Mary Lou Roberts passed away peacefully in her home, surrounded by her loving family on June 2, 2020, in Arcadia, following a long and courageous battle with Alzheimer’s. She was 86.
She was born Mary Louella Anderson on June 9, 1933, in Wellston, OK to her parents Raymond and Edna “Violet” Anderson. She grew up in Edmond, OK and graduated from Edmond High School in 1951. Mary Lou attended Central State College where she was on the Bronze Book yearbook staff, was president of the Pi Omega Pi honor society, was a 2 year Who’s Who member and graduated with a degree in Business Education in 1955. After earning her degree, she married Curtis Keith Roberts on August 27, 1955. Over the next 9 years they were blessed with the birth of 5 sons – Dennis, Martin, Chris, Greg and Tim, then later added a sixth “son” in Eric Steele. Mary Lou later received a Master of Education in 1967. A beloved teacher, she inspired thousands of children during her 27-year career with Edmond Public Schools. She taught third grade at Russell Dougherty Elementary and fourth grade at John Ross Elementary. She retired in 1989 and dedicated her remaining time to her family, the Farm Bureau Women’s Committee and playing music for the church.
Her lifetime love of music started as a young girl. She learned to play piano in high school and excelled. Her musical ministry began as a teen and continued over 50 years. She first played piano and organ for evening church services at her childhood church, First United Methodist of Edmond. At Central State she played for Y-Chapel of Song and after her marriage to Curtis she played for the First Christian Church of Luther.
Mary Lou spent her adult life participating in various farming organizations in support of Curtis and the boys. While her boys were growing up she was active in the Oklahoma County 4-H and the Edmond FFA Parents Club where she helped organize fundraising activities for both organizations. She served as District 3 Director for Oklahoma Farm Bureau Women’s Committee and represented that group at national conventions and congressional tours for many years. She also was active in the Oklahoma County Home Demonstration Club and served as an election precinct official.
When she joined Curtis on the farm, Mary Lou adapted completely. Raising the boys and later welcoming Curtis’s father, O.B., into the household, she cooked and baked to feed the small army. During harvest she often had to cook for extra mouths and was known to whip up an amazing meal for 15-20 people with little to no warning. Most years, the family would make an annual pilgrimage to Colorado to camp and fish for trout and Mary Lou would run the camp. She had a love of outdoors and flowers and tended her beloved roses and irises in flowerbeds around the house.
Mary Lou was Curtis’s rock and their love transcended all. For nearly 65 years they shared a bond that is rare in today’s world. Their marriage was timeless, and they were completely dedicated to each other. Her greatest joy came from doting on and playing with her 27 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren. With a joy only a grandmother knows, she took an active role in all of their lives while she baked and doctored and transported and ministered and supported in every way.
Mary Lou is survived by her husband Curtis Roberts of Arcadia, OK; Dennis & Leslie Roberts, Son & Daughter-in-law of Harper, KS; Martin & Cindy Roberts, Son & Daughter-in-Law of Oklahoma City, OK; Christopher & DeAnna Roberts, Son & Daughter-in-Law of Carney, OK; Greg & Angela Roberts, Son & Daughter-in-Law of Arcadia, OK; Timothy & Pamela Roberts, Son & Daughter-in-Law of McKinney, TX; Eric & Kari Steele, “Son” & Daughter-in-Law of Edmond, OK; 27 Grandchildren, 8 Great- Grandchildren; Evelyn Harris, Sister, Edmond, OK; Linda Piatt, Sister, Naples, FL; Fern Anderson, Sister-in-Law, Luther, OK. She is preceded in death by her parents, Raymond & Edna “Violet” Anderson; her brother, Raymond “Gene” Anderson; her brother and sister-in-law, Howard & Judy Anderson; and her brother-in-law, Robert Harris.
A memorial service will be held Tuesday, June 9, 2020 at 10:00 A.M. at Broken Horn Ranch 19680 N Luther Road Luther, OK 73054. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Mary Lou’s life. Memorial contributions can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association at 225 N Michigan Avenue, Floor 17 Chicago, IL 60601 or online at ACT.ALZ.ORG. The Family would like to thank Dr. Dean Shipley and Centennial Hospice – Jamie Swain, Shelly Michaels and Renee Mason for their continued care and support. Arrangements are under the direction of Lehman Funeral Home of Wellston.