October 1, 2020
Frances H. Roberts, 101, passed away at home with her family at her side on October 1, 2020. She was born in Graceville, Florida on September 4, 1919, and was one of six children born to Arnton and Ozie Hodges. She never lost her love for the small-town life, her extended West Florida family, and the values imparted by her parents. The persistence and determination she exhibited throughout her life were in evidence early when, in 1935, she wanted to become the first of her family to attend college. After being accepted at Florida State College for Women, she arrived in Tallahassee without a penny in her pocket to pay tuition or expenses but was determined to find a way to enroll. While carrying a full class load, she worked full-time in the dining hall, typed term papers for other students after dark in her dorm room closet to make extra money, and managed to complete her degree in just three years. She returned to FSU in later years to receive both graduate and post-graduate degrees in library science, a career that fulfilled her for many years of work in Leon County Schools, culminating in her serving as Director of Educational Media for the county system. After retiring in 1987, she continued close associations with her friends and former colleagues in the educational community, as her coworkers and colleagues were truly family to her. She was very proud of her role in leading the school system from “libraries” to the broader world of “educational media” and delighted in learning and growing into these new worlds. Until her accident in mid-August, she went to her computer every day to read and send emails, check the news, do a little “research” and work on her family history project. Frances met her life partner and love of her life, O. D. Roberts, a student at University of Florida, when he attended summer school at FSCW. Married in June 1941 in Graceville, they made their home in Tallahassee, where they lived for the rest of their lives. Frances was a devoted Seminole, and their friendly FSU-Gator rivalry continued throughout their marriage as they attended many FSU- Florida football games in their respective colors. Frances and O. D.’s lifelong love and devotion to each other was the best legacy left to their daughter Sharon, for they lived into the true definition of a strong and holy marriage. O.D. died in 1983, and his life and memory continue to be a blessing to his family. Frances and O. D.’s best job, they told their daughter Sharon, was the blessing of parenthood. In 1994, Frances’ life was enriched and made more joyful by the arrival of her grandson, Andrew. She had a lifelong enjoyment and love of all children, relatives or not, and many children in her life considered her to be another grandmother or godmother. Frances was a wealthy woman — in the truest sense of the word — from her countless deep and abiding relationships with friends, family, and neighbors in her beloved Betton Hills and from her deep faith, which sustained her through many difficult times. She epitomized the lifelong learner, always broadening her mind and horizons, relishing the arts, engaging in her love of bridge groups and book groups, and searching for new experiences. Even in these last two years of declining health, she filled her days with an abundance of new books to read, friends, love, and good conversation as well as a thorough daily review of the newspaper and current events — complete with questions and opinions. Her family was privileged to celebrate a 100th birthday dinner with her in 2019, made even more special because her grandson Andrew was the chef. She was a devout and lifelong Baptist. From the time she moved to Tallahassee, she was a faithful member of First Baptist Church and was devoted to the Early Risers Sunday School class. She was also a member of Delta Kappa Gamma, the professional society for leading women educators. Her family is deeply grateful for the love and special care she received during these past two years from all of her caregivers at Visiting Angels, who supported her by making her final years possible in the home which she loved for almost 70 years. She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Sharon and Randy Young of Atlanta, Georgia; her nephew, Roy Wallace Watford of Dothan, Alabama; and her beloved grandson, Andrew. She is predeceased by her parents and her five siblings. Due to pandemic-related concerns, a memorial service will be planned for a future date. Burial will be private with family only in attendance. Todd Wahlquist with Bevis Funeral Home (850-385-2193, www.bevisfh.com) is assisting the Roberts family with their arrangements. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial donations be made to Early Risers Class of First Baptist Church of Tallahassee (108 W. College Ave., Tallahassee FL 32301; www.fbctlh.org, specify Early Risers); or Florida Baptist Childrens’ Home (8415 Buck Lake Rd., Tallahassee, FL 32317).
Frances H. Roberts, 101, passed away at home with her family at her side on October 1, 2020. She was born in Graceville, Florida on September 4, 1919, and was one of six children born to Arnton and Ozie Hodges. She never lost her love for... View Obituary & Service Information
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