away Wednesday, September 3, 2014, at his home following an extended illness. He was born June 17, 1930, the youngest of two children, to the late John Mitchel Roberts and Rachel McKinnon.
J.A., a native of Atkinson County, lived the majority of his life in Douglas, working as a farmer (awarded Outstanding Young Farmer 1965), handyman, loving husband, and father. After graduating from the University of Georgia with a B.S. in animal husbandry, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was stationed in Pensacola, Florida. He was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Douglas 1st ward, serving in various leadership positions, including Branch President of the Douglas Branch, in the bishopric of the ward, and as a member in the presidency of the Douglas, Georgia Stake.
J.A. developed a love for serving God’s children and built many friendships throughout south Georgia in doing so. He also served as the physical facilities coordinator for the Douglas Georgia Stake building, an area that ranged from Tifton to Waycross, and from Pearson to Vidalia and six meetinghouses. J.A. led by being an example of hard work, faith, integrity, endurance, patience, love for the scriptures, and always going about doing good. From March 1999 to March 2000, he and his beloved wife served as missionaries in the Oregon Portland Mission, a milestone achievement in their late years.
His family was his greatest treasure, and his wife, Lerah, was the love of his life. Together they created a family full of love and friendship and were the models after which many have tried to pattern their own marriage. He loved when his grandchildren and great-grandchildren would come and visit, and would always light up when he saw them. He was tireless in supporting his family in any endeavor and loved watching his grandchildren and great-grandchildren play sports, perform in various local concerts and recitals, and interact with each other. To them, there wasn’t anything that he couldn’t fix, and his door was always open to anyone that needed help. He was a constant beacon for his family, a person to whom they could always turn and receive guidance and instruction; in short, he was a true patriarch for his family.
J.A. was preceded in death by his father, John Mitchel Roberts; mother, Rachel McKinnon Roberts; brother, Edward Mitchel Roberts; and his beloved wife, Lerah Colleen Roberts, who passed away earlier this year.
Survivors include two daughters, Deborah Colleen Snow (John Spencer Snow deceased) and Beverly Dianne O’Brien (John Bernard O’Brien), both living in Douglas, and one son John LeGrand Roberts of Douglas. J.A. had seven grandsons, John LeGrand Roberts, Jr. (Shannon), John Bernard O’Brien III (Mallory), and Christopher Mitchell Roberts (Lindsey), all of whom are living in Douglas; James Gregory Roberts (Autumn), living in Saint Simons, Robert Brandon O’Brien (Angela), living in Macon, and John Robert Snow (Laura) and Richard Spencer Snow (Lexie), all living in Salt Lake City, Utah. He also had five great-grandsons and two great-granddaughters, several nieces and nephews, and other relatives that love him dearly.
Active Pallbearers: John LeGrand Roberts, Jr., John Bernard O’Brien III, James Gregory Roberts, Robert Brandon O’Brien, Christopher Mitchell Roberts, and Bruce Buren Brooker.
Honorary Pallbearers: John Robert Snow, Richard Spencer Snow, Larry Roberts, Danny Roberts, Jeffery McGowan, John Roberts Paulk, Bonnie Manning, Jeanie Paulk, Mary Pearl Flanagan, Kay Relihan, Woodrow and Duren McKinnon, J.D. Bryant, Ovid and Connie O’Neal, David and Sue Cox, Claude and Lou Ray, Madglean “Maggie” Pace, Bruce Whit, Raymond and Dottie Hill, and Herbert Davis.
Funeral services will be held Friday, September 5, 2014, at 11 a.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Douglas, Georgia. Internment site is located at Satilla Memorial Gardens.
Sims Funeral Home is in charge of services.