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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Recent Deaths of Three Old-Time Sugar Landers

I want to thank Judy Harrington Diamond (SLHS '59) for sending me death notices for two residents of old Sugar Land.  I didn't know either of them.  The first is Pat Kelton (SLHS '55).  Here is a link to an obituary.  Here are two photos from the '55 Gator yearbook.

The second person is Clarence Roberts (SLHS '32).  I had no idea such an early graduate of Sugar Land High School was still living.  Once he left Sugar Land, he didn't come back too often (I surmise).  He led a very interesting life.  Here's an obituary.

C. F. “Prex” Roberts
COL (retired, Corps of Engineers) Clarence Francis Roberts, Legion of Merit recipient, died in El Paso, TX on July 7, 2012.  Born in Jasper, TX in 1915 to Om Seale and Clarence Francis Roberts, “Prex” (as he was known to all) graduated from Sugar Land High School (Valedictorian) in 1932 and Texas A&M University (Distinguished Military Graduate) in 1936 with a BS in Electrical Engineering.  In 1936, he married his high school sweetheart, June Smith.  They enjoyed adventures and traveled throughout the nation and the world due to his varied military assignments.

Prior to receiving his Regular Army Commission in 1947, COL Roberts served as an electrical engineer with Texas Electric Company (Fort Worth, TX) and Houston Lighting and Power.

During WWII, COL Roberts served in the Rainbow Division; he commanded an Engineer Construction Battalion in Korea, 1952 – 1953; and was assigned to Oakland Army Base during the Vietnam War.

Other assignments during his 32 years of service included Fourth Army Engineer, Fort Sam Houston, TX (1962 – 1965); Officer in Charge, Peru Project Inter American Geodetic Survey (1959 – 1962), Lima, Peru; Director of Engineering, Fort Sill, OK (1955 – 1959) and Fort Hood, TX (1965 – 1968); and Construction Management Officer, US Army Forces Far East, Camp Zama, Japan (1953 – 1955).  

During these assignments, COL Roberts was active in community and church activities.  Upon retirement in 1968, he worked as faculty at Central Texas College and as a project engineer on the Fort Hood Total Solar Project at the American Technological University, Killeen, TX.  He also did volunteer work for the American Red Cross at Darnall Army Hospital and the VITA tax assistance program.  COL Roberts was a scratch golfer, winning many tournaments, taught himself to sail and then built a 15-foot sailboat, and excelled at bridge, chess, crossword and word jumble puzzles, gardening and enjoying his homebrew.

COL Roberts was a Registered Professional Engineer, Texas, and a member of the Sons of the American Revolution, the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, and the Society of American Military Engineers.

Preceded in death by his father, mother, wife and sister, Kathryn Roberts Young, COL Roberts is survived by his children, Jon Brent (Maria), Pocatello, ID, and Robin Anne, El Paso, TX, and granddaughter, Evelyn Roberts Ward, Houston, TX.

The family would like to thank the nursing, support and administrative staff of Monte Vista at Coronado for all the loving care they provided COL Roberts over these many years.  He always said he was “A-Okay” thanks to their professionalism and dedication to his needs.  Additionally, we thank Hospice El Paso and Envision Hospice for their assistance.

Donations in his name to the Former Students Association, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX are welcomed.

Interment will follow a private ceremony to be held at a later date at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, San Antonio, TX.
I reviewed the '29 Sugar Land telephone directory (which is posted on this blog) and saw a listing for C. F. Roberts, who must have been his father.

The final person I want to mention here is Betty Jenkins.  There's an obituary below.  I will have another post about her in a few weeks, but I wanted to send my deepest sympathy to her daughters Belinda and Betty Ann.  The Jenkins family were our neighbors during the '50s and good friends to the Kelly family to this day.

Betty Jean Stowers Jenkins
    July 27, 1929 - July 21, 2012
    Sugar Land, Texas

Betty Jean Stowers Jenkins passed away in her home, Saturday, July 21st, after a long illness. She went peacefully, surrounded by her loving family and caretaker. Betty was born July 27th, 1929 in Houston and had lived in Sugar Land since the late 1940's. She was preceded in death by her mother, Mary; her husband, C. H. "Bud" Jenkins; her daughter, Darlene and her husband, Alan Scott, and her daughter, Denise Walla. Betty is survived by her daughters, Belinda Faison and husband, Mickey, Betty Ann Williams and husband, Windell; six grandchildren and four, soon to be, five, great-grandchildren.

Betty was a nurse who worked at the old Laura Eldridge Hospital, the Sugar Land Hospital, and for several prominent doctors in the Texas Medical Center. She was compassionate, loving, caring, stubborn, opinionated, resilient, and always willing to give of herself. Betty loved her family, her friends, and traveling. She visited her daughter, Betty Ann, in Germany and England, her daughter, Denise, in Tasmania, and traveled with her friends, Betty Fulton and Roger Guinn all over the world.

There will be a private interment at Greenlawn Memorial Park in Rosenberg on Wednesday. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to the Rosie Theis-Turner Recovery Fund. Rosie is a FBISD teacher battling Hodgkin's Lymphoma. She is the daughter of Emily Neil Miller, and the grand-daughter of Jack and Jimi Neil. Checks may be sent to Rosie Theis-Turner Recovery Fund care of Jill Cope, 1515 Tillman, Richmond, TX 77476, or for more information http://hope4rose.webs.com. Words of condolence may be left for the Jenkin's family at www.davisgreenlawnfh.com.

Arrangements are under the direction of Davis-Greenlawn Funeral Home, 3900 B.F. Terry Blvd., Rosenberg, Texas, 77471. 281-341-8800.